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Genetic Adaptations of Bacteria (Essay Sample)


I think setting up student teams will take too long in week 4, since you also have midterms to complete. Therefore I am changing the assignment. I want each student to find an article covering how bacteria deal with changes in their environment. There is no sexual reproduction so how do bacteria cope with changes and not become extinct? Provide a citation for the article ( an academic article not Wikipedia or such), the title and author, and write a summary of the article's main points. Provide an answer to the question of how they deal genetically with changes.(minimum 500 words)
The exam opens on Wednesday however I am sending you the actual questions today. (look for my hints below)I understand that many of you have very busy schedules and I want you to have as much time as possible to write well developed essay answers.
1. Many organisms that can reproduce both sexually and asexually share a reproductive pattern. When the environment is favorable for growth, reproduction is asexual. When the environment deteriorates, sex occurs. Sexually produced offspring remain dormant until better conditions occur. Which of the theoretical ideas about the function of sex is supported by this observation? And which of the disadvantages of sex are less of a problem?
2. From the point of view of development, how does the life cycle of a bacterium resemble the life cycle of an elephant? How does it differ?
3. If a trait is not well adapted to current local conditions, what might be the reasons why it is not, and how might one check to see which of those reason(s) is correct?
4. In many old texts and in some recent popular articles sex is seen as necessary to provide the genetic variability that will keep species from going extinct when the environment changes significantly. What do you think of this explanation?
5. Do ideas, agricultural practices, or computers evolve in response to natural selection? What then corresponds to reproductive success and to inheritance? How does cultural change connect to biological evolution? Neither reproduction nor inheritance can be as precisely defined for cultural change as they can for biological evolution, but the analogy is worth exploring.
Here are a few hints for your essay answers. Grades of 90-100 do not involve simple answers or definitions. They must include examples and well thought out arguments. References from the text or our discussions must be included.
1. Find something that normally reproduces asexually but in times of stress reproduces sexually. How does this happen? What does it gain the organisms that do this? Why not always reproduce sexually? What is the benefit of typical asexual reproduction?
2. Think life processes and development. Think about reproduction of each….reproduction at maturity…but also reproduction on a cellular basis ; Similarities and differences of life processes related to development. Think of DNA and genetic material.
3. Think sickle cell anemia and our class discussions. Or provide a different example altogether but your answer must include a well described example.
4. What about bacteria and antibiotic resistance?
5. Address the meaning of natural selection and evolution.


Genetic adaptations of bacteria
Student Name
Bacteria are minute microorganisms; biologists describe bacteria as constituting a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms that have a range of shapes including spheres, rods, and spirals. They are known to live in symbiotic and parasitic relationships with both plants and animals. According to scientists, there are typically 40 million bacterial cells in a gram of soil and a million bacterial cells in a milliliter of fresh water. This is a clear evidence of the large population of bacteria on Earth, forming a biomass that exceeds that of both plants and animals combined. Bacteria have a very short generation time; therefore, any trait that gives the species any advantage is quickly spread (Baumberg, 2005).
Extinction is normally caused by a change in environmental conditions. When conditions change, most species, including bacteria, have unique adaptations that allow them to weather down the harsh conditions that may render them extinct. If the environment slowly adapts over time, the species will evolve the necessary adaptations, over many future generations.
Bacteria reproduce through asexual reproduction; specifically by binary fission. The...
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