Section 1 : Introduction to Microbial Diversity



Textbook readings

Section 1 Intro, page 3

Notes, Comments and Updates

The first large section of this course begins with some introduction; defining the scope of the course, defining the perspective (the "phylogenetic perspective"), providing a historical context, &c. After this Introduction, we'll be prepared to cover phylogenetic analysis in detail, after which you should be able to clearly understand why the historical baggage is so problematic.

After this is a larger section that is a hands-on guide to molecular phylogenetic analysis, focusing on how to create and interpret phylogenetic trees. This section of the course is primarily a about problem-solving. We'll finish up the first large section with a look at the universal "Tree of Life" constructed using this process.

3-Domain tree Redrawn from Norm Pace
The 3-Domain molecular phylogenetic tree
Redrawn from Norm Pace

And so ...

It will probably be in the third and last section of the course that you bring together the phylogenetic perspective and context introduced now to understand the contrast between the amazing degree of diversity in the microbial world that overlays what is nevertheless an amazing shared nature of all living things.