BISC209/S11: Lab11

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Wellesley College-BISC 209 Microbiology -Spring 2011

"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 11, 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 some of the communities we have identified through culture-independent 16srRNA sequencing and that we have characterized through our culture-dependent analyses.

Possible Presentation Topics:
All of your soil samples are from the same “tropical” habitat but this tropical environment is in a greenhouse in New England. One line of investigation might be to compare what you found in this artificial tropical environment to soil bacteria in the real tropics. What might be the 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 diversity and abundance of bacterial members of each community? What are the factors that might contribute to differences?

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?

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 communities?

What other factors, other than plants and mobility/motility, might influence or control the make-up of bacteria in soil communities? How might you use our data to test that hypothesis?

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?


Make sure your lab notebook is complete and ready to turn in for grading. Write your final paper in the style of a scientific research report on Diversity and Abundance: Co-operation and Competition Among Bacteria in a Soil Community. Your paper and your notebook are due by 5pm on your lab day next week. There is no lab next week.

Links to Labs

Lab 1
Lab 2
Lab 3
Lab 4
Lab 5
Lab 6
Lab 7
Lab 8
Lab 9
Lab 10
Lab 12