9451657 Perez-Arnau Biology courses will be improved by introducing an innovative system of microorganism classification which uses a modern method of statistical analysis based on the fatty acid content. This system, which uses the gas chromatograph, will be linked to a local network in order to service a greater number of students. The project will: 1) introduce a new microorganism characterization method, 2) update the chromatographic techniques in the Microbiology laboratory, 3) increase the knowledge and skills of the Biology students through the practical operation of high technology instruments. New experiments will help the students acquire and/or improve the following skills: (A) relate structures and chromatographs, (B) the analysis of statistical data and the use of the MIDI system, (C) the management and operation of the chromatograph, (D) comprehend the complex nature of the components of microorganisms, (E) learn new taxonomic criteria based on molecular composition. The courses which the new technology will benefit are the following: General Microbiology, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Medical Microbiology, Industrial Microbiology, and Mycology. The utilization of the gas chromatograph system and the related software for the biochemical analysis of microorganisms can be duplicated in other undergraduate settings. A lab manual in Spanish will be produced and distributed.