Biology MSc


Biology MSc




Degree program



Accreditation number



Institute of Biology




4 semesters (2 years)

ECTS credits


Minimum number of students

5 per sub-program (specialization)

Maximum number of students


Short description

Students participate in intensive advanced and high level courses in the different fields of biology, which are the most relevant for their specialization, to make them informed about the recent developments and frontline problems. Some 60 % of time is practical hours (spent on laboratory/field practice and on research) ensuring knowledge of state of the art methods. The curriculum is assembled from intensive advanced level courses on the theoretical aspects of selected disciplines and special seminar series on problems in a narrower field of science. The program also involves practical courses and a supervised research activity, which is needed for the preparation of the “M.Sc. Thesis”. In the first two semesters emphasis is on theory and basic laboratory or field practice.  The third and the fourth semesters are devoted to research and preparation of thesis. The training medium is English so students can gain a better command of the academic English in different fields of biology.

Strength of program

The Institute of Biology consists of 12 departments and so it gives one of the most differentiated education in our country. This also results in broadly-based sub-programs and generates knowledge which is interdisciplinary a bit.

Besides teaching, there is an international level research work at each department, which gives possibility for students to learn the most important methods in different research fields of biology. During their thesis work, M.Sc. students join a research group preferably in a department of the University, but research groups in other universities or laboratories can also be chosen. Students have their own research project, which they work on under the supervision of a project leader. Project leaders usually also act as tutors, who are responsible for the progress of the students and for giving advice in assembling a personal curriculum for them.

During their studies, students can participate in different (university and country) level competitions where they can practice presentation of their research achievements in a conference setting.

Fundamentals to Science

Bioinformatics I-II


  1. Introduction: The history of bioinformatics. The subject matter and application of bioinformatics. Genome projects. Trends. The overview of the most frequent bioinformatics methods, tools, programme packages in molecular biology. Internet basics: e-mail, telnet, ssh, ftp, www. Bioinformatics on the web. EMBnet, EBI, NCBI

  2. Bioinformatics databases: Molecular biology databases. Primary sequence databases. Nucleotide sequence databases: EMBL, GenBank, DDBJ. Protein sequence database: PIR, SWISS-PROT, TrEMBL. Complex ("non-redundant") protein sequence databases. Sequence database formats. Secondary, derivative protein sequence databases. Complex databases: mapping-genomics databases (genome projects), taxonomy, phylogenetic databases (NCBI/Taxonomy, COG),


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Fundamentals to Biology

General Ecology
  1. Major patterns of Biodiversity. Elements of biodiversity. Human population dynamics and biodiversity. Biodiversity through time. Recent and future extinctions. Gradients of biodiversity. Local and regional patterns. Does biodiversity matter? Maintaining biodiversity.

  2. Geosphere-biosphere interactions: fluxes of energy and matter in ecosystems Primary and secondary productions. Distribution of primary production (PP) globally. Factors influencing the amounts of PP and secondary productions. The way and use of energy in food webs and communities. Biogeochemistry. Sources and flux of matter and ways of investigating. Cycles of matter, and specifically those of phorphorus, nitrogen, sulphur and carbon. Perturbation of the natural fluxes by human activities.

  3. Historical


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Molecular Cell Biology

Origin and universal features of the cells,
Structure and function of the nucleus,
DNA replication, repair and recombination,
Control of gene expression,
Intracellular compartmentalisation of the cell
Intracellular vesicular trafficingand protein sorting
From DNA to RNA, from RNA to protein
Co- and port-translational controls
The cytosceleton and molecular motors
Components of cell cycle control system
Intracellular control of cell cycle
Mechanics of cell division
Peroxisomes, gyloxisomes, hidrogenosomes
Energy conversion: the mitochondrion and the electrontransport chains
General principles of cell communication, signaling pathways
Cell junctions, cell adhesion and the extracellular matrix
Molecular and cellular basis of cancerogenesis
Mechanisms of programmed cell death,


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Genetics and Population Genetics
  1. Historical development of the Gene, allelism and DNA polimorphisms, orthology and paralogy

  2. Genetics, Genomics,Biotechnology,Bioinformatics : interconnections

  3. Microbial Genetics and Eucaryotic Genetics Analyses: free passages in complementations, genetic mappings, epistases, mutation, diploidity and partial diploidity

  4. Genetic analyses and Gene cloning : utilizing phage, plasmid, transposon, bacterium and yeast genetics in gene clonings and in functional analyses of cloned genes. Positional (genetic map based) cloning of genes.

  5. The genetic map: mapping via recombinational analyses, in situ mappings on chromosomes ,mapping by cell fusions,X-ray mapping,comparative genetic mapping.

  6. Complementarity and free passages between mapping logics.

  7. Analyses


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Essentials of Biology

Evolutionary biology – Zoology
  1. Population models. Population growth. Selection in sexual and asexual populations. Replication fidelity. Genetic drift in finite populations.

  2. Variability in natural populations. Spread of a favourable gene. Facts of variability. Mutation. Maintenance of variation.

  3. Multilocus evolution. Linkage disequlibrium. Heterostyly in plants. Mimicry in butterflies. Linkage disequlibrium in natural populations. Normalizing selection and linkage

  4. Quantitative genetics. Genetic and environmental effects (nature, nurture). The additive genetic model. A more realistic model. Experiments in artificial selection. Quantitative variation and fitness. Maintenance of genetic variation of a quantitative trait.

  5. Evolutionary game theory. The hawk-dove game: a model of animal


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Gene Technology and Protein Engineering I.
  1. Terminology, historical milestones. Basic principles of molecular cloning. Vectors and inserts, ligation, amplification, selection

  2. DNA modifying enzymes, types and applications

  3. Basic methods. Design of recombinant constructions.Introduction of DNA into host cells: transformation (transfection) infection, electroporation Electrophoresis, hybridization techniques, DNA chip technology

  4. Polymerization chain reaction. Basic principles, enzymes used in PCR, optimalization, primer design. Applications in basic and applied research. Non-PCR based amplification methods

  5. Vector-host systems.Prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems, E.coli strains, Plasmid and phagemid vectors, lambda bacteriophage vetors, cosmids, PAC, BAC, shuttle vectors. Yeast and other eukaryotic


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Plant biology
  1. Individual properties of plant life form (autotrophy, acclimation and adaptation, defense mechanisms, specificities of water uptake and mineral nutrition). C, N and S autotrophy, significance of plant production in the whole biosphere.

  2. Photosynthesis from ecophysiological point of view PAR, PPFD, correlations between energy utilization and photosynthetic characteristics, energy dissipation , xanthophyll cycle, photoinhibition. Light-dependent reactions on cell, organ and organism level.

  3. Ecophysiological aspects of photosynthetic gas exchange (O2 evolution, CO2 fixation). Effect of elevated CO2 level on the photosynthetic production. Role of isoprenoid synthesis and methane emission.

  4. Acclimation of plants to the environmental changes. Stress tolerance. Sensing


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Nature Conservation and Environmental Protection
  1. Nature conservation and environmental protection: Definitions, relationships and differences in scope and activities. Reasons for concentrating on nature conservation. Classic versus integrative nature conservation.

  2. Biodiversity Concept and global patterns of biodiversity. Concepts of rarity and threat. Natural heritage in the Carpathian basin.

  3. Biodiversity crisis and major causes I. Historic rates of species extinctions. Rate of human induced extinctions. Vulnerability to extinction. Most vulnerable species. Why islands and endemic species are so vulnerable? Conservation categories (IUCN).

  4. Biodiversity crisis and major causes II. The problem of human population growth. Major human activities threatening biodiversity. Biological consequences of habitat


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Regulatory Biology – Physiology
  1. Homeostasis a/ The organism as a system (the term and characteristics of system, systemic approach to the living organisms; components and relationships within the living systems, operation of the regulatory systems). b/ Homeostasis (the 'milieu interne'; storages and their management, the rate of the processes; Cannon's homeostasis theory ; stability and variability; integrity, readiness, resource minimalisation, optimalisation; a new dynamic approach to homeostasis).

  2. Intercellular communication I. a/ Contact communication: cell-adhesion molecules and gap junctions; electric synapses. Tissue cell-junctions, blood cells leaving the vessels, inflamatory processes.

  3. Intercellular communication II. a/ Intercellular communication by diffusible messengers: metabolic,


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Compulsory courses for the Neuroscience and Human Biology Branch

Human growth and development
  1. Developmental biology: development, growth and maturation, growth velocity, factors influencing growth, influence of hormones on growth, heredity of intrauterine growth, external environmental factors, the influence of nutritional factors on growth, growth disorders, estimating the gestational age

  2. Neonatal development, growth rhythm and the natural growth periods, morphological changes in developmental periods

  3. Developmental abnormalities: deformities, causes and forms of the congenital abnormalities, frequencies of congenital abnormalities and factors influencing them, twinning, heredity and teratogenesis

  4. Fertilization: morphology of fertilization, factors fostering fertilization, mono- and polyspermiosis, morula, gastrulation, placental biology, placentation


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Experimental Methods in Physiology

1. Basic laboratory techniques, planning of research activities. Processes for data recording and analysis

2. General methods of surgery. Handling of animals, instruments, recording equipments

3. Cell and tissue culture techniques, testing of viability

4. Investigations on isolated organs I. Pharmacological investigation of isolated rat intestine

5. Investigations on isolated organs II. Study on isolated brain slices

6. Studies on the peripheral nervous system, electrophysiological measurements on neuromuscular preparation

7. Study of the cardiovascular system, parallel recording of rat electrocardiogram and blood pressure

8. Complex recording of drug effects on rat respiratory and vascular system

9. Data analysis of polygraphic investigations

10. Chronic macro- and


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Human morphology I
  1. Anatomical intorduction: body parts, directions, planes, anatomical nomenclatura, human cell and thissues

  2. Osteology and myology I

  3. Osteology and myology II

  4. Anatomy of the skeleto-muscular system I: shapes, structure and chemical composition of the bones, ossification types, syndesmology

  5. Anatomy of the skeleto-muscular system II: classification of joints: the kind of movement admitted in joints

  6. Anatomy of the skeleto-muscular system III: bones of the skull, external and internal relief of the cerebral cranium, articulation of the cavitas nasi, orbita and vestibulum oris, muscles of the head

  7. Anatomy of the skeleto-muscular system IV: vertebral column, movements and curvatures of the vertebral coulmn, sternum and ribs, the structure of the


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Human morphology II

1. The structures of the blood vessels, the structure and function of the lymphatic organs

2. The structure and function of the digestive apparatus

3. The structure and function of the respiratory apparatus

4. The structure and function of the urogenital apparatus

5. Anatomy of endocrine glands

6. Anatomy of nervous system: the structure of the brain and the spinal cord

7. Vascularisation of the brain and the spinal cord, cerebrospinal fluid, meninges of the brain and medulla spinalis

8. Cranial nerves

9. Spinal nerves

10. The sympathetic and parasymphatetic system I

11. The sympathetic and parasymphatetic system II

12. Macroscopic structure of the eyes and the orbita

13. Macroscopic structure of the ears, external ear, middle ear, auditory ossicles, internal ear

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Neurophysiology I.

