General College Biology II

I.     Course Prefix/Number: BIO 122

       Course Name: General College Biology II

       Credits: 4 (3 lecture; 3 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

BIO 121

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Laboratory course continues BIO 121. Content includes mitosis, meiosis, Mendelian genetics, chromosomes and heredity, evolution, diversity of living organisms (including bacteria, archaea, selected protists, fungi , plants and animals), and ecology.   Second of two-course sequence.

IV.   Learning Objectives

After successfully completing this course, a student should be able to do the following:

  1. Distinguish between chromatin and chromosomes by determining their structure, visibility under the light microscope and their roles in various phases of cell cycle.
  2. Determine the importance of cell division in various types of human somatic cells.
  3. Describe the major phases and sub-phases of the cell cycle focusing on the stages of mitosis, structure of the spindle apparatus and how it works, and control of the cell cycle and its relationship to cancer development.
  4. Explain stages of meiosis and its importance in sexual reproduction and genetic variation.
  5. Assess the role of nondisjunction in various chromosomal abnormalities.
  6. Utilize Mendel’s Laws of Segregation and Independent Assortment to solve monohybrid, dihybrid, and test cross problems using both the Punnett Square method and probability laws.
  7. Determine the phenotypes and possible genotypes of some of the Mendelian traits within a defined population.
  8. Differentiate between simple and codominance of multiple alleles by blood typing for Rh factor and the ABO blood groups.
  9. Evaluate sex-linked traits by analyzing for Red-green colorblindness.
  10. Analyze pedigree charts in order to determine whether the trait(s) being studied is autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive or X/Y-linked.
  11. Explain the theory of evolution as proposed by Charles Darwin including the roles of genetic variation, natural selection, survival of the fittest, and adaptation.
  12. Utilize Hardy-Weinberg equation to determine the frequency of alleles and genotype of selected genetic traits.
  13. Evaluate the role of mutations, migration (gene flow), non-random mating, genetic drift, natural selection in disturbing Hardy Weinberg equilibrium thereby leading to evolution.
  14. Describe the mechanisms by which speciation can occur and the prezygotic and post zygotic barriers that form leading to reproductive isolation between diverging species.
  15. Contrast sympatric and allopatric speciation and the two models that explain the pace of evolution.
  16. Explain how evolutionary relationships (phylogenies) are determined using evidence for evolution both morphological and molecular.
  17. Appraise the two life cycles of viruses and their role in human diseases.
  18. Determine why bacteria can be cultivated on synthetic media such as nutrient broth whereas viruses cannot.
  19. Assess the role of natural selection in the evolution of drug resistant bacteria and viruses.
  20. Explain the classification strategies for bacteria and archaea and their roles in chemical recycling, ecological interactions, human disease, research and biotechnology.
  21. Determine how diseases of bacterial or viral origin spread to become epidemic.
  22. Appraise the diversity of eukaryotic organisms informally known as ‘protists’.
  23. Explain the key roles that protists play in supporting life in aquatic communities as well as sustaining human life on the planet.
  24. Specify some of the parasitic protists that cause diseases in humans.
  25. Explain the characteristics that distinguish between the five phyla of fungi and how fungi play key roles in nutrient recycling, ecological interactions and human welfare. 
  26. Explain the two vegetative growth forms of fungi, including the general features of hyphae and yeasts.
  27. Compare the structure and the reproductive life cycles of the major taxonomic groups of plants focusing on the Bryophytes, Seedless vascular plants, Gymnosperms, and Angiosperms.
  28. Explain the importance of plants in nutrient recycling, maintenance of ecosystem viability and human welfare.
  29. Explain various aspects of pollination such as self-pollination, cross pollination, types of flowers to attract pollinators, types of pollinator and coevolution and plant pollinator relationship.
  30. Describe the major taxonomic groups of animals and the characteristics used to place organisms in animal phyla with increasing complexities. 
  31. Explain the evolutionary advancements that have occurred in this kingdom and the roles that animal organisms play in biological ecosystems.
  32. Determine how interactions between organisms and the environment affect the distribution of species and how climate and abiotic/biotic factors influence aquatic and terrestrial biomes.
  33. Describe the major aquatic and terrestrial biomes. 
  34. Explain the factors that regulate population growth and explain the effects of population density and growth on ecosystems.
  35. Determine the interactions between populations in ecological communities and how these interactions influence species diversity and composition.
  36. Explain the flow of energy and chemicals through ecosystems and explain the effect of human populations on these cycles throughout the biosphere.

