mar510 - Molecular Mechanisms and Interactions (Complete module description)

mar510 - Molecular Mechanisms and Interactions (Complete module description)

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Module label Molecular Mechanisms and Interactions
Modulkürzel mar510
Credit points 12.0 KP
Workload 360 h
Institute directory Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment
Verwendbarkeit des Moduls
  • Master's Programme Microbiology (Master) > Mastermodule
Zuständige Personen
  • Rabus, Ralf Andreas (module responsibility)
  • der Mikrobiologie, Lehrende (Module counselling)
Skills to be acquired in this module
The students know the molecular mechanisms of metabolism, genetics and evolution. They know regulatory mechanisms on the molecular level and feedback mechanisms between organisms. They know the basics of microbial ecology and the biogeochemistry of important microbial habitats. They know molecular and chemical-analytical methods of microbiology. The have experience with the field study of microorganisms.
Module contents


The module consists of 5 parts:

1) Molecular Microbiology (lecture + exercise)

Topic I - DNA: structure, DNA-proteins, DNA-replication, recombination, transposition, mutation, repair, plasmids and DNA-exchange
Topic II - gene expression: transcription, regulation of transcription, translation
Topic III - enzymes: protein structures, basic concepts and kinetics, catalytic and regulatory strategies
Topic IV - regulatory networks: diauxie and catabolite repression, oxygen regulation, chemotaxis

2) Microbial Ecology (lecture + exercise)
Principles of biogeochemistry, global element cycles, mineralisation of organic substances, chemotaxis, aquatic habitats, terrestrial habitats, deep subsurface biosphere, syntrophy and symbiosis, microbes in earth history, methods in microbial ecology, isotope fractionation, applied microbiology, bioremediation

3) Broadening lectures, one out of the following

- Biological significance of suspended matter:
Lecturer: Simon; Form of study: 1 lecture a week, partially blocked for 2 lectures a week; 3 CP; summer term;

- Sediment Microbiology:
Lecturer: Engelen; Form of study: 3 weeks block; 3 CP; summer term;
This lecture presents state of the art knowledge about occurrence, life and activities of microorganisms in these environments. Physiological issues are addressed as well as evolutionary and applied aspects.

Topics are: formation, diagenesis and special features of sediments; physico-chemical conditions and geological records; interpretation of gradients; microbes and biological processes in sediments; methods for cultivation of sediment organisms; molecular methods; biogeochemical methods; quantification of prokaryotes and viruses

- Scientific writing and presentation:
Lecturer: Engelen; Form of study: weekly seminar; 3 CP;
The students know the importance and structure of scientific publications. They learn to read papers critically and which require important for the different parts. Furthermore, students will train to give oral presentations as well as scientific reports and poste how to use the library and how to find relevant literature and how to use citation programs.

Topics are: types and relevance of scientific publications; parts of scientific publications step by step: Abstract, Introduction, Results, Discussion; university facilities for literature search; oral presentation; how to prepare posters; tips for using Excel, PowerPoint, Word and Endnote

-  Alternative lectures of the MSc “Marine environmental sciences” or “Biology” (see current online schedule)

4) Excursions into the field, to companies and scientific institutions

5) ICBM and microbiological colloquium (alternating weekly)

Stryer – Biochemistry
Voet – Biochemistry
Knippers – Molekulare Genetik
Snyder – Molecular Genetics of Bacteria
Brock - Microbiology
Language of instruction English
Duration (semesters) 1 Semester
Module frequency annual
Module capacity unlimited
Type of module Pflicht / Mandatory
Module level BC (Basiscurriculum / Base curriculum)
Teaching/Learning method Lecture + Exercises: Molecular microbiology (3 CP)
Lecture + Exercises: Microbial ecology (3 CP)
Broadening lecture or seminar (3 CP)
Excursion (1 CP)
Microbiological + ICBM Colloquium (2 CP)
Form of instruction Comment SWS Frequency Workload of compulsory attendance
Lecture 4 SoSe 56
Exercises 2 SoSe 28
Seminar 2 SoSe oder WiSe 28
Study trip 1 SoSe oder WiSe 14
Präsenzzeit Modul insgesamt 126 h
Examination Prüfungszeiten Type of examination
Final exam of module
At the end of the lecture period, the exact date will be announced during the course.
Two assesments of examination:
Written exam on contents of the lectures 'Molecular Microbiology' and 'Microbial Ecology'. At least 50% of the reachable points in written tests about the two lectures mentioned above.

Active participation: Active and documented participation in practical courses (labs, exercises, seminars, field trips) and courses. These include e.g. the delivery of exercises, writing a lab report or seminar presentations according to the advice of the course supervisor.