The course main goal is providing the student with the basic knowledge on how genetic information is used to produce the phenotype and inherited through the generations, in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. It also provides information on the structure and changes of the hereditary material from a molecular standpoint, emphasizing the evolutionary implications of those changes. The student will understand the basic principles of population genetics and the role they play in the evolution and differentiation of species.
Expected learning outcomes
Students are going to acquire a basic knowledge of the analysis of Mendelian genetic traits and will develop skills in the construction of genetic maps and about the necessary tools to correlate mutations in genes and genomes with effects at the level of the gene product and the phenotype. Moreover, the student will acquire knowledge concerning the molecular mechanisms leading to mutations and she/he will be able to evaluate the effect of those mutations on the phenotype of an individual and on how they might affect its fitness.
Lesson period: First semester
(In case of multiple editions, please check the period, as it may vary)
· Physical basis of heredity. Chromosomes, mitosis, meiosis, life cycles of pro- and eukaryotes. Cell cycle. DNA as genetic material. Structure and replication of DNA. · Mendelian inheritance. Multiple alleles and blood groups. Statistical analysis of the results. Human genetics: Pedigree analysis. Sex-linked traits and sex determination. · Chromosomal basis of heredity, linkage and recombination. Meiotic crossing-over. Map genetic distances and construction of genetic maps. · Gene function: one gene-one enzyme hypothesis. Gene interaction. Complementation. Intragenic recombination. · Bacterial genetics: Mutants and their selection. · Plasmids. F factor. F' and construction of partial diploid strains. · Genetic engineering: endonucleases, cloning vectors, recombinant DNA, transformation. · Transcription and gene structure in prokaryotes and eukaryotes · RNA maturation, translation, genetic code · Gene expression · Gene regulation in prokaryotes · Genome structure and its alterations. Gene mutations: molecular basis and mutation frequencies. Reversion and mutation suppression · Chromosomal mutations: deletions, inversions, and translocations · Genomic mutations: euploidy, aneuploidy, autoploidy and alloploidy · Mutagenesis and DNA repair mechanisms · Population genetics: Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. Effects of mutation, selection, migration, and genetic drift on allelic frequencies.