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Information Flow and Genetics

Microbiology Learning Framework

Society Learning Goals Articles Sample Learning Objectives
Information Flow and Genetics
How can cell genomes be manipulated to alter cell function?
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  • List the common features of vectors used for cloning.
  • List one example in medicine or in agriculture when bacteria acquired new genes that resulted in an altered cell function.
  • Describe the mechanisms by which orthologs and paralogs arise.
  • Discuss how horizontal gene exchange contributes to the evolution of a genome and a species.
  • Explain how a transposon can be used to create a mutant strain.
  • Design a vector for a given situation.
  • Discuss two societal benefits achieved through the genetic manipulation of microbes.
How is the synthesis of viral genetic material and proteins dependent on host cells?
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  • Define the terms restriction and modification with regard to a bacteriophage infection.
  • Given a type of virus, list the steps that take place in the replication of its genome.
  • Compare and contrast the multiplication of animal viruses and bacteriophages.
  • Compare and contrast the viral enzymes needed by RNA, DNA, and retroviruses.
  • Compare and contrast the host enzymes needed by RNA, DNA, and retroviruses.
  • Given a description of an antiviral medication, predict whether it would be effective against RNA, DNA, or retroviruses.
How is the regulation of gene expression is influenced by external and internal molecular cues and/or signals?
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  • State the role of a transcriptional repressor (or activator).
  • Define the role of each of the following: promoter region, RNA polymerase, activator binding site, repressor binding site/operator, sigma factor.
  • Describe how bacteria can regulate gene expression at the level of transcription and translation.
  • Explain how gene regulation leads to adaptation.
  • Give examples of how an internal chemical signal can control gene expression.
  • Give examples of how an external chemical signal can control gene expression.
  • Give examples of mechanisms commonly found to regulate the activity of transcription factors, including types of post-translation modification and the binding of small molecule effectors/ligands.
Although the central dogma is universal in all cells, how do the processes of replication, transcription, and translation differ in Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukaryotes?
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  • State two characteristics of the universal genetic code.
  • State the average size of genes and genomes in a bacterium vs. a human.
  • Explain how chromosome structure differs in Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukaryotes (e.g., histones and circular/linear chromosomes).
  • Explain the role of mRNA processing in Eukaryotes.
  • List the similarities and differences in transcription initiation and termination between Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukaryotes.
  • Explain how the organization of genes in an operon affects transcription in Bacteria, compared to a single gene.
  • List the similarities and differences in translation initiation between Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukaryotes.
  • Present an argument, using the processes of transcription and translation, to explain the evolution of the three Domains: Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukaryotes.
  • Compare and contrast DNA replication in Bacteria, Archaea and Eukaryotes.
How do genetic variations impact microbial functions (e.g., in biofilm formation, pathogenicity, and drug resistance)?
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  • Define the following: point mutation, genetic insertion, genetic deletion, and frameshift mutation.
  • Given a mutation (genetic variation or change in DNA sequence), predict whether or not that change would result in a change of function for the resulting protein (phenotypic change).
  • Explain Griffith’s classic experiment with rough and smooth cells. Describe the relationship between capsule genes and virulence.
  • For a given point mutation, genetic insertion, or genetic deletion, describe a situation that would result in a frameshift mutation and one that would not.
  • For a given point mutation, genetic insertion, or genetic deletion, describe a situation that would result in a non-functioning protein and one that would not.
  • Compare and contrast the potential effects of a given mutation in an open-reading frame to a mutation in a regulatory region.

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