Genetics including population genetics

Course Code :1002WETGEP
Study domain:Engineering Sciences
Academic year:2019-2020
Semester:2nd semester
Contact hours:40
Study load (hours):168
Contract restrictions: Exam contract not possible
Language of instruction:Dutch
Exam period:exam in the 2nd semester
Lecturer(s)Thierry Backeljau

3. Course contents *

The course offers a broad, introductory overview of the basic principles of Mendelian inheritance in a neo-Darwinistic context and at both individual and population levels. These basic principles are introduced using biologically relevant examples.  The course aims at stimulating interdisciplinary thinking, whereby the student should actively make links with concepts learned in other courses. Hence, the course is intended to introduce genetics from a holistic vision and not from a narrow 'genetics for genetics' approach. Therefore, the course will regularly touch societal and philosophical problems and implications related to genetics (e.g. aspects of eugenics, races, Lysenkoism, GMOs, resistance problems, 'intelligent design', etc.) and as such students are stimulated to inform themselves and to think critically and scientifically. The course content includes roughly: Mendel's laws, a review of (apparent) deviations from Mendel's laws such as interactions between alleles, pleiotropy, epistasis, extranuclear inheritance, maternal effects, genomic imprinting, epigenetics, and quantitative genetic characters. Within each of these topics, the course deals with a number of selected biologically relevant issues, such as developmental genes, effects of endosymbiotic prokaryotes (e.g. ), mtDNA and cpDNA, and concepts such as heritability, phenotypic plasticity, reaction norms, fluctuating asymmetry, etc. Furthermore the course deals with chromosome structure, linkage, sex-linked inheritance and sex determination. At the population level the course focuses on Hardy-Weinberg equilibria, linkage disequilibria, breeding systems, genetic drift, mutation, migration, selection and quantitative genetics.