ERIC Number: EJ1040252
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Using a Microbial Physiologic and Genetic Approach to Investigate How Bacteria Sense Physical Stimuli
Mussi, María Alejandra; Actis, Luis A.; de Mendoza, Diego; Cybulski, Larisa E.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, v42 n5 p427-434 Sep-Oct 2014
A laboratory exercise was designed to illustrate how physical stimuli such as temperature and light are sensed and processed by bacteria to elaborate adaptive responses. In particular, we use the well-characterized Des pathway of "Bacillus subtilis" to show that temperature modulates gene expression, resulting ultimately in modification of the levels of unsaturated fatty acids required to maintain proper membrane fluidity at different temperatures. In addition, we adapt recent findings concerning the modulation by light of traits related to virulence such as motility and biofilm formation in the chemotropic bacterium "Acinetobacter baumannii." Beyond the theoretical background that this activity provides regarding sensing of environmental stimuli, the experimental setup includes approaches derived from classic genetics, microbiology, and biochemistry. The incorporation of these kind of teaching and training activities in middle-advanced Microbiology or Bacterial Genetics courses promotes acquisition of general and specific techniques and improves student's comprehension of scientific literature and research.
Descriptors: Science Laboratories, Stimuli, Heat, Light, Molecular Structure, Genetics, Science Instruction, Biochemistry, Environmental Influences, Microbiology, Teaching Methods, College Science, Physiology
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A