1. Introduction: cellular and molecular characteristics of neuronal cells. Postmitotic properties, cell migration and neurite elongation. The importance and maintenance of surface/cell body ratio in neurons. The major intercellular connections between the cells of the nervous system.

2. Ontogenetic and phylogenetic origin of the cells of the nervous system: classification of neurons and glial cells.

3. Neuronal stem cells. Development of the postmitotic, non-migratory neuronal cell. Humoral effects and cell-to-cell connections directing neuronal cell fate and properties.

4. The polarity of neuronal cells. Separation, maturation and regulation of axonal and dendritic intracellular transport mechanisms.

5. Mosaic structure of neuronal cell membrane I: presynaptic components.


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Neurophysiology II.

1. Foundations of functional organistaion of vertebral (and nonvertebral) nervous system. Types and characteristics of movements, study methods. Vertebral skeletal muscle and the motor units.

2. Movement regulation in the spinal cord. Motor patterns and reflexes (functions of the lower motor system).

3. Motor neuronal nuclei and the central (descending) motor pathways. Posture of the body, of the head and of the extremities. Muscular tone. Balance. Eye movements and gaze.

4. Regulation of voluntary movements. The role of connections between cerebellum and the basal ganglia in the regulation of movements.

5. Stimulus-potential transduction. Sensory organs and sensory processes. Foundations of sensation and perception. Methods (from the objectiv electrophysiology through


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1. Introduction: short hystory of synapsis research and neurochemistry

2. Most important methods in neurochemical investigation

3. Characteristics of neuronal plasma membrane, structure and activity of the most important groups of integrants proteins

4. Cytoskeleton of the neuron, axonal transport, presynaptic and postsynaptic structures, store and release of transmitters, receptor activation

5. Metabotrop receptor activation, G-proteins and intracellular second messenger systems, changes and regulation of cytosolic Ca2+-level

6. Characterisation of voltage-gated and related ion-channels. Structure and activity of neuronal K+-, Ca++- and Na+-channels

7. Excitatory amino acid transmitter system (glutamate, aspartate): synthesis, vesicula-illing, transmitter release,


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Behavioural Physiology I.
  1. Introduction and definitions (psychophysiology, psychophysics, psychosomatics, autonomic functions, viscera, etc.)

  2. Visceral afferentation (receptors, afferent systems, central structures, visceral pathways, visceral pain, viscero-somatic convergence, reception-sensation-perception, visceral learning).

  3. Visceral efferentation (the autonomic /vegetative/ nervous system, antagonism and synergism, transmitters, efferent brain centers, pharmacology of the visceral efferentation)

  4. Regulation of the visceral functions (autoregulation, local and global changes, systemic events, brain-stem connections, role of the limbic system, hypothalamic and amygdalar integration, visceral reflexes, the concepts of ’efferent modification’ and of ’central command’, visceral components


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Behavioural Physiology II.
  1. What is pain? (terms and definitions, description of pain, pain and culture, functions of pain, types and dimensions/aspects of pain, pain behaviour, exmaination and recording pain)

  2. Biological bases of pain (nociception, nociceptors, pain pathways, spinal mechanisms, pain sytems in the brain, descending pain pathways)

  3. Theories of pain (the gate-control theory and other spinal ideas, the Cartesian-theater, pain-matrix, lateral and medial brain pain systems)

  4. Itching (itching and pain, receptors and pathways of itching, theories of itching)

  5. Psychophyasiology and psychology of pain (’deep pain’, visceral pain, acute and chronic pain, persistent pain, different forms of psychogen pain, symbolic pain, psychologicala nd physiological concomittants of pai


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Optional courses for the Neuroscience and Human Biology Branch - 20 ECTS


1. Human genome, heredity and heritability of the most important human characteristics, methods in human genetics, ethical aspects of human genetic surveys, genetic diversity of human populations

2. Anthropological genetics: problems and challenges, genetic markers of the blood in human population genetic surveys; differences in gene frequencies among human populations, genetics of isolated populations, human genetic distances, modelling the demographic events; the role of modelling in human genetics, demogrpahic studies of human populations, genetic adaptation in man in the XXIst century, genetic guidance

3. History of human genetics, methods in human genetics, pedigree analysis, twin studies, autocorrelations, chromosome abnormalities, statistical analysis, ethics in human


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Anthropology of the Carpathian Basin

1. Geological epochs. Time-scale of primate evolution.

2. Miocene hominoids in the Carpathian Basin.

3. Archaeological periodization: from the Oldowan to the Antiquity.

4. Lower, Middle and Upper Paleolithic sites in the Carpathian Basin.

5. Mesolithic and Neolithic Ages in the Carpathian Basin.

6. Copper and Bronze Ages in the Carpathian Basin.

7. Iron Age in the Carpathian basin: Celtic and Scythian Periods.

8. Romain and Early Migration Periods in the Carpathian Basin.

9. Late Migration Period: the Avars.

10. Carolingian Period and the time of the Hungarian Conquest.

11. History of Hungarians before the Conquest in the Carpathian Basin.

12. Populations of the Árpádian Age.

13. Turkish occupation in the Carpathian Basin.

14. Colonization in Hungary in the 18th c


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Applied human biology I

1. Assessment of biological age I: growth standards: distance and velocity curves

2. Assessment of biological age II: growth standards: optional standards based on parental status, the child’s maturity status; standards for discrete variables

3. Assessment of biological age III: morphological age estimation – by using anthropometric variables and indices; final adult stature prognosis

4. Assessment of biological age IV: dental age assessment: eruption and mineralization age

5. Assessment of biological age V: bone age assessment: Tanner-Whitehouse II method based on the bone maturity of wrist and hand bones

6. Assessment of biological age VI: bone age assessment: Greulich-Pyle methods based on the wrist and hand bones’ maturity – by using „Sunlight, bone age” ultrasonic b


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Applied human biology II

1. Anthroposcopy I: methods of morphological features analyses

2. Anthroposcopy II: the morphology of the head, face, eyes and nose

3. Anthroposcopy III: the morphology of the mouth, jaw, ears, hair

4. Morphological study of the head (face, nose, mouth, jaw, ears, hair)

5. Dermatoglyphical study (finger and palm prints, qualitative and quantitative analyses), colour blindness study

6. Assessment of nutritional status, studies of nutritional habits

7. Methods of assessing food nutrients

8. Energy and nutrient uptake and need by physical activity and body shape

9. The relationship between structure and function I: observation of skeletal muscle tonus, electromyogram, determination of maximum clench strength (for right and left hands and compare differences between male and


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Behavioural Pharmacology

1. The role of internal, physiological procedures in the regulation of behaviour. (historical overview, conceptions, main types of physiological and ethological methods, evaluation of the results, interpreting results from a human or ecological point of virew.)

2. Behaviourally important and wellknown neurotransmitter systems. Models of brain control over behaviour. Anatomical and pharmacological approaches. Behavioural methods of studying brain functions.

3. Anxiety. Adaptive and pathological anxiety. Psychological, biological and pathological approaches. Brain mechanisms. Pharmacological interventions.

4. Depression. Decreasing behavioural activity, adaptation and pathology. Psychological and neurobiological theories of depression. Antidepressants.

5. Agression. Biological


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1. Introduction. What is bioethics? The scientific method. Abuses of biology. The importance of bioethics for the biosciences. Biological dimensions of ethics.

2. Ethics and Morality. Ethics and free will. Ethics and religion. Moral acts and ethical theory. Utilitarianism, scientism, deontology and other ethical theories. Can't we make moral judgements?

3. A Framework for Ethical Analysis. The common morality, ethical principles ethical matrix: well-being, autonomy, fairness.

4. Bioethics and Human Futures. Comparing developed and less developed countries: demography, food supplies, health, wealth, education and technology. Ethical action plans: neo- and anti-Malthusians. Ethical reasoning in formulating development policies.

5. Birth Control I: Abortion, infertility,


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1. Rhythm types in living organisms. External, internal and external-internal rhythms. Importance and roles of external-internal rhythms: gating, timing of breeding, navigation, seasonality, sense of time.

2. Basic terms and notions: period, amplitude, phase, Zeitgeber, free running (circa-) rhythms, subjective day and night.

3. Characteristics of external-internal rhythms. Aschoff’s and circadian rules. Synchronization with external geophysical rhythms: phase-response curve (PRC). Human rhythms. The so called „biorhythms”.

4. The biological clock. Suprachiasmatic nuclei. Anatomical description. One or more clocks? The role of the pineal gland in birds. Groups of linked rhythms. Inputs to the suprachiasmatic nuclei and their role.

5. Generation of the circadian rhythm.


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Cell Biology of Neurodegenerative Diseases

1. General introduction Common features of the neurodegenerative disorders: i/ intra- or extracellular accumulation of pathologic protein isoforms; ii/ regional and selective neuron death; iii/ reactive astrogliosis; iiii/ familiar and sporadic forms. Clinico-pahological characterization of the main groups of neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis).

2. Prion diseases Prion disease: a new entity. Its significance in biomedical and basic research. Classification of prion diseases: human and animal forms. Brief characterization of scrapie, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), kuru and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Infectivity, as a unique phenomenon. Unusual features of the “pathogen”: extraordinary resista


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Data management and modelling in human biology

1. Statistics of growth standards: normality, distance and velocity standards, sampling of growth standards (population, representativity, sample size)

2. Hypothesis tests in human biology: statistical decisions, hypotheses, significance, one sided and double sided probes, transformation of variables having non-normal distribution

3. Checking homogenity and comparison of typical parameters between groups I: chi-square test, statistical tests of variables having non-normal distribution (F-test, Student t-test, D-test, ANOVA)

4. Checking homogenity and comparison of typical parameters between groups II: non parametric tests (sign test, Man-Whitney U-test, Kruskal-Wallis H-test, Spearman correlation)

5. Correlation and regression in human biological studies: correlation


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1. Primitive knowledge of dermatoglyphics in Asia.

