Biology | Biology of the Procaryotes
M460 | 30568 | Palmer, J

M460:  Microbial Evolution (formerly Biology of the Prokaryotes).
Spring 2011.  3 credits.  T & Th, 1:15 AM-12:30 PM.   Professor Jeff
Palmer.   Prerequisite:  M250 or Permission of the Instructor.
Learn about the exciting revolution underway in our understanding of
the evolution, diversity, and fundamental importance of microbial
life on Earth.  Course will consist of integrated lectures,
readings, and discussions.  Topics to be covered include:
Microbial diversity – the ubiquity, diversity, and importance of
microbial life.  The “Tree of Life” – progress, controversies, and
challenges.  Horizontal gene transfer – microbial genomes in flux.
Sex in bacteria – recombination, bacterial “species”, and the
pangenome.  Symbiosis – from mitochondria to the human microbiome.
Experimental evolution – using bacteria to study evolution in
action.   Evolution of viruses – from HIV to Mimivirus.  Origin and
evolution of antibiotic resistance.  Evolution of pathogens and
parasites.  Origin of Life and the RNA World