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GENE221 Molecular and Microbial Genetics

Mutations; genetic analysis in bacteria; mobile genetic elements; genetic analysis of regulatory circuits; DNA cloning and sequencing in genetic analysis; comparative microbial genomics; genetics and evolution of viruses of eukaryotes.

GENE 221 provides foundation material on molecular and microbial genetics. Topics include mutation, gene transfer and genetic analysis in bacteria, DNA cloning, comparative genomics, phenotype-genotype associations in microbial genomes. Discoveries and methodologies in microbial genetics underlie all aspects of modern biology, and therefore, this paper is directly relevant for students with an interest in any of the biological sciences. The lecture course is complemented by a laboratory course that includes four experiments that together give hands-on experience of many of the genetic principles that are discussed in the lectures. The four laboratory topics are mutations, conjugation, transposons and cloning.

Paper title Molecular and Microbial Genetics
Paper code GENE221
Subject Genetics
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,059.15
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,914.00

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Prerequisite
CELS 191 and CHEM 191 and 36 further points
Restriction
GENE 211
Recommended Preparation or Concurrent Study
BIOC 221
Schedule C
Science
Eligibility
Essential for students majoring in genetics or microbiology and appropriate for students majoring in biochemistry, molecular biotechnology and all other biological sciences.
Contact

genetics@otago.ac.nz

Teaching staff

Convenor: Associate Professor Peter Fineran (Department of Microbiology & Immunology)
Other teaching staff: Professor Iain Lamont (Department of Biochemistry), Professor Clive Ronson (Department of Microbiology & Immunology), Dr Gillian MacKay (Genetics Programme) and Dr Paul Gardner (Department of Biochemistry)

Paper Structure

The lecture course is divided into 6 modules:

  • Mutations - the basis of genetics
  • Gene transfer and genetic analysis in bacteria
  • The accessory genome
  • Genetic analysis of regulatory circuits
  • Comparative microbial genomics and evolution
  • Natural selection and phenotype-genotype associations in microbial genomes

The lecture course is complemented by a laboratory course, which provides training in relevant genetic methods and data analysis, including mutagen detection using the Ames test, gene mapping by conjugation, transposon mutagenesis and DNA cloning using a plasmid vector.

Teaching Arrangements

There are six weeks of laboratory classes, one every second week, and students are assigned to one of four lab streams (Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons; first lab on the first Friday of semester).

Textbooks
The recommended text book for GENE 221 is:
Introduction to Genetic Analysis (Griffiths, Wessler, Carroll, Doebley), 11th Edition. Earlier editions of this book are also satisfactory if you have access to a copy.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Critical thinking, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

The broad objectives of GENE 221 are to understand:

  • The molecular basis and significance of mutation
  • Classical genetics of bacteria
  • The genetic approaches used in analysing gene regulation in bacteria
  • DNA cloning as a tool for genetic analysis
  • Comparative microbial genomics and evolution
  • Natural selection and phenotype-genotype associations in microbial genomes

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Timetable

First Semester

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard

Lecture

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
A1 Monday 10:00-10:50 15-16, 18-22
AND
C1 Wednesday 12:00-12:50 9-16, 18-22
AND
D1 Thursday 10:00-10:50 9-16, 18-22

Practical

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Thursday 14:00-17:50 9, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20
A2 Friday 14:00-17:50 9, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20
A3 Monday 14:00-17:50 10, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21
A4 Friday 14:00-17:50 10, 12, 14, 19, 21
Saturday 10:00-13:50 15
A5 Monday 14:00-17:50 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22