2. Beginning of dermatoglyphics and dactyloscopy in Europe.

3. Fundamentals of ridged skin.

4. Fundamentals of dactyloscopy. Finger and palm printing.

5. Patterns on the fingers.

6. Patterns of palms and soles.

7. Embryology of the ridged skin.

8. Evolution of dermatoglyphics. Dermatoglyphics of primates.

9. Formulation of triradii.

10. Quantitative characteristics on the fingers: ridge counts.

11. Quantitative characteristics on the palms and soles: ridge counts and main lines.

12. Genetics of dermatoglyphics.

13. Clinical dermatoglyphics.

14. Geographical variations of dermatoglyphics.

15. Flexion creases on the hand.

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1. Electrophysiological characteristics of nervous cell membranes, basic physico-chemical facts, resting membrane potential, synaptic potentials, generation and propagation of action potentials

2. Electrode types for the measurement of bioelectric signals (micro-, macro-, metal-, glass-, suction electrodes, ion-selective electrodes). Characterization of the different electrode types, application considerations.

3. Equipment for the measurement of bioelectric signals: headstages, filters, stimulators, storage options.

4. Methods of stimulation in biological preparations: electrical, chemical and spatial stimulation. Stimulus artifact, ways to decrease its amplitude.

5. In vitro techniques I. Creation of brain slice and thin slice preparations, tissue culture, oocyte


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Experimental Methods in neurobiology I.
  1. History of methodology in neuroscience.
  2. Molecular biology techniques: DNA, RNA, protein technologies Molecule detection methods: PCR Microarray, protein, DNA, mRNA, cDNA Gene switching In situ PCR In situ hibridization Histochemistry, basics in immune-histochemistry Gene insertation, gene manipulation in neurons transfection, viral and non-viral gene transfere, genegun, electroporation, gene scilencing (siRNA)
  3. Animal models in neurosciences: Application of genetically modified strains. Spontaneous mutation, inbread strains. Controlled gene insertation: transgenic animals, knock out, knock in, conditional knock out, tissue specific and inducible gene modification. Functional enzyme mutants.
  4. Optical methods: Normal light and fluorescen microscopy; selection of detectable


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Experimental Methods in neurobiology II.
  1. Miscellenous imaging techniques: FMRI, MRI, CT PET

  2. Taking samples from brain tissue: Microdissection Micro-punch Laser capture Basics of sample preparation

  3. Methods of neurochemistry Binding-assay Cell-frakcioning, studies on liposomes, sinaptosomes Stop-flow, receptor kinetics Izotop technique Fluorescent tags Microdialysis Analythical HPLC: theories, equipment, columns, eluents Measuerement of bioactive compounds from the extracellular space (monoamines, amino acids, nucleosides, peptids) LC-MS, electrospray ionization (ESI), field of application

  4. Systems biology techniques Gen chipping Data base search and in silico biology Gen hybridization on chip, chip-PCR Planning of experiments Separation: 2D-electrophoresis, differencial electrophoresis (DIGE) Sample


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Experimental stem cell biology

1. What is a stem cell? - definitions. Major steps in cell fate determination. General techniques used to identify stem cells. Overview on general stem cell markers (SSEA-1, Nanog, Oct4, nestin).

2. Stem cell therapy: basic rules, definitions, theories and draws. Transdifferentiation: fact or artefact?

3. Clinical aspects of stem cell therapy: present and future possibilities. Ethical issues.

4. Major signal transduction pathways during cellular differentiation (Wnt, TGF/BMP, shh, Notch-Delta).

5. Origin of extraembryonic tissues. Embryonal stem (ES) cells, their differentiation. Formation of ecto-, meso- and endoderm. Fate maps and practical approaches.

6. Differentiation of the surface ectoderm: specialisation and separation of individual cell types during embryonal


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Forensic Anthropology

1. History of Forensic Anthropology.

2. Forensic identification from corps and skeleton.

3. Assessment of age and sex from skeleton.

4. Assessment of stature and body weight from skeleton.

5. Morphology of teeth.

6. Forensic identification from teeth.

7. Personal identification of historical people.

8. Personal identification of political martyrs in Hungary.

9. Personal identification of living people.

10. Beginnings of dactyloscopy in Asia. The “modern” dactyloscopy in Great Britain.

11. Questioned patternity: history and fundamentals.

12. Sexual capability, pregnancy-gestational dating and perinatal data.

13. Blood groups and serum polymorphism.

14. Molecular biology in forensic identification: DNA and Y chromosome.

15. Report of forensic experts.

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Human Ecology I

1. Introduction to human ecology, general characteristics of ecosystems, associated sciences, history of human ecology, definitions; ecosystems: biosphere, ecosystem types; ecosystem relationships, ecological division of the earth; ecological catastrophes, ecocrises; dynamics and stability of ecosystems; productivity of ecosystems  

2. Population ecology, dynamics of human populations, characteristics of populations: population density, birth rate, death rate, population structure, sexual rate, life expectancy, spatial structure  

3. Population genetics: Hardy-Weinberg law and equilibrium, mutation, selection, evolution, population dynamics, migration, controlling of overpopulation  

4. Mechanisms of the ecological and cultural adaptation, relationships of man and its


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Human ecology II

1. Population dynamic reconstruction of the ancient environment in the periods of human evolution

2. Influence of the Pleistocene climatic pulsation on the Homo sapiens’ origin and differentiation, monocentric and policentric model

3. Relationship between the ancient humans and their environment: environmental archeological introduction, environmental archeological methods  

4. Contradiction between the ancient environmental reconstruction and the populational movements, the harmony of the geographical diversity and zonic environmental conditions  

5. Paloeecological human populations’ dispersion pattern: random, regular, cluster dispersions, dispersion of fossils, morphological variations

6. Functional bone morphology in the view of adaptation: morphological var


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Human Origin: Evolutional Theories and Human Adaptation

 1. Adaptation mechanisms of human evolution; Primate, Hominid, Hominin features appeared in biological evolution; cultural aspects of Homo sapiens’ evolution by describing the diversity of modern populations

2. Historical overview of paleoanthropological research; evolutionary theories in biological focus. The ontogeny-phylogeny nexus: implications for primatology and paleoanthropology; principles of taxonomy and classification: current procedures for classifying organs; quantitative approaches to phylogenetics; homology: philosophical and biological perspectives  

3. The divergence of Hominidae and Pongidae’s ancestrors; Africa in the late Miocene; Hominidae’s evolution: ecological influence on the early Hominidae biodiversity; potential Hominoid ancestors for Hominidae; defin


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In vitro Cell Technology

1. Short history of cell and tissue culturing; different types of cultures; applications of cell culture techniques

2. The fluid environment of cultivated cells

3. The “solid” environment of cells in vitro and in vivo. The basic features of cell adhesion and migration

4. Cell adhesion molecules; The cytoskeleton; Factors determining the shape of cells

5. Isolation of cell and tissue samples for culturing; cell separation methods

6. Primary cultures; monolayer, aggregate, explant and slide cultures;

7. Cell proliferation and apoptosis in vitro; assays on viability

8. Cell lines; establishment of cell lines from tissue samples; one-cell cloning; geno- and phenotypical stability

9. Cell banks; methods for cell-type identification

10. Intercellular communication in vit


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Methodology for Studies of Paleoanthropological Inquiry

1. Purposes of the paleoanthropological surveys, paleoanthropology in Hungary in the turn of the Millennium, archeological excavations in Hungary

2. Archeological age determination techniques, the main sciences associated with paleoanthropology and archeology, paleoanthropology – a bridge between biology and archeology

3. Working with skeletal fossils: conservation, step by step in archeological exploration of human fossils: excavation, conservation, documentation

4. The cleaning and restauration of fossils, inventory and depository work

5. Aspects and methods of skeletal fossils analysis: populational and individual approach, theoretical and practical approaches in studying fossils collections

6. Primary anthropometric and morphological studies on skeletal remains

7. M


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Neuronal Cell Differentiation I

1. The cellular composition of the central nervous tissue;

2. Principles of the neural tissue formation; Ontogenetic formation of the nervous system

3. Generation of neurons and glial cells; germinative zones, neural stem cells; progenitors and precursors; the forle of the Notch-DLS system

4. Activation of proneuronal and neural genes;

5. Cell migration in the developing neural tissue; Molecular bases of cell adhsion and cell motility

6. The formation of layered and core-like neural structures

7. Establishment of cellular polarity in developing neuronal precursors; process outgrowth

8. Process elongation; the axon growth cone, pathfinding of neurites

9. Process-elimination and maintenance: the sorting for persisting neurites

10. Synaptogenesis

11. Activity-dependent


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Neuronal Cell Differentiation II

1. Differentiation of the central nervous tissue I: morphology and molecular biology of the establishment of the neuroectoderm.

2. Regional differentiation of the central nervous tissue II: dorsoventral determination in the course of the neural tube formation

3. Regional Regional differentiation of the central nervous tissue III: the regional differentiation along the anterior – posterios body axes

4. Region-specific determination of the neurotransmitter phenotypes

5. The role of “neurotransmitter” substances in the neural tissue formation

6. Neurotransmitter receptors on developing neural cells

7. Development of the bioelectric properties during the formation of the neuronal phenotype I.: bioelectric properties of neural stem and progenitor cells

8. Development of t


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Neuroanatomy I

1. Fundamental neurohistology. Light microscopical structure of neurons and glial cells. Electron microscopical structure of neurons: perikaryon and dendrites. Characteristics of axons.

2. The synapses. Electrical synapse, neuromuscular junction and interneuronal synapse. Ultrastructural characteristics of excitatory and inhibitory synapses.

3. Structure and types of nerve fibers. Ultrastructure of glial cells, blood vessels of brain, and meninges.

4. Development of mammalian nervous system I. Neurulation, classical and modern explanation of neural induction (default model). Formation of central nervous system, differentiation of neural tube into spinal cord and brain. Divisions of spinal cord and brain stem.

5. Development of mammalian nervous system II. Morphogenesis of


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Neuroanatomy II

1. Evolutionary lines of structure of vertebrate telencephalon. Classical and modern notions, overview with drawings and ppt files. Modern explanation of structure of avian telencephalon, overview of different pallial and striatal structures.

