Microbiology continues to be an exciting field that is crucial to understanding everything from natural and man-made ecosystems, human health, clean water, alternative energy, and climate change. The Department of Microbiology & Immunology at Montana State University (MSU) has a unique combination of expertise in pathogen biology, bioremediation, biofuels, immunology, cell and developmental biology, microbial ecology, host/pathogen interactions, biofilm biology, and geomicrobiology. With this diverse expertise, the department strives to provide a broad and thorough curriculum to both undergraduate and graduate students that are encouraged to cross boundaries and push their studies/research via interactions across departments and colleges. Our departmental prospectus strives to incorporate ASM guidelines for a broad curriculum that includes evolution, cell structure/function, metabolic pathways, genetic information flow, and different microbial systems. It is also crucial that microbiology students become competent in general microbiological techniques in addition to critical, scientific thinking. For undergraduates, the department has 6 main tracks within the Microbiology major that include: Microbiology, Environmental Microbiology, Pre-Med, Environmental Health, Biotechnology, and Medical Lab Science. A Microbiology minor is also available to enrich other majors. Additionally, the department provides advising for all Pre-veterinary students at MSU and offers a Certificate in Pre-veterinary Medicine.

Collections in this community

Recent Submissions

  • Origin and Evolution of Flavin-Based Electron Bifurcating Enzymes 

    Poudel, Saroj; Dunham, Eric C.; Lindsay, Melody R.; Amenabar, Maximiliano J.; Fones, Elizabeth M.; Colman, Daniel R.; Boyd, Eric S. (2018-08)
    Twelve evolutionarily unrelated oxidoreductases form enzyme complexes that catalyze the simultaneous coupling of exergonic and endergonic oxidation-reduction reactions to circumvent thermodynamic barriers and minimize free ...
  • Health Effects from Exposure to Atmospheric Mineral Dust Near Las Vegas, NV, USA 

    Keil, Deborah E.; Buck, Brenda; Goossens, Dirk; Teng, Yuanxin; Pollard, James; McLaurin, Brett; Gerads, Russell; DeWitt, Jamie C. (2016-09)
    Desert areas are usually characterized by a continuous deposition of fine airborne particles. Over time, this process results in the accumulation of silt and clay on desert surfaces. We evaluated health effects associated ...
  • Structure reveals mechanisms of viral suppressors that intercept a CRISPR RNA-guided surveillance complex 

    Chowdhury, Saikat; Carter, Joshua; Rollins, MaryClare F.; Jackson, Ryan N.; Hoffmann, Connor; Nosaka, Lyn’Al; Bondy-Denomy, Joseph; Maxwell, Karen L.; Davidson, Alan R.; Fischer, Elizabeth R.; Lander, Gabriel C.; Wiedenheft, Blake A. (2017-03)
    Genetic conflict between viruses and their hosts drives evolution and genetic innovation. Prokaryotes evolved CRISPR-mediated adaptive immune systems for protection from viral infection, and viruses have evolved diverse ...
  • The path of electron transfer to nitrogenase in a phototrophic alpha-proteobacterium 

    Fixen, Kathryn R.; Pal Chowdhury, Nilanjan; Martinez-Perez, Marta; Poudel, Saroj; Boyd, Eric S.; Harwood, Caroline S. (2018-07)
    The phototrophic alpha-proteobacterium, Rhodopseudomonas palustris, is a model for studies of regulatory and physiological parameters that control the activity of nitrogenase. This enzyme produces the energy-rich compound ...
  • IFNAR2 Is Required for Anti-influenza Immunity and Alters Susceptibility to Post-influenza Bacterial Superinfections 

    Shepardson, Kelly M.; Larson, Kyle; Johns, Laura L.; Stanek, Kayla; Cho, Hanbyul; Wellham, Julia; Henderson, Haley; Rynda-Apple, Agnieszka (2018-11)
    Influenza virus infections particularly when followed by bacterial superinfections (BSI) result in significant morbidities and mortalities especially during influenza pandemics. Type I interferons (IFNs) regulate both ...
  • CD103 (aE integrin) undergoes endosomal trafficking in human dendritic cells, but does not mediate epithelial adhesion 

