Bacterial Evolutionary Genetics

Course Numbers: OCMB - 6010, BMME - 6700

Microbial populations evolve and adapt to their surroundings in rapid and facile ways. Numerous genetic mechanisms will be discussed that can rapidly diversify or homogenize bacterial populations including hypermutation, recombination, and the selective deletion of DNA. Many of these adaptive changes lead to the acquisition of dangerous traits among bacteria including enhanced virulence attributes, multi‐drug resistance, and unusual tolerance to environmental insults. In addition, methods and assays capable of detecting and measuring these kinds of evolutionary changes among bacterial species and strains will be reviewed. Finally, a survey of analytical approaches currently deployed for ascertaining population and evolutionary diversity within a bacterial population will be undertaken.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

Textbook:

Miller, RV., Day, M. 2004. Microbial Evolution: Gene Establishment, Survival, and Exchange. ASM Press. ISBN: 978-1555812713.