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Genetics and evolution, 15 Credits

The course is discontinued from 2021-06-28

Swedish name: Genetik och evolution

This syllabus is valid: 2020-08-24 and until further notice

Course code: 6BI025

Credit points: 15

Education level: First cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Biology: First cycle, has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: VG Pass with distinction, G Pass, U Fail

Responsible department: Department of Ecology and Environmental Science

Revised by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2021-06-28


With a primary focus on eukaryotic organisms, this course deals with genetics at cellular and organismal levels, population genetics and microevolutionary processes. The genetics section deals with the structure and function of the DNA molecule and the flow of genetic information from genes to products, chromosome structure and organization, mitosis, meiosis and transmission genetics: inheritance of qualitative characters and linkage. The Evolution section deals with population genetics: Hardy-Weinberg law, basic micro-evolutionary processes, quantitative genetics and speciation. Basic molecular evolution at whole genome level, and methods for studying genetic variation in natural populations are included in the course. The knowledge from theoretical aspects of the course will be consolidated and exemplified in problem solving exercises and computer labs, group discussions and laboratory work. An individual investigative project will be carried out within a one of the subject areas covered in the course.
The course is divided into the following sections:

Module 1, Genetics, 5 hp

Genetics deals with the structure and replication of the genetic material (DNA, RNA, proteins, genetic code, replication, transcription, translation, chromosomes, mitosis / meiosis), the creation of genetic variation (gene and chromosomal mutations), and the transfer of genetic information between generations (inheritance of qualitative and quantitative characters and linkage).

Module 2, Evolution, 7.5 hp
The Evolution section treats population genetics - genetic variation and Hardy-Weinberg's law as well as models for micro-evolutionary processes that alter allele and genotype frequencies over generations, within and between populations (mutation, migration, genetic drift, natural selection, mating systems, sexual selection). Evolutionary conclusions inferred from whole genome data, e.g. genome size and coding versus non-coding DNA, are also examined. Speciation models are introduced to gain an understanding of the roles played by different evolutionary processes play in facilitating reproductive isolation. Different types of molecular methods and models used to detect and analyze the variation at genomic, genotypic and phenotypic levels, within and among individuals, populations and species are introduced.
Module 3, Individual investigative project, 2,5 hp
Students write an individual, in-depth essay on a topic related to those covered in the course. Topic choice must be approved by the course coordinator. The project requires finding, summarizing and synthesizing original research using papers from academic journals, source assessment, question formulation, formal scientific writing proper and citation of sources. Projects are presented in verbal and written forms. A critical assessment of a fellow student's project is also required.

Expected learning outcomes

After completing the course, ste student should be able to:

Module 1
1. Describe the structure and replication of the genetic material and basic aspects of the flow of genetic information from DNA to proteins.
2. Apply knowledge about transcription, translation and the genetic code to demonstrate an understanding of the flow of genetic information from DNA to proteins
3. Describe some of the processes involved in the regulation of gene expression
4. Explain fundamental genetic concepts.
5. Describe the phases of mitosis and meiotic in detail and explain the connection between chromosomal behavior in meiosis and Mendelian segregation, independent assortment and linkage
6. Apply the principles of Mendelian inheritance and their extensions (one- and two-locus traits with two or more alleles, gene interactions, sex linkage and linkage) by analyzing inheritance patterns from crosses
Module 2
7. Describe the origins and genetic consequences of mutations and chromosomal abnormalities
8. Analyze allele and genotype frequencies within populations from the Hardy-Weinberg
9. Analyze basic processes in population genetics, mutation, migration, natural selection, sexual selection and genetic drift and describe how they affect the genetic diversity within a species
10. Discuss methods for detecting and analyzing variation at gene, genome and phenotypic levels within and between individuals, populations and species.
11 Use simple analytical methods in population genetic
12 Describe speciation processes
13. Describe the relationship between molecular and phenotypic evolution
Module 3
14. Individually search for and evaluate scientific information. 
15. Plan and execute a written essay and oral presentation within any of the subject areas dealt with in the course
16. Critically review and constructively oppose a corresponding project of a fellow student

Required Knowledge

Biology 30 credits

Form of instruction

Learning is facilitated through lectures, problem solving and computer exercises, laboratory work, group discussions, project work, and report writing. Exercises, labs, group discussions and project work are compulsory. Skills acquired through these learning approaches are invaluable in the workplace.

Examination modes

Performance is assessed through formal written examinations at the end of each section and through written and oral presentations of project work and field studies. Formal examations and written assignments are assigned the grades Fail (U), Pass (G) or Pass with Distinction (VG). The results of all formal examinations, projects and compulsory assignments contribute to the final course grade, which is awarded only after all mandatory elements have been approved. Final course grades are Fail (U), Pass (G) or Pass with Distinction (VG). Pass with distinction (VG) is required both on the written exam and the written assigment s wella s Passed (G) on the other parts for a Passed with distinction on the whole course.
Students who fail have the right to retake examinations. Students who pass may not retake the examination to obtain higher grades. Students who have failed an examination or other assignment twice are entitled to have another examiner appointed, unless there are special circumstances (HF Chapter 6. § 22). Requests for new examiners are made to head of the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science.


The literature list is not available through the web. Please contact the faculty.