Microorganism Lab Report

Morphological Unknown

Complete the portion highlighted in yellow and dichotomous key by Thursday, July 16th by 5 PM


A classification scheme provides a list of the characteristics of a known microorganisms and offers a mean for comparison to help in the identification of an unknown microorganism.  Microorganisms are identified for practical purposes, such as to determine the appropriate treatment for an infection.  For example, isolation and identification of the pathogenic bacteria, Staphylococcus pyogenes, must be performed quickly in order to increase the patient’s chances of survival.  Laboratory identification of bacterial species usually starts with differential stains, such as Gram staining, structural staining techniques, such as capsule staining and morphological techniques, like negative stain.

You were provided with a list of pathogenic bacteria.  You, as a class, created a profile of those bacteria by searching the literature.  The chart included: Gram stain, Negative stain (morphology), Flagella/hand drop (motility), acid fast stain, capsule stain, endospore stain and oxygen requirement (Fluid thioglycollate medium).   You were provided with a set of characteristics about a bacteria in that list.  Your assignment was to create a dichotomous key following the profile I provided.The dichotomous key will be used to write your morphological unknown report.

Written assignment: Now that you know the morphology, Gram reaction, etc. of your microorganism (based on the staining techniques discussed in class), write a hypothesis about the organism you suspect you have.

The prop questions below can be used as guide to develop your hypothesis.

What microorganism do you hypothesize (guess) you identified?
Based on the profile I gave you about your unknown.
Why do you think you have the microorganism you mention in the hypothesis?
Based on the staining techniques, oxygen requirement etc. I provided about your unknown bacteria.
Howare you planning to achieve your goal to further profile the bacteria you identified? – Methods you will use.
What biochemical test do you propose will help you test your hypothesis?



Size 12 font
Single spaced
No more than 3 pages including reference.


Make your title specific enough to describe the contents of the paper, but not so technical that only specialists will understand.



The person who did the work, in this case you.


An abstract, or summary, is published together with a research article, giving the reader a “preview” of what’s to come. They allow other scientists to quickly scan the large scientific literature, and decide which articles they want to read in depth. The abstract should be a little less technical than the article itself; you don’t want to dissuade your potential audience from reading your paper.
Your abstract should be one paragraph, of 100-200 words, which summarizes the purpose, methods, results and conclusions of your research (laboratory).
It is not easy to include all this information in just a few words. Start by writing a summary that includes whatever you think is important, and then gradually prune it down to size by removing unnecessary words, while still retaining the necessary concepts.
Don’t use abbreviations or citations in the abstract. It should be able to stand alone without any footnotes.


What question did you ask in your assignment? Why is it interesting? The introduction summarizes the relevant literature so that the reader will understand why you were interested in the question you asked. Two to four paragraphs should be enough.

End with a sentence explaining the specific question you asked or hypothesis in this experiment.


How did you answer this question? There should be enough information here to allow another scientist to repeat your experiment.
Do not put results in this section.
Do not include theory about any technique you describe, that belongs in your discussion.


Include the chart that we generated in class.

Include the dichotomous key

This is where you present the results you’ve gotten. Use chart and tables if appropriate, but also summarize your main findings in the text. Do NOT discuss the results or speculate as to why something happened; that goes in the Discussion.
Use appropriate methods of showing data.


If you present your data in a table or graph, include a title describing what’s in the table (“Enzyme activity at various temperatures”, not “My results”.) For graphs, you should also label the x and y axes.
Don’t use a table or graph just to be “fancy”. If you can summarize the information in one sentence, then a table or graph is not necessary.


Keep in mind that you did not performed the experiments discussed in this report. You abstained the results from the internet and by searching the literature.
Highlight the most significant results, but don’t just repeat what you’ve written in the “Results” section. How do these results relate to the original question? Do the data support your hypothesis? If your results were unexpected, try to explain why. What further research would be necessary to answer the questions raised by your results? How do your results fit into the big picture?
End with a one-sentence summary of your conclusion, emphasizing why it is relevant.


APA style or Chicago bibliography without the footnotes.

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