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Mutation and Selection: An Exploration of Antibiotic Resistance in Serratia marcescens

By Laurel Hester1, Mark Sarvary2, Corey Ptak

1. Keuka College 2. Cornell University

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I published this paper with Mark Sarvary and Corey Ptak in the 2014 Proceedings of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education based on a laboratory module we wrote for an Introductory Biology lab course at Cornell University.

"This laboratory module gives students hands-on experience with mutation and selection in bacteria. An initial classwide project prepares students to design separate group projects. During the rst two weeks students observe de novo streptomycin-resistance mutations in Serratia marcescens and compare classwide mutation patterns with those found in Luria and Delbruck’s classical experiment showing that mutations are spontaneous rather than in- duced. In the second and third weeks students design and implement their own experiments related to antibiotic resistance. Topics such as bacterial growth, use of controls, serial dilutions, sterile technique and the difference between mutation rate and mutation frequency are addressed."

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Hester, Laurel L., Mark A. Sarvary, and Corey J. Ptak. "Mutation and Selection: An Exploration of Antibiotic Resistance in Serratia marcescens."Proceedings of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education 35 (2014): 140-183.