    Swain, Steve; Roe, Mandi M.; Sebrell, T. Andrew; Sidar, Barkan; Dankoff, Jennifer; VanAusdol, Rachel; Smythies, Lesley E.; Smith, Phillip D.; Bimczok, Diane (2018-12)
    Dendritic cell (DC) expression of CD103, the α subunit of αEβ7 integrin, is thought to enable DC interactions with E-cadherin-expressing gastrointestinal epithelia for improved mucosal immunosurveillance. In the stomach, ...
  • The gut microbiome is required for full protection against acute arsenic toxicity in mouse models 

    Coryell, Michael; McAlpine, Mark; Pinkham, Nicholas V.; McDermott, Timothy R.; Walk, Seth T. (2018-12)
    Arsenic poisons an estimated 200 million people worldwide through contaminated food and drinking water. Confusingly, the gut microbiome has been suggested to both mitigate and exacerbate arsenic toxicity. Here, we show ...
  • Impact of hydrologic boundaries on microbial planktonic and biofilm communities in shallow terrestrial subsurface environments 

    Smith, Heidi J.; Zelaya, Anna J.; De León, Kara B.; Chakraborty, R.; Elias, Dwayne A.; Hazen, Terry C.; Arkin, Adam P.; Cunningham, Alfred B.; Fields, Matthew W. (2018-09)
    Subsurface environments contain a large proportion of planetary microbial biomass and harbor diverse communities responsible for mediating biogeochemical cycles important to groundwater used by human society for consumption, ...
  • Detection of Pathogenic and Non-pathogenic Bacteria in Drinking Water and Associated Biofilms on the Crow Reservation, Montana, USA 

    Richards, Crystal L.; Broadaway, Susan C.; Eggers, Margaret J.; Doyle, John T.; Pyle, Barry H.; Camper, Anne K.; Ford, Tim E. (2018-07)
    Private residences in rural areas with water systems that are not adequately regulated, monitored, and updated could have drinking water that poses a health risk. To investigate water quality on the Crow Reservation in ...
  • Expression and regulation of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa hibernation promoting factor 

    Akiyama, Tatsuya; Williamson, Kerry S.; Franklin, Michael J. (2018-10)
    Bacterial biofilms contain subpopulations of cells that are dormant and highly tolerant to antibiotics. While dormant, the bacteria must maintain the integrity of macromolecules required for resuscitation. Previously, we ...
  • Hypervirulent Group A Streptococcus of Genotype emm3 Invades the Vascular System in Pulmonary Infection of Mice 

    Lei, Benfang; Minor, Dylan; Feng, Wenchao; Liu, Mengyao (2018-06)
    Natural mutations of the two-component regulatory system CovRS are frequently associated with invasive Group A Streptococcus (GAS) isolates and lead to the enhancement in virulence gene expression, innate immune evasion, ...
  • Mechanisms of Mineral Substrate Acquisition in a Thermoacidophile 

    Amenabar, Maximiliano J.; Boyd, Eric S. (2018-06)
    The thermoacidophile Acidianus is widely distributed in Yellowstone National Park hot springs that span large gradients in pH (1.60 to 4.84), temperature (42 to 90 degrees C), and mineralogical composition. To characterize ...
  • Archaeal Viruses from High-Temperature Environments 

    Munson-McGee, Jacob H.; Snyder, Jamie C.; Young, Mark J. (2018-02)
    Archaeal viruses are some of the most enigmatic viruses known, due to the small number that have been characterized to date. The number of known archaeal viruses lags behind known bacteriophages by over an order of magnitude. ...
  • Multiple convergent supergene evolution events in mating-type chromosomes 