2. Nervous system of birds I. Dissection of bird's brain, preparation of middle and inner ear, opening of orbit and identification of eye moving muscles. Removal of brain.

3. Nervous system of birds II. Orientation on the removed brain. Cutting sections of the brain (cross-, sagittal and horizontal sections by a razor blade or vibratom), superficial staining of sections and identification of parts. Total sections of the entire head.

4. Nervous system of mammals I. Dissected animal is either a cat or a rat. Removal of skin from facial


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1. Introduction. Development of neuroendocrinology as a science discipline. Classification of chemical signal molecules. Endocrine organs and their hormones.

2. Structure, function and hormones of the hypophysis. Hypophysis hormonse in the central nervous system.

3. Hormones of the hypothalamus. neurosecretory cells. Conception of the neuroendocrine transuction. The hypothalamus-hypophysis system.

4. The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal cortex axis. Regulation of the stress response. The role of stress in the neurodegenerative diseases and psychiatric disorders.

5. The hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis. Physiological and patophysiological characteristics of the central nervous regulation of fertility.

6. Effect of neurotransmitters to the hypothalamu-hypophysis system.


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  1.  Conception and basic terminology of toxicology. Origin of toxic substances. National and international standards, risk assessment

  2.  Toxico-kinetics: metabolism of toxic agents. Application, absorption, distribution, metabolism and release of toxic substances

  3.  Introduction of hazardous chemicals, characteristics of natural and prepared toxins, analysis of their effect

  4. Development of toxic effect on target tissues, toxicology of each organs, especially of the nervous system.

  5.  Toxicological tests – neurotoxicological investigations I. Anatomical and biochemical studies

  6.  Toxicological tests – neurotoxicological investigations II. Neurochemical and electrophysiological studies

  7.  Toxicological tests – neurotoxicological investigations III. Behav


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1. Paleopathology of ancient populations; history, sources, possibilities and boundaries of paleopathological researches

2. Paleopathological methods in analysis of skeletal abnormalities

3. Biology of osteoid tissue; bone development, osteoid remodelling; dental biology

4. Traumatic anomalies; fractures; dislocations; deformations; savours of scalp; trepanation; gestational traumas

5. Circulatory diseases; anatomy of bone circulation; necrosis; reticulo-endothel system and the anomalies of hematopoietic organs; anemia (thalassemia, sickle cell anemia, iron deficiency anemia)

6. Skeletal abnormalities caused by metabolic diseases; vitamin deficiency (C, D), starvation

7. Skeletal abnormalities caused by endocrine disorders; other bone anomalies (Paget disease)



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Pathophysiology I

1. Introduction. Pathophysiology of cardiac dysfunctions I.

2. Pathophysiology of cardiac dysfunctions II. Disorders of the coronary circulation.

3. Disorders of the energy balance. Pathophysiology of fasting and obesity.

4. Pathophysiology of the diabetes mellitus.

5. Patomechanisms of inflamation.

6. Pathophysiology of anaemia. Disorders of blood-clotting.

7. Pathophysiology of the connective-, muscle- and supporting-tissues.

8. Pathophysiology of ulcer. Pathophysiology of the inflammatory diseases of the pancreas.

9. Liver disorders.

10. Immune disorders.

11. Oncopathophysiology.

12. Pathophysiology of hypertensive disorders.

13. Peripheral circullatory insufficiensies.

14. Breathing disorders.

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Pathophysiology II

1. Disorders of the lipid-metabolism.

2. Pathophysiology of the atherosclerosis.

3. Disfunction of the calcium and phosphate metabolism. Pathophysiology of the osteoporosis.

4. Metabolic syndromes.

5. Pathophysiology of nutrition.

6. Disorders of the salt- and water-content.

7. Disorders of the acid-base balance.

8. Pathophysiology of kidnbey disorders.

9. Pathophysiological mechanisms of the endothel dysfunction.

10. Pathophysiological and laboratory significance of enzymes.

11. Pathophysiology of endocrine disorders.

12. Consciousness- and mind-loss. Pathophysiology of pain.

13. Pathophysiology of aging. Civilisation diseases.

14. Factors determining XXI. century medicine.

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Pathophysiology III

1. Introduction, general information.

2. Elektrocardiography I. Analysis of the regular ECG.

3. Elektrocardiography II. Analysis of pathological ECG-s of stimulation and nervous conductance disroders.

4. Elektrocardiography III. Electrocardiographyc concommitants of the myocardial infarction.

5. Elektrocardiography IV. Pathological ECG-s of hypertension and electrolite-metabolism disorders.

6. Elektrocardiography V. Recognition of ECG-s associated with multiple parallel disorders.

7. Examination of the alimentary canal functions.

8. Laboratory examination of the carbohydrate-metabolism.

9. Examination of liver functions.

10. Laboratory examination of salt- and water-metabolism.

11. Examination of the acid-base balance.

12. Laboratory examination of the renal


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Pathophysiology IV

1. Introduction: Laboratory diagnostics

2. Hematology I. Methods of examining cellular components of the blood. Morphyology of the red blood cell system. Examination of anaemia.

3. Hematology II. Examination of the granulocyte and megacariocyte system..

4. Hematology III. Examination of malignant diseases of the bone-marrow.

5. Hematology IV. Laboratory examination of the immune system

6. Hematology V. Examination of malignant proliferation of the lymphocyte-macrophage system.

7. Examination of the plasma-proteins.

8. Examination of plasma enymes, synovial and pleural fluids, and the liquor.

9. Examinatuion of the lipid- and purin-metabolism.

10. Analysis of calcium- and phosphate metabolism.

11. Examination of hypothalamic and hypophyseal functions.

12. Laboratory


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1. Theory of receptors. Mechanisms of drug actions.

2. Fate of the medicines in the organism. Pharmacometabolism.

3. Pharmacokinetics. Factors influencing effectivity of the pharmacological treatment. Combined drug actions.

4. Foundations of clinical pharmacology.

5. Pharmacology of the autonomic nervous system. Other peripheral mediators.

6. Nervous transmission in the central nervous system.

7. General anaesthesia, opioid analgetics.

8. Drug abuse, other addictions. Tranquillants, sedatives, and anxiolitic compounds.

9. Antipsychotic drugs, antidepressants, and lithium.

10. Psychostimulants. Anorectic drugs.

11. Neurodegenerative disorders. Antiepileptics.

12. Local anaesthetics.

13. Drugs affecting sceletal and smooth-muscle.

14. Drug interactions. Side effects


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1. Sedato-hypnotics 1. (Biology of anxiety. Anxiety disorders. Mechanisms of anxiolytic drug effects)

2. Sedato-hypnotics k 2. (Clinical application of anxiolytic drugs, experimental methods)

3. Surgical anaesthetics (Surgical anaesthesia, main types of anaesthetic drugs, clinical application)

4. Sleep disorders.

5. Antiepileptics (Causes, types and symptoms of epilepsy. Mechanisms of antiepeileptics, their clinical application. Experimental methods.)

6. Dopamin and scizophrenia. (Dopaminergic receptors. The role of dopamin in motivations. Symptoms, types and etiology of scizophrenia. Dopamine and abused drugs.)

7. Neuroleptics (History of scizophrenia therapy. Effects, types, clinical application and experimental studying of neuroleptics.)

8. Antidepressants and


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Statistical Methods in Biology

1. The role of statistics. Foundations of the probability theory. The statistical inference.

2. Types of stochastic variables. Designing experiments.

3. EDA I. (Exploratory Data Analysis). Descriptive statistics.

4. Statistical inference: estimation. point- and interval estimation.

5. Statistical inference: testing hypotheses. The statistical decision.

6. Statistical inference with one or two samples: comparing means and variances.

7. Students’ topics

8. Association and prediction: linear reggression and correlation.

9. Association and prediction: multiple, canonic and non-linear reggression.

10. Statistical inference with more than two samples: ANOVA.

11. Statistical inference with more than two samples: ANCOVA, MANOVA

12. Multivariate methods: EDA II. pattern r


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Compulsory courses for the Molecular Genetics, Cell-and Developmental Biology Branch

Programmed Cell Death and Autophagocytosis
  1. Introduction: the role of cell death in physiological and pathological processes

  2. Apoptosis

  3. The discovery and molecular mechanism of apoptosis in C. elegans

  4. The role of the caspase cascade in apoptosis

  5. Cell death receptors, extracellular regulation of cell death

  6. The discovery of the Bcl-2 protooncogen family, and their functions

  7. The regulatory role of the mitochondria in the apoptosis, the intracellular regulatory mechanisms

  8. The structure and functions of the ubiquitin protein

  9. The structure and function of the proteasome and its subunits

  10. The connections between the ubiquitin-proteasome system and cell death

  11. The role of heath shock proteins in cell death

  12. Apoptosis in the immune system

  13. Autophagy

  14. The lysosomes and


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Eukaryotic Gene Regulation

1. The cis-regulativ model of the eukaryotic gene expression: the role of promoters, enhancers and boundary elements (insulators) in the transcriptional regulation of eukaryotic gene expression.

2. Enhancer elements are key moduls of differential gene expression. Functional analysis of enhancers using riporter genes.

3. Trans-elements of the eukaryotic gene expression: transcription factors. Domains of transcription factors. Pax6 and MITF. Families of transcription factors.

4. Methods to identify interactions between cis- and trans-elements. DNA-protein interactions: EMSA, DNA footprint, chromatin-immunoprecipitation (ChIP).

5. The role of protein complexes in the regulation of eukaryotic gene expression. Examples: HOX/EXD, HOX/EXD/HTH complexes. Methods to identify


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Developmental and molecular genetics

1. Historical ground; classical (forward) genetic analysis to genomics (reverse genetics). Introduction into genetic model systems: nematodes (C. elegans), insects (D. melanogaster), plants (A. thaliana) and mammals (M. musculus). Medical aspeczts and inherited human diseases.

2. Cell fate determination. Cell-cell communication. Genetic (signalling) pathways. Epistasis analysis. Combinatorial gene regulation. The roles of Hox genes in development.

3. Signalling crosstalk – interactions between genetic pathways. Prediction and revealing of genetic interactions (genome-wide approaches). The roles of protein-protein interaction in gene regulation.

