Course Details

Course Number: 3044  Section Number: 101

Fall 2013

Location: Bolin Hall

Classroom Number: 209

Days & Times:

MWF (11:00 - 11:50 am)

Laboratory sessions meet M (2:00 - 4:50 pm)

Course Attachments

3044 F13 Lecture ScheduleTentative schedule of lecture content and assignment due dates   3044 F13 Schedule Post-20130809-141948.pdf


Biology of Microorganisms, 13th Ed.  ISBN: 978-0-321-64963-8

Laboratory Manual for BIOL 3044
Pearson Custom Library Publication; must be new
  ISBN: 978-1-256-17796-2

MSU Faculty Member
Dr. James Masuoka   
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Course Objectives
  • Explain the factors important in microscopy and how each is optimized or controlled
  • Describe prokaryotic cell structures and relate these structures to function
  • Describe how specific prokaryotic cell structures carry out processes such as motility, nutrient transport, energy production and reproduction
  • Describe the environmental factors that affect microbial growth, and relate these factors to specific environments and habitats, and to growth in laboratory culture
  • Describe the diverse mechanisms by which prokaryotes have adapted to different environments, and the pathways used to produce reducing power and ATP
  • Relate microbial biology to means of identification and classification
  • Describe how microbial genetic information flows and is shared
  • Describe some of the symbiotic relationships that exist between prokaryotes and other organisms in terms of benefits and potential harm to both parties
  • Research and critically evaluate the scientific literature to answer or address a question
  • Communicate fundamental concepts of microbiology, both in written and in oral format
  • Research and critically evaluate the scientific literature to answer or address a question

Course Expectations


Biology of Microorganisms (Brock) by Michael T. Madigan & John M. Martinko. 13th Edition. Pearson Prentice Hall, 2012.

Laboratory Manual for BIOL 3044 (Symbiosis). 


Each student is required to complete all exams and laboratory assignments.

Each student is required to complete a term paper (worth 100 points).

Each student is required to complete for reading assignments taken from the primary literature (25 points each)

There will be 3 midterm exams worth 80 points each.

There will be a comprehensive exam worth 160 points.

As stated below, the laboratory portion of the course is worth 400 points (40%).

Students are required to understand and follow all laboratory safety guidelines and policies.

Grading Standards

Final Exam12/9/2013  10:30 am - 12:30 pm

Submission Format Policy

The term paper must be formatted according to the guidelines provided in the Journal of Bacteriology (ASM).

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

Late papers will lose 10% each 24 hour period past the assigned deadline.

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Students are expected to attend all meetings of the classes in which they are enrolled. Although in general students are graded on intellectual effort and performance rather than attendance, absences may lower the student’s grade where class attendance and class participation are   deemed essential by the faculty member. In those classes where attendance is considered as part of the grade, the instructor should so inform students of the specifics in writing at the beginning of the semester in a syllabus or separate attendance policy statement. An instructor who has an attendance policy must keep records on a daily basis. The instructor must give the student a verbal or written warning prior to being dropped from the class. Instructor’s records will stand as evidence of absences. A student with excessive absences may be dropped from a course by the instructor. Any individual faculty member or college has the authority to establish an attendance policy, providing the policy is in accordance with the General University Policies. [MSU Student Handbook, p. 43]

Absences will be excused for:

  1. Death of an immediate family member.  An immediate family member is considered to be a grandparent, parent, sibling, spouse, in-law, aunt, uncle, or child.
  2. Summons to appear in court or jury duty. A copy of the summons is required.
  3. Call to military service.  A copy of your orders to report is required.
  4. University sponsored event. Members of athletic teams, college bowl participants, etc. will be excused with proper notification.
  5. Debilitating illness or disability. Illnesses will be addressed on an individual basis. If a student is affected by an illness that is not debilitating, (i.e. flu, virus infection) which may result in the student missing one or more consecutive class sessions, that student will be marked as unexcused for the amount of days missed unless a doctor’s note is provided.

ROUTINE APPOINTMENTS, medical or otherwise, AND VACATION TRAVEL ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE Reasons for excused absences

 It is the responsibility of the student to obtain notes or other information covered in class during an absence.

