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Cell Structure and Function

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Microbiology Learning Framework

Society Learning Goals Articles Sample Learning Objectives
Cell Structure and Function
How are replication cycles of viruses (lytic and lysogenic) different among viruses and how are they determined by their unique structures and genomes?
  • Label the key parts of the virus.
  • Arrange the steps of a viral infection by bacteriophage in correct order, specifically, either a temperate or lytic phage.
  • Predict the replication cycle of a virus based on the genes it carries.
  • Compare and contrast the replication cycles of bacteriophages T4 and lambda, including the consequences of infection.
  • Compare and contrast the differences between lysogenic and latent viral infections.
  • Describe how a lysogenic phage can contribute to virulence, and give one example.
Even though microscopic eukaryotes (e.g., fungi, protozoa, and algae) carry out some of the same processes as bacteria, how do many of the cellular properties fundamentally differ?
  • Identify (model or diagram) major eukaryotic cell structures and explain their associated functions.
  • State two unique structures present in Eukaryotes, but not in Bacteria and Achaea.
  • Explain why eukaryotic cells need/have organelles, while bacterial and archaeal cells generally do not.
  • Compare and contrast transcription and/or translation in Eukaryotes vs. Bacteria or Archaea.
  • Explain why it is difficult to develop antifungal drugs. Describe some of the successful cellular targets that have been identified.
How do specialized structures (e.g. flagella, endospores and pili) confer critical capabilities to bacteria and archaea?
  • Diagram the structure of a bacterial flagellum.
  • State the function of pili and fimbriae.
  • List the features of endospores that allow them to survive extreme conditions over long periods of time.
  • Compare and contrast the structure of cell membranes and cell walls in Bacteria and Archaea.
  • Explain how specialized structures (e.g., pili/fimbrae, capsules, lipopolysaccharides, spores, or flagella) enable a microbe to survive in a given environment.
  • Predict how losing the ability to make a specialized structure (e.g., pili/fimbrae, capsules, lipopolysaccharides, spores, or flagella) might affect survival.
  • Compare and contrast the different cellular transport processes (e.g., facilitated diffusion, ion driven transport/simple transport, ABC transporter, group translocation, etc.) with regard to the proteins involved and the energy source used.
How do unique bacterial cell structures make them targets for antibiotics, immunity, and phage infection?
  • List two structures that both Gram-negative and Gram-positive cells have in common, and provide the function of each.
  • List two structures that are unique to Gram-negative and to Gram-positive cells, and provide the function of each.
  • Distinguish between cell envelope structures (e.g., membranes and cell wall, etc.) in Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.
  • Predict whether a given antibiotic would affect Gram-positive and/or Gram-negative cells based in their mechanism of action.
  • Design a target for a new drug based on the structure of bacterial cells.
  • Describe how bacterial structures (e.g., peptidoglycan, lipopolysaccharides, flagella, etc.) stimulate a non-specific immune response.
  • Explain how antigenic shift can result in resistance to antibiotics, viral infection, and evasion of the immune response.
How have the structure and function of microorganisms been revealed by the use of microscopy?
  • List three different bacterial cell morphologies.
  • Identify microbial structures from a given image.
  • Describe how the cell structure of Gram-negative and Gram-positive cells leads to a given Gram stain result.
  • Explain how bright-field microscopy works and why specimens must be stained.
  • Explain how phase-contrast microscopy works and why specimens do not need to be stained.
  • Decide on the correct type of microscopy and sample preparation for a given situation.
  • Explain how magnification and resolution are controlled in a microscope.
  • State the advantages and disadvantages of using bright-field, phase-contrast, dark-field, fluorescence, confocal scanning laser, transmission electron, and scanning electron microscopy for a given situation.


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