4. Genetic screens (simple, enhancer and suppressor, multigeneration, lethal, maternal effect, sensitive and synthetic lethal). Gene


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Developmental Biology
  1. History and basic concepts

  2. Morphogenesis of the main modell organisms, C. elegans, Drosophila, Xenopus, laboratory rat

  3. Organisation of the oocyte, epigenesis and preformation

  4. Structure of the sperm cell, molecular mechanism of the fertilisation

  5. Mechanisms of segmentation, origin of stem cells

  6. Genetics of axis specification in Drosophila and Xenopus

  7. The molecular basis of the gastrulation in Drosophila and Xenopus

  8. Function of segmentation genes: gap, pair-rule, segment polarity genes and the segment polarity genes

  9. Development of the paraxial and intermediate mezoderm

  10. The nerulation: classic and molecular approaches

  11. Neural crest cells and axonal specifity

  12. Organogenesis: the development of the limb and wing on Drosophila


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Genetic Analysis

1. From the cistron to the complex gene.

2. Pedigree for Genetics,Genomics,Molecular Biology,Bioinformatics

3. Generalization of the allele concept, beyond the phenotypic variability, DNA polimorphysms, paralogy,orthology

4. Bacterium genetics: the partial diploid, linking DNA technology to classical bacterium genetics

5. Bacteriophage genetics : thinking in phage and diploids. Complementation, recombination, crossing over, gene conversion, genetic mapping. Phage genetics and DNA technology.

6. Plasmids, Transposons, phage genes : combinations and utilizations in the cloning aera.

7. Balanced lethality: complementation, balancer chromosomes, thoroughbred heterozygotes

8. Dissecting strutures and genetic pathways : epistases, suppression, inter-allelic complementation,


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1. Maps: gene, physical and cytology maps: Gene map and physical map correspondence based on genome sequences. Genome sequence databases.

2. Comparative genomics: Methods for the comparison of genomes. Genome similarities. Gene prediction traps. How many genes are there in a genome?

3. Genome sequences: Genome sequence determination. Determination of viral, prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes.

4. Prokaryotic and bacteriophage genomes: Bacterial, bacteriophage genome. Phage genomes. Phage mosaicism. Phage evolutionary models.

5. Plant genomes: The arabidopsis genome programme. The sequence of rice. Structure of plant genomes.

6. Animal genomes: Mouse genome project. Vertebrate genome projects. Medical model organisms. Animal breeding programmes. Invertebrate model animals.

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Histological and cell biological methods

1-3. Vital stainings, sample preparation methods and fixation, Freezing-microtomy, enzyme histochemistry (acid and alkaline phosphatase, esterase, lipid and others) Embedding in paraffin, sectioning and staining for routine histology (toluidine blue, hematoxilin-eosin, PAS and others)

4. Confocal microscopy Introduction: the confocal laser microscope and the semi-confocal fluorescent microscope (spinning disc, apotome), the multichannel image recording and the combination of images. The combined use of various fluorescent dies. Practical: native and fixed samples, vital staining of organelles, GFP-expression, multiple labelling and colocalisation. Photography and serial recordings, optical slicing, 3D and !D images. Computer processing of images and evaluation.



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Molecular genetics

In 4 separate blocks.

Block I (Days 1-3): Gene silencing (RNA interference) in genetic analysis. In silico (bioinformatics) design of primers, total RNA isolation, mRNA isolation, RT-PCR (reverse transcriptase PCR), cloning of a cDNA fragment into a „feeding” vektor (digestion, fragment purification, ligation), bacterial transformation. Phenotypic (phenocopy) analysis. Analysis of genetic pathway.

Block II (Days 4-6): Molecular techniques in genetic analysis I: PCR, Southern Blotting (detection of insertional, deletional and point mutations), Northern analysis (hybridization of ceh-20/bec-1 mRNA probes to RNA extracts from different developmental stages – developmental Northern).

Block III (Days 7-8): Western blotting (Detection of BEC-1 protein in different cell farct


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Prokaryotic Gene Regulation

1. Molecular mechanism of transcription I. Organisation of prokaryotic genes. Structure and function of RNA polymerase.

2. Molecular mechanism of transcription II. Transcription initiation, elongation, and termination. Elements of prokaryotic promoters.

3. Strategies for transcriptional regulation I. Positive and negative control. Transcription factors.

4. Strategies for transcriptional regulation II. Alternative sigma factors. Turning genes on and off by recombination.

5. Molecular mechanisms in the regulation of transcription initiation I. Repression of gene transcription. Steric hindrance, caging, contact inhibition.

6. Molecular mechanisms in the regulation of transcription initiation II. Activation of transcription initiation.

7. Molecular mechanisms in the regulation


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1.-2. Basics of oncopathology. Hypertrophy, hypotrophy, hypoplasia, hyperplasia, dysplasia, metaplasia and neoplasia, neoplasma, tumour, benign and malignant tumours. Malignant transformtion as growth (cell cycle) and differentiation disorder. Events of tumor growth, staging and phenomenology. Natural classification of tumours by their original cell type.

3. Phenotypical, genotypical and cytogenetical properties of the malignant cells. Tumour markers, neoantigenes and the determination of the origin of the tumour cells. Tumour specific transplantation antigens.Importance of the immuncytochemical methods. 4. Malignant cell populations: diversity, malignant clones, rediversification, inherent genetical instability. Tests to show malignant cells. Properties of the invasive


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The course offers an introduction to the epistemological tradition in Western philosophy. In addition to some historical investigations introducing central epistemological problems and some of the most essential approaches, the main focus of the course is on more recent advances in 20th century philosophy, with special emphasis on theories of scientific cognition as the paragon of knowledge acquisition.

The course includes a series of lectures and a reading seminar.

The main topics of the course are the followings:

1. Epistemological problems in the history of philosophy

  • Plato’s Epistemology, Aristotle on Knowledge, Ancient Scepticism
  • The Epistemology of Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume. The Problem of Induction
  • Kant and Kantian Epistemology. A Priori Justification


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Optional courses for the Molecular Genetics, Cell-and Developmental Biology Branch - 19 ECTS

Advanced Drosophila genetics

1. Drosophila as a model organism. Distinguishing males and females, collecting virgins. Balancer chromosomes and phenotypic markers.

2. Types and uses of transpozons (mutagenesis, enhancer trapping, trangenic systems). Transgenic flies I.: flies carrying fusion proteins.

3. Transgenic flies II.: the Gal4-UAS system, overexpression studies. Crosses of Gal4 driver and UAS flies.

4. P element remobilization, generating revertants and microdeletion mutants I. P1 crosses using stocks that carry P elements and transposase sources.

5. Transgenic flies III.: the Gal4-UAS system, overexpression studies. Evaluation of previous crosses.

6. P element remobilization, generating revertants and microdeletion mutants II. Collecting F1 jumpstarter males and setting up F1 crosses.



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Bacterial and (New) Phage Genetics

1. The importance of early phage genetics: The DNA as the hereditary material, Avery experiment, Hershey-Chase experiment. The identification of restriction and modification. Deciphering the "code".

2. The T4 model system: Phage experimental methods. Early genes. Late genes. Regulation of gene expression, timing. Virulent phages.

3. The genetics of temperate phages: Lysogeny. Maintaining the lysogenic status. Lysogen-virulent transition. Integration, excision.

4. Regulatory systems: Regulation of transcription. Timing with antitermination.

5. Transduction: Introduction of DNA with transduction. Specialized and general transduction

6. Transformation: Pneumococcus, Bacillus transformation. Non-natural transformation. Competence.

7. Conjugation: F plasmid. Conjugative


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Biological Membranes

Within this topic we describe the structure of biological membranes, the biochemical analysis of the molecules involved in their composition, with the emphasis on the functional role of membrane proteins. By using a biochemical and cell biology approach, we discuss the key role of membranes in membrane transport processes, in cell metabolism, in the immune response and in signal transduction. Diseases connected to disfunction of membrane components are presented, and the specific membrane transporter proteins involved in multidrug resistance of cancer as well as in general drug metabolim are discussed. We also review the membrane alterations connected to major cellular functions, including cell growth and differentiation.

Lectures and discussion:

Key structural elements of


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Cell Biology of Neurodegenerative Diseases

1. General introduction Common features of the neurodegenerative disorders: i/ intra- or extracellular accumulation of pathologic protein isoforms; ii/ regional and selective neuron death; iii/ reactive astrogliosis; iiii/ familiar and sporadic forms. Clinico-pahological characterization of the main groups of neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis).

2. Prion diseases Prion disease: a new entity. Its significance in biomedical and basic research. Classification of prion diseases: human and animal forms. Brief characterization of scrapie, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), kuru and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Infectivity, as a unique phenomenon. Unusual features of the “pathogen”: extraordinary resista


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Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture in Biomedical Research

1. Introduction. General overview of cell, tissue and organ culture systems: in vitro methods, their advantages and disadvantages, conditions and levels of their applications. The most important conditions and factors for in vitro survival, safety measures, the analyis and evaluation of the results, conclusion to in vivo processes.

2. Perfusion systems: in situ and isolated-perfused organ systems and organs, main types of arrangements (constant flow-rate and pressure, single-pass and recirculation systems), technical ground, perfusion fluids.

3. Some examples of organ perfusion systems: liver, kidney, heart, pancreas.

4. Organ cultures without perfusion. Embryonic and non-embryonic cultures, organitypic growth, solid, semisolid and liquid media, the problems of oxigenation,


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Developmental biology II

An overview of body structure of the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. Handling and propagation of worms. Cell lineage, stages of embryonal and postembryonal development. Investigation of normal and developmental mutant worms

Gametogenesis and localization of morphogens in the oocytes of Drosophila melanogaster. Determination of body axes and segments, introduction to stages of embryonal development. Anatomy of larvae, specificities of larval and imaginal tissues. Hormonal and genetic control of metamorphosis and organogenesis.

Fertilization and embryonic develoment of zebrafish. An overview of molecular mechanisms that control fish development. Larval organs and larval development. Formation of the skull and adult organs.

Pattern of morphogens in frog oocyte.


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Developmental genetics

1. Mutant analyis in nematodes (C. elegans) and files (D. melanogaster): allelic series (loss-of-function, reduction-of-function and gain-of-function mutations, penetrance, expressivity).

2. Epistatic analysis in worms (C. elegans) and flies (D. melanogaster). Double mutant analysis. Recessive epistatis, dominant epistasis, complementer inheritance, additive genetic interaction.

3. Dissecting genetic pathways in C. elegans (suppression) I. Analysis of the Ras/MAPK signalling pathway during vulval development in C. elegans. Recessive epistasis.