Other Policies

Classroom Expectations and Policies:

  • Students are expected to be prepared for lecture and lab by: 1) reading the text, lab manual and handouts prior to coming to class; 2) having paper and pen at hand
  • Students are expected to arrive a few minutes early in order to mentally prepare. If late arrival is unavoidable, the student should enter the class in a manner that creates as little disruption as possible.
  • Points will be deducted from assignments turned in late.
  • Food and beverages are prohibited in the lab (see the Laboratory Safety section in the Laboratory Manual for additional safety issues).
  • Student Conduct: Please refer to the MSU Student Handbook for university policies related to student responsibilities, rights and activities. For example, see page 47 for valid grounds for an instructor drop (excessive absence, indifferent attitude, disruptive conduct, failure to meet class assignments), page 83 for the university's standards of conduct regarding classroom conduct and for definitions of academic dishonesty that may be subject to disciplinary action (cheating, plagiarism, and collusion).
  • Students with disabilities: It is the responsibility of the student to first contact Disability Support Services and then the instructor to determine what accommodations might be made for a disability. It will be the responsibility of the student to make arrangements to acquire notes. Any requests for accommodations must be made 2 weeks prior to the first exam.
  • CELL PHONES (and other electronic devices): (READ THIS TWICE, PLEASE) There are NO cell phones permitted to be out in this class. This class, as well as your other classes, requires your engagement, and cell phones serve to detract from that engagement. Additionally, your phone should be not only put away, but on “silent” (NOTE: vibrate is NOT silent). If your phone is out and/or in sight, you will be asked to put it away.
  • The instructor reserves the right to amend these rules as needed throughout the term.

E-mail Policy:

I will respond to e-mail during regular school hours (8:30 am – 5:00 pm M-F). I will make every effort to respond to e-mail sent during the week within 24 hours. Those sent over the weekend will be attended to on Monday.

Always include a subject line in your e-mail messages. It would be particularly helpful to include in the subject line the course number & section (i.e. BIOL 2144-301).

Exam Policies:

  • No make-up exams will be given in this course. If you must miss class during a midterm exam period, and it is an excusable absence (see above), then the cumulative portion of the final exam will be used to determine the missed midterm score. You must notify the instructor of problems prior to the start of the exam, and provide the appropriate documentation as soon as possible. Only one midterm exam will be substituted for in this manner.
  • Exams are not moved for congested midterm or finals schedules.
  • All electronic devices, including cell phones, must be completely turned off during exam periods. I will keep track of time and relay the information to the class. If you must keep track of time yourself, invest in a wristwatch.


All exams and assignments count toward your final grade in the course and so it is important to do the best that you can on everything you turn in. If you find yourself having difficulties, please come to me for help early in the semester so that you give yourself time to improve.

Attendance is not a direct component of your course score. However, continual tardiness – and the subsequent class disruption due to coming in late – will be taken into account and may have an effect on your final points awarded.

This course is not graded on a traditional curve, but it is scaled to where the students are. This allows for any adjustments that the instructor deems necessary. The course is worth approximately 1000 points. Grade categories and equivalent percentages are as indicated: A (90-100%); B (80-89.9%); C (70-79.9%); D (60-69.9%); F (59.9% and below). Passing requires 60% of the points (unadjusted) for the course, or 600. Fractional percentages will be rounded at the end.

Lab constitutes approximately 40% of the BIOL 3044 grade. Lecture constitutes approximately 60% of the BIOL 3044 grade.

There are three midterm exams, each worth 100 points. Each exam will be based on what was covered since the previous exam. There is a comprehensive final exam worth 200 points. In particular, any material that requires review following an exam (i.e. the vast majority of the class got it wrong) will show up on the final exam.

The last assignment is a term paper worth 100 points. Details regarding the term paper topic are given below. More detailed information on the paper and a rubric of scoring guidelines will be provided separately.


1) No regrades will be provided for exams done in pencil.

2) Misspelled words (esp. organism names) and incorrect taxonomic nomenclature will result in ¼ point deductions for each instance.

Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.