BISC209/S12: Lab12

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Wellesley College-BISC 209 Microbiology -Spring 2012


"Virtual" Poster Presentations this week

Room TBA. Please make sure that you have emailed your poster to yourself so we can access it in the classroom where we will have our presentations. Email a final copy to your instructor, too.

Virtual Poster Presentation
In LAB 12, teams of 3-4 students will prepare and present a Powerpoint™ slide in the style of a poster that would be presented informally and talked about at a scientific research conference. You and your partners will not print the poster and stand by it at a conference but, instead, you will show it to the class "virtually" on a projection screen and use it in a 20-30 minute group oral presentation that is worth 25 points, based on the assessment of the class and your instructor of the poster and the presentation's quality. However, you will also be assessing the quality and level of participation of your peers for a potential loss of no more than 10 individual points from the 25 point total. This individual grade is determined by the consensus of your group members on each member's contribution. The contribution grade includes the data collection, data analysis, and the preparation of the poster and presentation. Grading rubrics will be provided. You will also be provided with links and handouts of helpful information about making a poster. There are examples of effective posters to look at from the following web site: | The Resources section of the wiki contains a tip sheet prepared by the PLTC oral presentation peer-tutors about how to give an effective oral presentation. We will not do these presentations in the lab but in a room TBA.

Your group poster presentation topic will be to compare soil microbial communities. You have explored the composition and behavior of one through 16srRNA sequencing and and other analyses.

Possible Presentation Topics:
All of your soil samples were taken from a greenhouse in New England in mid-winter but the soil microbial community may or may not be typical of a soil community found outside the greenhouse. One line of investigation might be to compare your soil's microbial community to that of a more a natural environment. What natural environments might be appropriate for this comparison? What might be differences and similarities to look for?

This greenhouse tropical habitat comprises many, many microenvironments. Do you think there are major differences among them as far as abundance and richness of microbial members of each community? What are the factors that might contribute to differences? How do bacteria travel from one community to another? Might there be greater differences among those farther away than closer together? How would you test this hypothesis? What characteristics would you look for among common members or unique members of different soil communities in the same habitat?

Note that we attempted to get soil samples in the rhizosphere (including the roots of plants). Might the plants adjacent or in your sampling site influence the bacterial membership of the community? How so? How would you test this hypothesis?

What other factors might influence or control the make-up or behavior of bacteria in soil communities? How might you use our data to test other hypotheses?

If you consider all the soil communities we tested as members of one habitat and members of one eco-system, do we have evidence to support the “great plate count anomaly”? Do we have evidence to support or refute any of the wide ranging, published estimates of the diversity and abundance of bacteria in a gram of soil?

Congratulations on completing microbiology lab!