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GENE315 Genomes

Genome content and genetic elements within genomes. Genome variation and its effects within and between species. How genomes influence phenotype. Bioinformatic methods used for analysis of genomes.

GENE 315 explores eukaryote genomes and genomic variation and is, thus, highly relevant for all students interested in modern genetics. The central theme of genomic variation links the various modules within the lecture course, which sit alongside laboratory streams designed to reinforce the concepts being taught in class. This includes coverage of both laboratory-based experimental genetics techniques, along with computational methods for the analysis of genetic data.

Paper title Genomes
Paper code GENE315
Subject Genetics
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,038.45
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,680.00

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Two of GENE 221, GENE 222, BIOC 221
GENE 311
Schedule C
(i) GENE 222, BIOC 221 strongly recommended. (ii) In approved cases another paper from the Science schedule may be substituted for one of these papers.
Appropriate for students majoring in genetics, other biological and health sciences and molecular biotechnology
Teaching staff
Convenor: Associate Professor Mik Black
Other teaching staff: Associate Professor Russell Poulter (Department of Biochemistry), Professor Tony Merriman (Department of Biochemistry), John McEwan (AgResearch) and Dr Megan Wilson (Department of Anatomy)
Paper Structure
The lecture course is divided into five blocks:
  • Exploring the genome
  • Genome content
  • Genome variation and its effects within species
  • From genome to phenotype
  • Implications of the genomic revolution
The lecture course is complemented by a laboratory course, which provides training in data analysis and relevant genetic methods, including genome assembly and annotation; identification and assessment of genomic variation; quantitative genetics and genomic selection; and the impact of genetic variants on phenotype.
Teaching Arrangements
There are twelve weeks of laboratory classes, run across the five teaching modules, and students are assigned to one of two lab streams.
Textbooks are not required for this paper.

GENE 315 makes very extensive use of reviews and original papers from the scientific literature. PDFs of these will be placed on Blackboard.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge and understanding of the basic principles of eukaryote genomics:
  • How genomic sequence is obtained and analysed
  • Genome annotation
  • Genome content and complexity
  • Cross-species genomic comparisons
  • Methods for the identification of genomic variants
  • Quantitative genetics and genomic selection
  • Interpretation of phenotype variation in the context of large-scale genomic data sets
  • Computer technology skills relating to the analysis of genomic data

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Monday 12:00-12:50 9-13, 15-22
Tuesday 11:00-11:50 9-13, 15-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
P1 Wednesday 14:00-17:50 9-13, 15-22
P2 Thursday 14:00-17:50 9-13, 15-22