4. Dissecting genetic pathways in C. elegans (suppression) II. Analysis of the core apoptotic cell death pathway in C. elegans. Epistasis analysis.

5. Dissecting genetic pathways in C. elegans (suppression) III. Analysis of the


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Human Histology and Development I – II

I. semester:

1. Gametogenesis: conversion of primordial germ cells into gametes. Mitosis, meiosis, polar bodies. Chromosomal abnormalities: 1. numerical abnormalities: mosaicism, translocations, trisomy (13, 18, 21/Down-syndrome), Klinefelter- and Turner-syndrome; 2. structural abnormalities: deletions, mutations.

2. Oogenesis: maturation of oocytes before birth – primary oocytes, primordial follicles. Maturation of oocytes at puberty – primary, secondary and Graafian follicle. Ovulation and corpus luteum. The ovarian cycle (GnRH, FSH, LH). Histology of ovary.

3. Spermatogenesis: primordial germ cells and supporting cells in sex cord of newborn boy. Puberty: development of seminiferous tubules, spermatogonia, spermatocytes and spermatids. Role of LH and FSH. Spe


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Methods of protein separation from biological samples. Planning and cloning of an antigen of interest. Production of mono- and polyclonal antisera. Antisera characterization and antibody labelling.

Preparation of samples: collection, fixation and embeding of different biological samples.

Antigen retrieval technics and signal enhancement.

Bases of in situ hibridization and FISH methods.


1. Immunohistochemistry Localization of different cytoskeletal proteins (cytokeratin, tubulin and actin) in the cells of fibroblast culture by using two-steps immunohistochemistry. Fluorescein microscopy and digital microphotography. Localization of a cuticular protein on paraplast-embedded sections from Manduca larvae by using enzyme -labelled second antibody. Light


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Mammalian-Human Histo- and Organogenezis I – II


1. Introduction – Summary of mammalian morphogenesis, germ layers and their derivatives (mesodeum, somites, lateral mesoderma, head mesoderma, neural plate, neural crest). Signalization pathways in cell determination: Wnt, Notch-Delta, TGF, hedgehog.

2. Pattern formation, secondary induction - interaction between epithelial and mesenchymal tissues. The common steps in the formation of parenchymal organs: generation of branches in the insect tracheal system, the mammalian kidney and airway system.

3. Hox-genes – pattern formation along the antero-posterior axis, RA in developmental malformations. Morphogenesis of the mammalian viscerocranium: pharyngeal pouches, determination of the polarity, position and identity of the branchial arches (Bmp-7, Fgf-8, Pax1 and Shh


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Molecular evolution

1. Fundamentals of molecular evolution: Overview: genes and gene structure; genetic code; mutations and their consequences: changes in the DNA sequence.

2. Molecular evolution of amino acid sequences: amino acid differences and proportion of different amino acids; amino acid substitution matrix.

3. Molecular evolution of DNA sequences: nucleotide differences between sequences; nucleotide substitution in DNA sequences: Jukes-Cantor's one parameter model, Kimura's two parameter model.

4. Sequence alignments for molecular phylogenetics: pairwise alignments; local and global alignments; substitution matrices; dot-plot, dynamic programming algorithm.

5. Multiple alignments: extension of dynamic programming; hidden Markov models; genetic algorithm in multiple alignment.

6. Molecular


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Receptors, Signal Transduction, Cell-cell Communication

1-2. Introduction.

Hydrophobic and hydrophilic ligands, autocrin, paracrin, endocrin signaling, intracellular and cell surface receptors, diffusible second messengers, protein-protein interactions, G-protein type switches, effectors. Agonists, inverse agonists, antagonists. Spatial organization of the signaling system: anchoring and network-forming molecules/modules. Receptor-mediated processes: metabolic and cytoskeletal changes, proliferation and apoptosis. Regulation of signal specificity, strength, type, dynamics, amplification, adaptation, switching off. Receptor networks and interactions.

3-4. G-protein mediated signaling pathways.

Structure of heterotrimeric G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR), types of heterotrimeric G-proteins, GPCR signaling (second messengers,


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RNA interference

I1. Historical ground (Nobel prize in Medicine in 2006). Recovery, Co-suppression, Quelling, PTGS (post transcriptional gene silencing), sense RNA, antisense RNA, double-stranded RNA. siRNA, miRNA, molecular mechanisms, similarities and differences. Applications of gene silencing in genetic analysis (phenocopy), epistasis, analysis of genetic pathways

2. Molecular mechanism of RNA interference I: dsRNA, Dicer, siRNA, RISC.

3. Molecular mechanism of RNA interference II: transcriptional and posttranscriptional gene “silencing”, RNA degradation.

4. Molecular mechanism of RNA interference III: DNA mutilation and histone modification.

5. Molecular mechanism of RNA interference IV: systemic RNA interference, transient RNA interference, inherited RNA interference.

6. Evo


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Stem Cell Biology

1. Introduction: stem cell biology Different types of stem cells. Totipotent, pluripotent and multipotent stem cells. Stem cells and committed progenitor cells. Self renewal and differentiation in the stem cell repertoire.

2. Embryonic stem cells Embryonic carcinoma (EC) cells. Isolation, characterization and maintenance of murine and human ES cells. Primordial germ cells. Molecular regulators of pluripotency (Oct-4, Nanog, Sox-2, LIF…).

3. Tissue stem cells The origin, development and aging of tissue stem cells. Function of telomerase enzyme. Regulation of asymmetric cell divisions. Origin of cell developmental lineages.

4. The Notch signaling pathway Notch receptors and ligands. Notch signaling - key players and mechanism. Notch signaling in development and disease.

5. D


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The Cytskeleton of Eukaryotic Cells

1.The family of tubulins, comparison of sequences, formation heterodimers, tubulin-like proteins in prokariotic species.

2.Microtubule structures, the number and arrangement of protofilaments, lateral and longitudinal contactacts between heterodimers.

3.Microtubule assembly and disassembly, the kinetics of polymerization, critical concetration, the GTPase activity of beta-tubulin, the (+) and (-) ends, dynamic instability..

4.Microtubule- associated proteins.

5.Kinesins and dyneins: the motor proteins of microtubular network.

6.The spatial organization of microtubular network, role of microtubule-organizing center and motor proteins.

7.The centrosome, spindle poles, centrioles, and their cyclic changes during the cell cycle.

8.Microtubules as organizers of enzyme


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Transgenic Organisms: GMOs, Gene Therapy, Knockout, Live Imaging

1. week - Introduction: definitions, types and uses of transgenic systems.Basic methods in transgenesis, such as recombinant DNA techniques.

2. week - Genome projects and benefits. Ethical issues. Historical overview.

3. week - Microbial biotechnology. The living cell as a bioreactor. PGPR bacteria, mycorrhiza projects, bioinsecticides. Plant biotechnology. Generation of GM plants to enhance biotic/abiotic stress tolerance, modify development and metabolism (terminator technology, Golden Rice, edible vaccine).

4. week - Animal biotechnology. Generation of transgenic animals (microinjections, GM ES cell chimaeres, cloning). Major applications: production of therapeutic proteins in milk, xenotransplantation.

5. week - Transgenic methods in therapy. Diagnostic applications,


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Compulsory courses for the Molecular-, Immuno- and Microbiology Branch

Introduction to Systems Biology

1. Introduction. What is system biology? Genomics, proteomics and other “omics” sciences. Genome projects. Hypothesis-driven vs. data-driven (high-throughput) molecular biology.

2. Proteomics as concept and experimental strategy. Central role of proteomics in system biology. Paradigm shift in biology and its consequences. What we can expect from proteomics: basic research, pharma industry, diagnostics.

3. Experimental design: sample preparation, pre-separation techniques, cellular fractionation, laser capture dissection.

4. Protein separation techniques for proteomics application. 2D-HPLC, 2D-electrophoresis, differential electrophoresis.

5. Protein mass spectrometry. Ion sources, ES, MALDI, SELDI, IT. Detectors, Q, Q-TOF, Q-TOF-TOF. Protein fragmentors. MS sequencing. Ma


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Protein Science

1. Novel methods of the analytical and separation techniques in protein science. Structure analyses by mass spectrometry.

2. Selective modifications of amino acid side-chains in proteins.

3. Application of affinity and photaffinity labeling in studies of protein-ligand interactions.

4. Introduction of riporter groups. The significance of fluorescent and EPR probes in studies of protein conformation and dynamics.

5. Formation of cross bridges in proteins with the use of bifunctional chemical reagents. Immobilization of prorteins. Mapping of the structure of oligomeric and polimeric proteins.

6. Nonenzymatic protein modifications, in vivo.

7.Methods in proteomics.

8. Structure-function studies of proteins. The structural basis of enzyme action.

9. The structural basis of


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Developmental and molecular genetics

1. Historical ground; classical (forward) genetic analysis to genomics (reverse genetics). Introduction into genetic model systems: nematodes (C. elegans), insects (D. melanogaster), plants (A. thaliana) and mammals (M. musculus). Medical aspeczts and inherited human diseases.

2. Cell fate determination. Cell-cell communication. Genetic (signalling) pathways. Epistasis analysis. Combinatorial gene regulation. The roles of Hox genes in development.

3. Signalling crosstalk – interactions between genetic pathways. Prediction and revealing of genetic interactions (genome-wide approaches). The roles of protein-protein interaction in gene regulation.

4. Genetic screens (simple, enhancer and suppressor, multigeneration, lethal, maternal effect, sensitive and synthetic lethal). Gene


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Infectional Immunology

1. Introduction. Cellular and humoral elements of the immune system. Generation of immune response, elimination of antigens.

2. Innate and adaptive responses to various types of pathogens - general features.

3. Characterization of various T-cell subtypes (Tc, Th1, Th2, Treg cells) and description of their role in the development and regulation of response to pathogens.

4. Immune response against extracellular bacteria.

5. Immune response against multicellular parasites.

6. Immune response against intracellular bacteria.

7. Immune response against intracellular parasites.

8. Immune response against viruses - differences in the response to periodically activated and persisting viruses, role of memory cells.

9. Infection with influenza-virus, zoonosis, bird-flue.



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Methods in Immunology I
  1. Detection of serum proteins by immunoelectrophoresis.

  2. Specific antibody titer detection by double diffusion in gel (Ouchterlony),

  3. by agglutination and by enzyme immuno assay (ELISA).

  4. Concentration determination of serum proteins by single radial immunodiffusion (Mancini) and by enzyme immuno assay (ELISA).

