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Attack of the Killer Fungus: A Hypothesis-Driven Lab Module

    Author: Brian K. Sato1
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    Affiliations: 1: Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 02 December 2013
    • Supplemental materials available at http://jmbe.asm.org
    • Corresponding author. Mailing address: Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2238 McGaugh Hall MC3900, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697. Phone: 949-824-0661. Fax: 949-824-8014. E-mail: [email protected].
    • ©2013 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2013 vol. 14 no. 2 230-237. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v14i2.612
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    Abstract:

    Discovery-driven experiments in undergraduate laboratory courses have been shown to increase student learning and critical thinking abilities. To this end, a lab module involving worm capture by a nematophagous fungus was developed. The goals of this module are to enhance scientific understanding of the regulation of worm capture by soil-dwelling fungi and for students to attain a set of established learning goals, including the ability to develop a testable hypothesis and search for primary literature for data analysis, among others. Students in a ten-week majors lab course completed the lab module and generated novel data as well as data that agrees with the published literature. In addition, learning gains were achieved as seen through a pre-module and post-module test, student self-assessment, class exam, and lab report. Overall, this lab module enables students to become active participants in the scientific method while contributing to the understanding of an ecologically relevant model organism.

Key Concept Ranking

Caenorhabditis elegans
0.5208333
Culture Media
0.43428648
Soil Fungi
0.4024866
0.5208333

References & Citations

1. American Association for the Advancement of Science 2011 posting date Vision and change in undergraduate biology education: a call to action [Online.] http://visionandchange.org/finalreport/
2. Anderson LW, Krathwohl DR 2001 A taxonomy for learning, teaching and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of educational objectives Longman New York
3. Ault JF, Renfro BM, White AK 2011 Using a molecular-genetic approach to investigate bacterial physiology in a continuous, research-based, semester-long laboratory for undergraduates J Microbiol Biol Educ 12 185 193 23653763 3577262
4. Bissell AN, Lemons PP 2006 A new method for assessing critical thinking in the classroom BioScience 56 66 72 10.1641/0006-3568(2006)056[0066:ANMFAC]2.0.CO;2 http://dx.doi.org/10.1641/0006-3568(2006)056[0066:ANMFAC]2.0.CO;2
5. Call G, et al 2007 Genomewide clonal analysis of lethal mutations in the drosophila melanogaster eye: comparison of the x chromosome and autosomes Genetics 177 689 697 10.1534/genetics.107.077735 17720911 2034635 http://dx.doi.org/10.1534/genetics.107.077735
6. Casotti G, Rieser-Danner L, Knabb MT 2008 Successful implementation of inquiry-based physiology laboratories in undergraduate major and nonmajor courses Adv Physi Educ 32 286 296 10.1152/advan.00100.2007 http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/advan.00100.2007
7. Colabroy KL 2011 A writing-intensive, methods-based laboratory course for undergraduates Biochem Mol Biol Educ 39 196 203 10.1002/bmb.20496 21618383 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bmb.20496
8. Crowe A, Dirks C, Wenderoth MP 2008 Biology in Bloom: implementing Bloom’s Taxonomy to enhance student learning in biology CBE Life Sci Educ 7 368 381 10.1187/cbe.08-05-0024 19047424 2592046 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.08-05-0024
9. DebBurman SK 2002 Learning how scientists work: experiential research projects to promote cell biology learning and scientific process skills Cell Biol Educ 1 154 172 10.1187/cbe.02-07-0024 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.02-07-0024
10. Drechsler C 1937 Some hyphomycetes that prey on free-living terricolous nematodes Mycologia 29 447 552 10.2307/3754331 http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3754331
11. Likert R 1932 A technique for the measurement of attitudes Archives of Psychology 22 1 55
12. Morgan M, Behnke JM, Lucas JA, Peberdy JF 1997 In vitro assessment of the influence of nutrition, temperature and larval density on trapping of the infective larvae of Heligmosomoides polygyrus by Arthrobotrys oligospora, Duddingtonia f lagrans and Monacrosporium megalosporum Parasitology 115 303 310 10.1017/S0031182097001297 http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0031182097001297
13. Nordbring-Hertz B, Jansson H-B, Tunlid A 2001 Nematophagous fungi, eLS John Wiley & Sons, Ltd Somerset, NJ
14. Quimby BB, McIver KS, Marbach-Ad G, Smith AC 2011 Investigating how streptococcus responds to their environment: bringing together current research, a case study and laboratory investigation J Microbiol Biol Educ 12 176 184 23653762 3577257
15. Sasser JN, Freckman DW 1987 A world perspective on Nematology: the role of the society Society of Nematologists Hyatsville, MD

