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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 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 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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Two of BIOC 221, GENE 221, GENE 222
GENE 311
Schedule C
(i) GENE222, BIOC221 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: Professor Mik Black

Other teaching staff:

Associate Professor Paul Gardner (Department of Biochemistry)

Associate Professor Megan Wilson (Department of Anatomy)

Associate Professor Phillip Wilcox (Department of Mathematics & Statistics)

Dr Suzanne Rowe (AgResearch)

Paper Structure

The lecture course is divided into the following blocks:

  • Exploring the genome.
  • What do you find when you sequence a genome?
  • Genomic variation.
  • Quantitative genetics.
  • From genotype to phenotype.

The lecture course is complemented by a laboratory course, which provides training in data analysis and relevant genetic methods, including genome analysis; 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 four 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 through ereserve 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

Students who successfully complete this paper will gain 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.
  • Understanding and appreciation of Māori perspectives on genomics, and the application of Mātauranga Māori in genetics research.

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 12:00-12:50 9-14, 16-22
Tuesday 11:00-11:50 9-14, 16, 18-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Wednesday 14:00-17:50 9-14, 16-20, 22
A2 Thursday 14:00-17:50 9-14, 16-20, 22