  5. Total haemolytic complement assay.

  6. Preparation of cell suspension from mouse spleen, bone marrow, thymus and lymph nodes. Detection of immature/mature and T- cell - B-cell ratio by flow cytometry (FACS).

  7. Detection of in vitro proliferative capacity of polyclonally activated (LPS és ConA) mouse spleen cells by 3H-thymidine incorporation.

  8. Phagocytosis of opsonized yeast by mouse macrophage cells.

  9. Culturing of mouse hybridoma and


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1. Introductory talk about the immune system

2. Antigen specific immunostimulation: active and passive vaccination; how to design a good vaccine; old and new generation vaccines

3. Immunomodulation: bacterial adjuvants, toxins, recombinant cytokines and soluble cytokine receptors; intravenous immunoglobulin therapy

4. Antigen specific and nonspecific immunosuppression: antibody therapies; steroid and nonsteroid inhibitors of inflammation

5. Tumorimmunology: Mechanisms leading to malignant transformation; oncogenes, protooncogenes; tumorantigens; tumors of the immune system; immune mechanisms againts tumor cells

6. Immunotherapies against tumor: tumor specific T-cell clone establishment; dendritic cell therapy; cytokine therapy; antibodies specific to tumor cells; drug


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Trends in Microbiology

1. Sampling techniques and strategies for environmental and clinical microbiology. Transport, storage and conservation of samples, planning of investigation strategy/workflow. Other parameters of the sampling area and samples.

2. Strategies of diagnostic microbiological investigations. Culture based studies and stain. Culture independent investigations, clone. Direct and indirect diagnostic methods.

3. Novel techniques for cultivation. Chromogenic media. VBNC microbes, injured cells. Methods of gradient chamber, capillary, etc. cultures. Combination of culture and molecular studies.

4. Molecular tools in the exploration of species richness. Genome studies and molecular fingerprinting in the practice.

5. Biological species concept and species definition in microbiology.


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Classical and Molecular Biological Methods in Microbiology

1. Extraction of total DNA from an environmental sample. Consensus PCR on molecular chronometers. Assessment of species richness by restriction digestion (ARDRA, T-RFLP)

2. Use of molecular fingerprint techniques for taxonomy and ecology purposes. FAME analysis. Extraction of respiratory quinones, and their use in population dynamics studies.

3. Chemotaxonomy techniques: analysis of cell-wall markers. Fermentation end product analysis.

4. Biological water qualification. Microscopic analysis of indicator microorganisms. Use of chlorophyll-a determination to assess trophity level.

5. Analysis of DNA sequence data of chronometer genes. Tree construction.

6. Use of rapid diagnostic techniques in animal, and/or plant microbe interaction studies.

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Molecular Biology - Selected Topics

1. Protein folding in space and time. The thermodynamics of folding. Energetics - driving forces. Kinetics and dynamics. Mechanisms and topological considerations. Structure elements. Graphical visualization of protein structures.

2. Protein complexes in the energy production. The mechanism of bacteriorhodopsin. The proton pumping electron transport. ATP synthesis - the mechanism of the F1Fo ATP-ase. Photophosphorylation - the initial saving of light energy, the structure of photocenters.

3. Protein metabolism. The protein synthesizing RNA (ribozyme). Regualtion of translation - by attenuation. A helping hand chaperons and heat shock proteins - the structural basis of foldig catalysis. Protein targeting - across membranes. Protein degradation.

4. Several processes in nucleic


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Optional courses for the Molecular-, Immuno- and Microbiology Branch - 17 ECTS

B-cell Ontogeny and the Humoral Immune Response

1. Development of the immune system: Hemopoietic stem cells, hemopoiesis in the embrio and in the adult, transcription factors and their role in lineage decision and B cell commitment

2. Antigen independent B cell development in the bone marrow: Pro-B, pre-B, and immature B cells - phenotypic and functional differences, the B cell receptor driven positive and negative selection, cytokine- and chemokine-dependent regulation of the development, receptor editing

3. The immunoglobulin gene rearrangement. Germline configuration of H and L chain loci, recombination signal sequences, the function of Rag1/Rag2, the 23/12 rule, rearrangement of the H chain and of the L chain, the protein complex regulating the recombination, levels of the development of variability, class switch


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Biological Membranes

Within this topic we describe the structure of biological membranes, the biochemical analysis of the molecules involved in their composition, with the emphasis on the functional role of membrane proteins. By using a biochemical and cell biology approach, we discuss the key role of membranes in membrane transport processes, in cell metabolism, in the immune response and in signal transduction. Diseases connected to disfunction of membrane components are presented, and the specific membrane transporter proteins involved in multidrug resistance of cancer as well as in general drug metabolim are discussed. We also review the membrane alterations connected to major cellular functions, including cell growth and differentiation.

Lectures and discussion:

Key structural elements of


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1. Introduction: from classical techniques to modern biotechnology

2. DNA reactions: replication, repair, mutation, recombination.

3. Restriction-modification, DNA characterization with endonucleases, identification, physical mapping, DNA, hybridization.

4. Genetic information transfers: transformation, transduction, conjugation.

5-6. Gene cloning: selection of gene-DNA, endonuclease fragment, c-DNA preparation, DNA synthesis, selection from gene library.

7. Vectors: plasmids, phages, cosmid vectors, preparation and use of a gene library.

8. Identification and characterization of gene clones, expression, regulation, stability.

Microorganisms in agriculturalbiotechnology.

9. Biological nitrogen fixation biochemical principles, nitrogenase enzyme, nitrogen assimilation.

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Classical and molecular bacterium taxonomy I

1. The importance and development of taxonomy/systematics from Linne until the 21st century

2. Species concepts in biology. Species concept and species definition. Species definitions in microbiology. Strain and clone.

3. Classical methods of phenotypic characterisation. Application of cluster analysis in phenotypic studies.

4. Chemotaxonomy and its phylogenetic consequences. Universal and group specific traits.

5. The bacterial genome and phylogenetics. Semantophor compounds.

6. Use of molecular genetic tools in taxonomy.

7. Construction of phylogenetic trees, underlying dogma, verification studies.

8. Polyphasic taxonomy.

9. Other taxa than species in bacteriology and microbiology.

10. The universal tree of life. The three domain system.

11. Important divisions of


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Classical and molecular bacterium taxonomy II

1. Phenetic clustering techniques based on rapid diagnostic techniques. Conventions in microbiology.

2. Investigation of cell-wall and cell membrane chemotaxonomical markers (characteristic amino acids, and sugars from whole cell hydrolysate, diversity of quinones, PLFA analysis)

3. Amplification of 16S rDNA by PCR, partial and full sequence analysis (DNA extraction from a strain, PCR; extraction of NAS from environmental samples, PCR vs. RT-PCR, gene cloning)

4. Analysis of sequence data, use of ARB and other phylogenetic software (problems of tertiary structure, fingerprint sequences)

5. Reconstruction of phylogenetic tree based on local and web data-bases. Development of databases for taxonomic and ecological purposes, in-silico taxonomy.

6. Analysis of microevolution


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Environmental Microbiology Practice

The goal of the practical is to get acquainted with microbiological analytical tools for the analysis of environmental changes due to pollutions, moreover the demonstration of basic environmental biotechnologies in laboratory model systems, and in operating plants.

1. Monitoring of hydrocarbon degrading communities in polluted soil/water systems. Analysis of germ count and activity investigation results.

2. Detection of pollutant decomposition through the analysis of microbial metabolism. Techniques of substrate induced respiration, investigation of specific enzyme activities.

3. Use of respirometry techniques for the estimation of the rapidity of degradative processes: BOD measurement, methanogenesis.

4. Construction of a simple sewage treatment model system, its


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1. Enzymes in vivo: proteins and ribozymes. Moonlighting enzymes. Artificial and applied enzymes

2. Enzyme kinetics. The progress curve. The dependence of initial velocity on substrate concentration: first-, non-integral- and zero-order parts of the substrate saturation curve. The specificity constant, the imiting velocity and the Michaelis constant.

3. Determination of steady-state parameters by linear and direct plots. Analysis of the progress curve.

4. Effects on environment on enzyme activitz: pH-dependence. Experimental conditions, parameters. Irrev ersible and reversible inhibition: the competitive(specific) and the catalytic one.

5. Analysis of temperature dependence. From kinetic parameters to molecular mechanism.

6. Enzyme catalysis and specificity: the protein


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From Birth to Pass Away, the Molecular Biology of Pattern Formation I

Titles and sub-titles on the weeks in the first semester

1 Introduction and program:

Terminology and definitions

Interpretation of life cycle at the levels of cell, metazoan and sepcies

The program of the first semester

2-3 The birth of a cell - the control of cell cycle

The stages in cell cycle - the clock model, phases, and control and check points

The network of control - circles of control and controllers

The control of cell cycle

- levels and networks

- mechanisms (titration, recompartmentalization, kinetic proofreading)

- cycle variants and molecular oscillators

- regulatory kinetic delaying

- the structure and function of the CycA-CDK2-p27 complex

A proteomic outlook

4-5 The death of a cell - the control of apoptosis (programmed cell death)

Death as


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From Birth to Pass Away, the Molecular Biology of Pattern Formation II

Titles and sub-titles on the weeks in the second semester

1 Introduction

Overwiev of topics in the first semester.

The program of the second semester

1-4 The beauty of flowers - pattern formation in plants

The origin of asymmetry - patterning in the early embryogenesis

Latter pattern formation events I. - patterning in vegetative apices

- the formation of tissue zonation and nesting in the root tip

- the formation of shoot architecture

Latter pattern formation events II. - floral patterning

- the genetics of whorl determination

- the control of floral patterning: the determination of meristem type, floral

organs, shape and coloration

The patterning of time - molecular clock mechanisms

- the structure of biological clock mechanisms

- plant clock mechanisms in the


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Human Bacteriology

1. The normal human bacterial flora. Concept of pathogenicity and commensalism. The execution of diagnostic bacteriological tests.