Learning Outcomes

By the completion of your biology courses at Oakton, you will have gained the experience to.....

  1. Think critically – identify, define, analyze, interpret, and evaluate ideas, concepts, information, problems, solutions, and consequences. This includes the ability to compute and comprehend quantitative information and to engage in the scientific process.
  2. Communicate – communicate ideas, concepts, and information through written and oral means. Collaborate with people of diverse backgrounds and abilities.
  3. Demonstrate literacy – demonstrate the ability to read critically within content areas. Use technology to locate, evaluate, and communicate data, information, ideas, and concepts. Assess, critique, and select from a variety of information resources.
  4. Demonstrate responsibility – demonstrate an understanding of personal responsibility and ethical behavior in one’s own academic and civic life.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics


Unit I – Cell Division and Inheritance

Cell Cycle and Mitosis – Chapter 12
Meiosis and Sexual Life Cycles – Chapter 13
Mendelian Genetics – Chapter 14
Chromosomal Basis of Inheritance – Chapter 15

Unit II - Evolution

Darwinian Evolution – Chapter 22
Population Genetics – Chapter 23
Origin of Species – Chapters 24 - 25

Unit III – Survey of Biologic Diversity I

Viruses – Chapter 19
Prokaryotes – Chapter 27
Protists – Chapter 28

Unit IV – Survey of Biologic Diversity II

Fungi – Chapter 31
Plants – Chapters 29 and 30
Animals – Chapters 32, 33, 34

Unit V – Ecology Overview

Introduction – Chapter 50
Population Ecology – Chapter 52
Community Ecology – Chapter 53
Ecosystems – Chapter 54


Lab 1 – Mitosis – In this lab students study the cell cycle focusing primarily on the mitotic phase.  Using models, chromosome simulation kits, and prepared slides of plant and animal cell mitosis, student observe the stages of mitosis and cytokinesis.  Students also calculate approximate time frames for the stages of mitosis.

Lab 2 – Meiosis – Meiosis is observed and studied in the lab using chromosome simulation kits and prepared slides demonstrating meiosis in lily anthers. Students also study the effect of nondisjunction events during meiosis on chromosomes number and how the disorders caused by these events can be detected through karyotyping.

Lab 3 – Mendelian Genetics and Probability – In this lab, the laws of probability are studied, followed by the use of simple coin tosses to model Mendel’s Laws of Segregation and Independent Assortment and monohybrid and dihybrid crosses. The validity of the results obtained with the tosses are evaluated using predictions formed by probability analysis and the Chi-Square test.

Lab 4 – Complex Human Genetics – Students explore aspects of human genetics in this lab including: the role of multiple alleles and codominance in ABO blood typing and transfusion considerations, the role of the Rh blood group in hemolytic disease of the newborn, sex-linked traits such as colorblindness and their inheritance patterns, and analysis of pedigree charts to determine if a particular trait is autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive or X-linked.

Lab 5 – Population Genetics and Microevolution – Using the Hardy-Weinberg principle/equilibrium students determine the frequency of alleles in their class population for two common traits: ability to taste PTC and attachment of earlobes. Once a baseline for these two traits is established for the class, students then performs several exercises, using different colored beads to represent the population, which attempt to determine the effect of genetic drift (founder effect and bottleneck effect) and gene flow on the frequency of alleles in the population.

Lab 6 –  Natural Selection – In this lab students explore the ability of natural selection to cause a change in phenotypic frequencies within a population.  Using different colored beads to represent different phenotypes within a population, students study the effects of differential predation and differential reproduction on phenotypic frequencies.  Students then use an artificial simulation kit to study directional selection as modeled by the peppered moth experiment.  