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2013-12-02
2019-10-18

Abstract:

Discovery-driven experiments in undergraduate laboratory courses have been shown to increase student learning and critical thinking abilities. To this end, a lab module involving worm capture by a nematophagous fungus was developed. The goals of this module are to enhance scientific understanding of the regulation of worm capture by soil-dwelling fungi and for students to attain a set of established learning goals, including the ability to develop a testable hypothesis and search for primary literature for data analysis, among others. Students in a ten-week majors lab course completed the lab module and generated novel data as well as data that agrees with the published literature. In addition, learning gains were achieved as seen through a pre-module and post-module test, student self-assessment, class exam, and lab report. Overall, this lab module enables students to become active participants in the scientific method while contributing to the understanding of an ecologically relevant model organism.

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Figures

Image of FIGURE 1.

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FIGURE 1.

Overview of lab module and experimental protocol. (A) The class schedule for the lab module. The week 3 experiment involves students attending lab outside of normal class times. (B) An outline of the experimental protocol (full protocol in Appendix 4 ). Students examine survival of worms on CMA plates with or without . Percent survival (worms on the fungus plate divided by worms on the plate lacking fungus) is compared between control and variable conditions.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2013 vol. 14 no. 2 230-237. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v14i2.612
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Image of FIGURE 2.

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FIGURE 2.

Class data examining the effects of different variables on -dependent capture of was struck on CMA plates one week prior to the experiment and incubated at room temperature. The experiment was performed as outlined in Figure 1(B) and Appendix 4 . At t = 6 h and t = 24 h following worm addition, students rinsed the worms off the CMA plates and calculated percent survival. Data are presented as a ratio of percent survival in the variable condition compared to the control. Data from at least 5 groups for each variable were averaged and the standard error of the mean (SEM) is noted. The pre-treatment worm variable involved the addition of to CMA plates 24 hours prior to the start of the experiment. These worms were rinsed off immediately before the experiment began. For the mannose, and culture media variables, each was added to the CMA plates two hours before the experiment began.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2013 vol. 14 no. 2 230-237. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v14i2.612
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Image of FIGURE 3.

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FIGURE 3.

Assessment of learning gains based on a pre-/posttest, class exam and lab report. (A) Student scores from pre-/posttests were analyzed to assess achievement of the lab module learning goals. Class averages on each question along with the SEM (standard error of the mean) are shown. Data were analyzed using Student’s -test. All questions have a < 0.0001 when comparing pre- and postmodule scores except Q7 ( < 0.002). (B) Student scores from an exam were analyzed to assess achievement of the lab module learning goals. Class averages for questions relevant to the nematophagous fungi experiment along with the SEM are shown (compared to the overall exam score with and without the module questions). The module questions made up 20% of the total exam by point value. (C) The students wrote a lab report in the format of a scientific paper analyzing their experimental data. Hypotheses were graded according to the following 2-point rubric: 2/2 – A clear and concise hypothesis that is testable with the nematophagous fungi experiment performed in class, 1/2 – A testable hypothesis but not concise or clearly written, 0/2 – No obvious statement of hypothesis. The entire lab report rubric can be found in Appendix 7 .

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2013 vol. 14 no. 2 230-237. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v14i2.612
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Image of FIGURE 4.

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FIGURE 4.

Student self-assessment of learning gains before and after completion of the lab module. Student responses regarding their own learning were collected from the pre-/posttest. The specific questions are listed above along with the students’ responses on a 7-point Likert scale (Strongly Agree = 7, Agree = 6, Slightly Agree = 5, Neutral = 4, Slightly Disagree = 3, Disagree = 2, Strongly Disagree = 1). Class averages and SEM (standard error of the mean) are listed. Data were analyzed using the Student’s -test. All questions have a < 0.0001 when comparing pre- and postmodule responses except Q3 ( < 0.05).

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2013 vol. 14 no. 2 230-237. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v14i2.612
Download as Powerpoint

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