Introduction to the microbiology Laboratory
Overall Objectives of the Microbiology Laboratory
Welcome to Microbiology! The overarching goals for the laboratory
portion of this course are to teach microbiological techniques and to show
students the impact of microbes on our daily lives and their central roles
in nature. During the semester, we will discuss essential laboratory techniques
that will allow us to investigate the structure and physiology of microorganisms.
The various sub-disciplines of Microbiology including Medical Microbiology,
Immunology, and Environmental and Applied Microbiology will be introduced.
The objectives over the course of the semester are to...
- Become proficient at laboratory skills and safety procedures.
- Learn to follow experimental procedures.
- Develop skills to formulate answerable questions/hypotheses, predict expected
- Learn how to make careful observations, collect and analyze data, and
draw appropriate conclusions.
- Utilize active learning opportunity in the laboratories.
- Demonstrate good lab citizenry and the ability to work with others.
- Have Fun!!!
The Microbiology Laboratory Manual, Photographic Atlas and Course Web Site
The experiments to be conducted in the General Microbiology Laboratory are
outlined in this manual. Students may also purchase A Photographic Atlas
for the Microbiology Laboratory by Michael J. Leboffe and Burton E. Pierce.
This atlas includes concise descriptions and color photographs of numerous
biochemical tests, stains, and other procedures that are pertinent to most
of the labs that we will perform throughout the course. It is a VALUABLE
RESOURCE if referred to regularly.
At the beginning of every lab procedure, the TA or instructor will give a
lecture which will include pertinent background information, tips on how to
perform various laboratory procedures, and other important instructions. The
lecture notes and any additional course information or visual aides will be
posted on the course web site at:
Please check the course web site before each scheduled lab session as additional,
helpful information will often be found there.
In this lab we will use Olympus Biological Microscopes. These are better
than average teaching microscopes and are very expensive, each costs over
$2,000. Handle it with extreme care! The KEY to having a microscope
work well is to keep it clean. To eliminate the most common source of frustration
in microscopy, be sure to CLEAN the ocular and objective lenses with
lens paper BEFORE and AFTER the lab session. Clean up any oil
spills immediately and properly store the microscope with a cover. In using
the microscope always follow the appropriate procedure as described in LAB
Section # : _________
Teaching Assistant: _________________________________
Office: AG 6022
Faculty Supervisor: _________________________________
Office hours: ________________________
Practical Exam #1: 30
Practical Exam #2: 30
Weekly Quizzes: (best 6out of 7) 60
Unknown Press Release: 5
Dilution Problems: 10
Pipetman tutorial: 5
Gram Stain Report: 15
Unknown Report (includes hypotheses and references) 25
Laboratory Total 200 points
Extra credit opportunities (worth a total of 5 points) will be
provided throughout the semester.
_ Assignments submitted late will be dropped by two points
for every day they are late. Assignments more than one week late will
not be graded.
_ Your grade for MOLB 2210 will be based on a total of 800
points (600 from lecture, 200 from lab).
Required Lab Supplies
Lab coat (There is a limited supply of lab coats in the lab. Lab coats can also
be purchased at the bookstore.)
Safety glasses (supplied in lab)
Optional Lab Supplies
3 x 5 cards (a file box is handy to keep your cards in)
Attendance in lab is mandatory. Only University
excused absences will be allowed. You must contact your
TA or Professor prior to missing the lab and show appropriate paperwork
upon your return. Unexcused absences will not be accepted.
One unexcused absence will result in the loss of 5 points and two
unexcused absences will result in an automatic F in the course. Missed
labs must be made up during open lab hours.
- To get the most out of a microbiology laboratory, READ the scheduled
exercise(s) BEFORE the lab. Not only does this allow you to be efficient
and productive in the time allowed for the lab, it facilitates a better understanding
of the material.
- BE THOROUGH! Many of the exercises performed in this lab require
several days to complete. Generally, each lab period will involve finishing
the previous exercise and then starting another. At times this can be a little
chaotic. Therefore, it is imperative that you concentrate on completing each
lab by recording all of the results (especially for large group projects),
and answering the questions for each lab before starting with the next lab
- In studying for quizzes and lab practical exams, you may find it useful
to prepare INDEX CARDS. This course covers a good number of specific
microorganisms, microbiological tests, and procedures; the index cards may
be an invaluable study aid.
- Lab coats and safety glasses must be worn at all times while in the laboratory.
Regular prescription glasses are generally not made with safety glass and
thus safety glasses must be worn over the top of these glasses at all times.
Safety glass checks will be made throughout the semester and students without
their glasses will loose 2 points.
- Only the materials pertinent to lab work, such as a lab manual/notebook,
and other lab materials, should be brought to your workspace. All other items
such as coats, books, and bags should be stored on the shelves provided for
- All lab benches must be wiped with disinfectant BEFORE and AFTER
each lab period.
- No eating, drinking or smoking in lab.
- Know lab safety procedures and the location of the first aid kit, eyewash,
and fire extinguisher.
- All culture material should be handled as if it were potentially harmful.
- Be very careful with Bunsen burners. Burners should be turned off when
not in use.
- Long hair must be tied back at all times while in the laboratory.
- Dispose of materials as instructed. Do not carelessly throw materials in
wastebaskets or sinks; biohazard waste containers are available.
- Report any accident or injury immediately to the laboratory instructor
so that prompt action can be taken.
- After each lab, WASH your hands before leaving the laboratory.