Lab 7 –  Bacteria and Viruses –  The purpose of this lab is (a) to appraise the role of natural selection in the evolution of drug resistant bacteria and viruses using a kit to simulate the development of drug resistance. (b) To determine how diseases of bacterial or viral origin spread to become epidemic by carrying out an epidemic simulation. (c) To summarize about a few common bacterial and viral diseases via research and presentation by students.

P.S: In BIO 121, students discussed bacterial cell wall structure, performed Gram stains, and observed various bacterial structures such capsules, flagella, and endospores in their study of prokaryotic cells.  This lab is designed to give students the opportunity to study the lytic infection cycle of bacteriophage using T4 phage, E.coli and a plaque assay.  Students will plate serial dilutions of a phage solution along with E.coli and observe the subsequent plaques produced to see the effects of phage infection on bacteria and to determine the concentration of the phage in the undiluted solution.

Lab Midterm

Lab 8 –  Protists and Fungi – In this lab, students will observe, primarily through the use of prepared slides, representative specimen for the major groups of protist organisms (protozoa and algae).  The strategies for classification of these organisms will be explored by comparing current molecular strategies to more traditional morphological and nutritional strategies.  The role of these organisms in the evolution of organisms in the Kingdoms Fungi, Plantae and Animalia will also be explored.  Students will also observe representative specimen from the major Phyla of Fungi focusing primarily on their different reproductive cycles and the types of sexual and sexual spores they produce.  The roles of fungi as decomposers in food chains, production of many foods, beverages, and antibiotics will be explored.

Lab 9 – Plants: Byrophytes and Ferns – The life cycles of nonvascular plants (as represented  by mosses) and seedless vascular plants (as represented by ferns) will be examined using both living specimen and prepared slides.  The alternation of generations between the gametophyte stage and the sporophyte stage, which is so prominent in plants, will be explored.

Lab 10 – Plants: Gymnosperms and Angiosperms – The life cycles of vascular plants with seeds will be examined using both living specimen and prepared slides. The importance of seeds to the adaptation of plants to a terrestrial existence and to the spread of these organisms into various environments will be explored. The contribution of flowers and their structures to the success of angiosperms will also be studied. Students will research and then give group presentations on the different strategies of the plants to attract pollinators.

Lab 11 – Animals: Invertebrates – Basic animal characteristics will be explored and the criteria for classification of animals into phyla will be explained and observed. Specimen from a variety of animal phyla (including Porifer, Cnidaria, Platyhelminthese, Nematoda, Mollusca, Annelida, and Arthropoda) will be observed using both preserved specimen and prepared slides.

Lab 12 – Animals: Vertebrates – In this lab, the structures of vertebrate animals will be explored by way of dissection of preserved specimen. The fetal pig (representing the Class Mammalia) will be dissected.  Students will also use the human torso models to understand the respiratory system, circulatory system, excretory system etc.

Lab 13 – Ecology I Lab – In this lab students  learn basic descriptive statistics, collect data in the field about the tree species in Oakton’s woods.  Students will then apply the chi square test to evaluate the validity of a hypothesis about the tree species composition in two forest types in Oakton’s woods: northern flatwoods forest and mesic upland forest.

Lab 14 – Ecolgy II Lab – Field Trip to The Grove or some other nearby nature preserve to study area ecosystems and/or efforts being made locally to restore prairie habitats.

Lab Final

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Instructional methods may include but are not necessarily limited to:

  • lecture/discussion (3 hours of lecture and 3 hours of lab/week)
  • A.V. Materials (including presentation of course materials on D2L)
  • Handouts and assignments
  • Mini case studies where ever applicable
  • lab exercises

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

May vary depending on instructor, but may include:

  • lecture and laboratory attendance
  • active participation in lecture and lab
Careful note-taking and use of D2L

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Campbell, Neil et al. Biology, 9th edition, Pearson Publishing, 2011.

Customized Oakton Lab Manual

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

May vary depending on instructor, but should include:

  • objective or essay lecture exams
  • written laboratory reports
  • quizzes

XI.   Other Course Information

Additional course information may vary but may include:

  • information concerning group and/or individual reviews scheduled during class time or outside of class time
  • information concerning biology tutors
  • suggestions for success in class (i.e. careful note-taking by students)
  • use of study sheets to aid in preparation for lecture or laboratory exams

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at