    Branco, Sara; Carpentier, Fantin; Rodrí­guez de la Vega, Ricardo C.; Badouin, Héléne; Snirc, Alodie; le Prieur, Stephanie; Coelho, Marco A.; de Vienne, Damien M.; Hartmann, Fanny E.; Begerow, Dominik; Hood, Michael E.; Giraud, Tatiana (2018-05)
    Convergent adaptation provides unique insights into the predictability of evolution and ultimately into processes of biological diversification. Supergenes (beneficial gene linkage) are striking examples of adaptation, but ...
  • Electron transfer to nitrogenase in different genomic and metabolic backgrounds 

    Poudel, Saroj; Colman, Daniel R.; Fixen, Kathryn R.; Ledbetter, Rhesa N.; Zheng, Yanning; Pence, Natasha; Seefeldt, Lance C.; Peters, John W.; Hardwood, Caroline S.; Boyd, Eric S. (2018-02)
    Nitrogenase catalyzes the reduction of dinitrogen (N2) using low potential electrons from ferredoxin (Fd) or flavodoxin (Fld) through an ATP dependent process. Since its emergence in an anaerobic chemoautotroph, this oxygen ...
  • A PAX5-OCT4-PRDM1 developmental switch specifies human primordial germ cells 

    Fang, Fang; Angulo, Benjamin; Xia, Ninuo; Sukhwani, Meena; Wang, Zhengyuan; Carey, Charles C.; Mazurie, Aurélien J.; Cui, Jun; Wilkinson, Royce; Wiedenheft, Blake; Irie, Naoko; Surani, M. Azim; Orwig, Kyle E.; Reijo Pera, Renee A. (2018-04)
    Dysregulation of genetic pathways during human germ cell development leads to infertility. Here, we analysed bona fide human primordial germ cells (hPGCs) to probe the developmental genetics of human germ cell specification ...
  • Electron Acceptor Availability Alters Carbon and Energy Metabolism in a Thermoacidophile 

    Amenabar, Maximiliano J.; Colman, Daniel R.; Poudel, Saroj; Roden, Eric E.; Boyd, Eric S. (2018-05)
    The thermoacidophilic Acidianus strain DS80 displays versatility in its energy metabolism and can grow autotrophically and heterotrophically with elemental sulfur (S°), ferric iron (Fe3+) or oxygen (O2) as electron acceptors. ...
  • Stable isotope probing of microbial iron reduction in Chocolate Pots hot spring, Yellowstone National Park 

    Fortney, Nathaniel W.; He, Shaomei; Kulkarni, Ajinkya; Holz, Charlotte; Boyd, Eric S.; Roden, Eric E. (2018-06)
    Chocolate Pots hot springs (CP) is a circumneutral pH, Fe-rich geothermal feature located in Yellowstone National Park. Previous Fe(III)-reducing enrichment culture studies with CP sediments identified close relatives of ...
  • Livestock abundance predicts vampire bat demography, immune profiles and bacterial infection risk 

    Becker, Daniel J.; Czirják, Gábor Á.; Volokhov, Dmitriy V.; Bentz, Alexandra B.; Carrera, Jorge E.; Camus, Melinda S.; Navara, Kristen J.; Chizhikov, Vladimir E.; Fenton, M. Brock; Simmons, Nancy B.; Recuenco, Sergio E.; Gilbert, Amy T.; Altizer, Sonia; Streicker, Daniel G. (2018-05)
    Human activities create novel food resources that can alter wildlife-pathogen interactions. If resources amplify or dampen, pathogen transmission probably depends on both host ecology and pathogen biology, but studies that ...
  • Environmental persistence of influenza H5N1 is driven by temperature and salinity: insights from a Bayesian meta-analysis 

    Martin, Gerado; Becker, Daniel J.; Plowright, Raina K. (2018-09)
    Environmental persistence of zoonotic pathogens is a key trait that influences the probability of zoonotic spillover. Pathogen survival outside of the host determines the window available for contact with the new recipient ...

View more