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Microbiology & Cell Science

Microbiology & Cell Science

MCB 6670C The Microbiome


Increase knowledge, appreciation and use of genomics pertaining to the breadth of microbial diversity across a wide variety of organisms and habitats using methods that do not require culturing of the myriad of inhabitants. Students will use tools, practice analysis and interpretation of genomic data sets to analyze different microbiomes.

What is the microbiome? The collection of microorganisms that inhabit a specific environment is referred to as the microbiome. The microbiome includes all microbial life: bacterial, archaeal, fungal and viral. Microbiomes exist on and within plants, mammals, insects, amphibians, birds, etc. They also exist in niches to themselves in a wide variety of terrestrial, marine and aquatic environments. Many of these environments are extreme including hot springs, deep ocean thermal vents and subsurface rock formations.

Given the many environments in which microbiomes thrive, no single course or group of courses can hope to cover them adequately. This course intends to teach students many of the modern tools available to analyze the microbiome and its role in a given environment. As a result, this course will provide students with experience using many of the molecular tools used in microbiome analysis including 16S rRNA sequencing, whole genome sequencing, epigenomics, transcriptomics, small RNA analysis, proteomics and metabolomics. Some lessons learned on experimental design will also be included.

The course will be entirely web-based. The reading assignments, course lecture materials and online computer-based lab activities will be posted each week. There will be a quiz every two weeks and four exams.

Course Goals

  1. Students will be able to understand what the microbiome is and the principles that drive microbial life in different niches.
  2. Students will be introduced to how microbial omics data is used to understand the human microbiome and its role in human health.
  3. Students will be introduced to the modern technologies used in microbiome research. By understanding the technologies, the students can learn which biological questions can be asked and answered given today's tools.
  4. Students will learn how to analyze 16S rRNA and metagenomics data often used in microbiome analysis.
  5. Students will participate in the analysis and interpretation of an ongoing microbiome experiment and write a report on their results.

Library Access

Distance Education and UF Online Students enjoy the same library privileges as on-campus students.

At A Glance

  • $535.00 per credit hour plus fees
Application Procedure
  1. Complete the Application Intent form
  2. Complete the Graduate Application
  3. Send your Transcripts