2. Major types of antimicrobial agents: spectrum of activity, characteristics. Frequently used disinfectants.

3. Staphylococci, streptococci, enterococci, Haemophilus, Neisseria meningitidis

4. The role of enterobacteriaceae in extraintestinal infections. Non-fermenting Gram-negativ pathogens. Listeria.

5. Enteric pathogens I.

6. Enteric pathogens II.

7. Legionella, Leptospira, Borrelia, Chlamydia pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae.

8. Anaerobic pathogens.

9. The most important bacterial agents of bioterrorism. (Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Brucella spp, Francisella tularensis)

10. Sexually-transmitted bacterial pathogens



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Human Microbiology

1. Ecological basis of human-microbe interactions. Symbiosis, mutualism, proto-cooperation.

2. Pathogenecity, virulence, virulence factors. The effect of age, gender and human genotype on the symbiosis.

3. Microbial communities of human skin. Organisation of the aerobe and anaerobe microbiota. Skin „microbiogeography”. Microbiology of wounds, acne, folliculitis, etc. Scalp and sole of the foot, body odour and microbes.

4. Microbiology of the oral cavity and teeth. Plaque formation, caries, periodontal diseases.

5. Microbiology of the gastrointestinal tract. Stomach bacterial communities and gastric ulcer.

6. Microbial dynamics of small and large intestines. The role of VFA in human nutrition. Microbes of the faeces.

7. Microbiology of the respiratory tract. Nose, pha


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Human Virology

1.) Pathogenesis, epidemiology, diagnostics and prevention of the illnesses caused by the human picornaviruses (poliomyelitis, serous meningitis, Bornholm disease, conjunctivitis, myocarditis, immunocomplex diseases, gastroenteral infections, epidemic hepatitis)

2.) Non-cultivable hepatitis virus infections (hepatitis B, C, D, E, G and TTV). Do they directly impaire liver cells? Role of the immun system in the survival and pathogenesis of hepatitis viruses. Interferons and therapy. Importance of the symptomless virus carrier state. Evolutionary connection between plant and mammals.

3.) Endogeneous and exogeneous human retroviruses (HIV/AIDS, HTLV-1/2, prostatic cancer). Evolutionary origin of retroviruses. The diploid genome. Their role in the evolution of the human genome.


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● Introduction. Immunoglobulin structure, generation by recombination of gene segments; Antibody engineering: Genetic engineering vs. Chemical engineering

● Rekombinant antibody formats and their uses I. Generation of various antibody fragments, oligomerization strategies.

● Rekombinant antibody formats and their uses II. Humanization; design of effector functions – Fc engineering, whole antibodies and their uses.

● Alternatives to antibodies and fields of application Rekombinant antibodies in proteomics, protein chips (protein microarrays).

● Bioinformatics for rekombinant antibody design sequence analyss, database searches (imgt, PubMed), analysis of V region usage.

● Phage display - invited speaker: Gábor Pál Bakteriophage technologies in immunology, basics of


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Medical Genomics

1. Basic genomics; Human genome;

2. General characteristics of multifactorial diseases;

3. Methods for the investigation of the genetic ground of multifactorial diseases;

4. Molecular pathomechanism of allergic asthma; Genomic ground of allergic asthma;

5. Molecular pathomechanism and genomic ground of type 1 diabetes mellitus;

6. Molecular pathomechanism and genomic ground of type 2 diabetes mellitus;

7. Molecular pathomechanism and genomic ground of obesitas;

8. Locusos, genes, gene variations behind obesity;

9. Molecular pathomechanism and genomic ground of hypertension;

10. Molecular pathomechanism and genomic ground of atherosclerosis;

11. Genomic ground of Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease; psychogenomics

12. Role of gene-environmental interaction in the


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Membrane Microdomains and Cell Communication in the Immune System

1. Structure and molecular composition of the plasma membrane in eukaryotic cells. Modelling of the plasma membrane by in vitro model membrane systems.

2. Microdomain structure of plasma membranes: experimental evidence from model membranes and live cells. The nature of microdomains: lipid rafts and caveolae.

3. The levels of molecular organization in the plasma membrane of cells: microdomains and macrodomains? Microscopic evidence of hierarchical organization. The technologies to study the fine structure/dynamics of cell membranes: Principles of Single Particle Tracking (SPT) and CLSM colocalization/FRET.

4. Lipid and protein markers of membrane microdomains in cells. Methods to detect constitutive or induced association of membrane proteins with microdomains. Strategies to


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Methods in Immunology II

Blocked practicals:

● Investigation of antigen presentation in a murine model system (mouse B lymphoma cell as APC plus influenza virus-specific TH cells). I. Detection of the early (0-5 min) calcium signal of TH-cells upon antigen stimulation.

● Investigation of antigen presentation in a murine model system (mouse B lymphoma cell as APC plus influenza virus-specific TH cells). II. Detection of the late (24-48 hrs) cytokine production of TH cells.

● Activation of B cells by crosslinking of the surface immunoglobulin (BCR). I. Analysis of the early Ca2+-response. Comparison of the features of calcium response curves shown by B and T cells.

● Activation of B cells by crosslinking of the surface immunoglobulin (BCR). II. Detection and analysis of the rapid, recepto


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Microbial Ecology

1. Introduction to microbial ecology. Strain, population, guild, community, ecosystem.

2. Methods in microbial ecology: enrichment and isolation, viability and quantification using staining techniques, genetic stains, community analysis by cultivation independent methods

3. Traditional (typological, morphological, biological, evolutionary, phylogenetic) concept of species. Species concept for prokaryotes. Microbial speciation.

4. Microbes in nature. Microbes and microenvironment, microbes and macroenvironment. Effects of habitats, genome size, diversity.

5. Cross-species interactions among prokaryotes: quorum sensing. Population spatial stability.

6. Biogeography and mapping microbial diversity. Ubiquitos dispersal of free-living microorganisms. Microbial endemism.



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Microbiology in Food Industry

1. Food and microbiot; stability and changes of foods, evolution and condition of microbiot

2. Useful and harmful microorganisms, sources of microbiological contamination and infection

3. Growth and death of microorganisms, effect of ecological factors (nutrient, temperature, aw, pH, redoxpotential, RH, etc.)

4. Shelf-life, microbiological spoilage of foods (type of spoilage)

5. Spoilage causing bacteria, yeasts, moulds (animal and plant origin foods)

6. Pathogenic bacteria, yeasts, molds

7. Viruses and other parasites of foods; foodborne infections,poisonings and health consequences

8. Aims and effects of preservation methods on foods and microorganisms

9. Preparative operations and effects

10. Cleaning and desinfection, Biofilm

11. Heat-treatment, cooling, freezing,


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Microbiology of Environment Protection

1. Participation of microorganisms in the alteration of their environment by metabolic processes: transformation of pollutants in the energetic metabolism, incorporation of pollutants into the biomass via anabolic processes.

2. Participation of microorganism in the alteration of their environment by metabolic and other activities: basics of co-metabolism (co-oxidation); bioaccumulation processes;

3. Use of primary and secondary metabolites in environmental technologies, metabolites as pollutants.

4. Basic techniques in environmental technologies I.: bio-stimulation and bioaccumulation processes. Local and global effects.

5. Basic techniques in environmental technologies, II.: bio-augmentation, enzyme and cell immobilisation techniques. GEM release.

6. Kinetic basics of


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Microbiology of Plant Diseases I

1. Basic terms of plant pathology

2. Infection processes

3. General characterisation of plant viruses

4. Virus vectors, Types of symptoms

5. Possibly control methods of plant viruses

6. Viroids and phytoplasmas

7. General characterisation of plant-bacteria interactions

8. Plant-bacteria interactions at cell and molecular level

9. Classification and characterisation of bacterial diseases of plants

10. General characterisation of plant pathogenic fungi

11. Lower fungi and their importance in plant pathology

12. Ascomycetes and their importance in plant pathology

13. Basidiomycetes and their importance in plant pathology

14. Deuteromycetes their importance in plant pathology

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Molecular Graphics of Macromolecules

1. Methods for generating high-resolution structure of macromolecules I: X-ray diffraction techniques.

2. Methods for generating high-resolution structure of macromolecules II: NMR spectroscopy. Neutron diffraction. Fibre diffraction. Electron microscopy techniques.

3. PDB: the protein structure data bank. Experimentally and in silico derived structures and databases. Structural genomics. The protein structure universe.

4. History of molecular visualization and molecular graphics. 3D literacy. Arts of macromolecules.

5. Hands-on instructions to use RasMol and RasTop molecular visualization programs. Creation of molecular scripts.

6. Introduction and use of Chime and Jmol internet browser plugins. Online macromolecular visualization.

7. Introduction to the Protein Explorer


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Motor Proteins

1. Motor proteins - definition. Chemomechanical energy transduction. Cell motility, cytoskeleton. Classical linear motors: myosin, kinesin, dynein. Rotors: ATP synthase, bacterial flagella. Other motos: polymerisation motors, processive enzymes (RNA and DNA polymerase, helicase), macromolecule translocators, dynamin.

2. History of motor proteins. Theories of muscle contraction: Machina carnis. Significance of Prof. Szent-Györgyi's school. Discovery of cytoplasmic myosins, kinesins and dyneins.

3. Investigation of motor proteins. Interdisciplinary methodical arsenal. Muscle fibres: mechanics, small-angle X-ray diffraction, fluorescence etc. In situ localization. 3D image reconstruction techniques. Isolated proteins: protein chemistry, spectroscopic methods, molecular genetics


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1. Structure and characteristics of the chromosomal and extrachromosomal genomes of fungi - Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model. Genetic and physical maps

2. Structure and function of chromosomes, molecular karyotyping

3. Structure and function of mitochondrial DNA, mitochondrial mutants

4. Cytoplasmic and mitochondrial plasmids of fungi

5. Fungal genes of viral origin. Killer phenomenon. Transpozons in fungi

6. Chromosomal and mitochondrial inheritance of yeasts

7. Sexual processes in fungi. Genetics of mating in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

8. Sexual and vegetative sections of life cycles in different groups of fungi I. Zygomycota, Ascomycota

9. Sexual and vegetative sections of life cycles in different groups of fungi II. Basidiomycota

10. Parasexual cycles of fungi.


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1. Trypanosomes and other flagellates, amoebas

2. Coccidia, cryptosporidia, cystogenic coccidia

3. Blood-dwelling and other protozoa

4. General introduction to helminthology

5. Flukes and tapeworms

6. Larval cestodes

7. Helminths of veterinary importance I.

8. Helminths of veterinary importance II.

9. Helminths of medical importance

10. Introduction to veterinary and medical entomology, lice

11. Fleas, bugs, mosquitoes, blackflies, sandflies and biting midges

12. Horseflies, tsetse flies, forest flies, muscoid and myiasis-causing fly species

13. Mange mites and other mite species

14. Soft and hard ticks

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Physical Analysis of Proteins

The laboratory practical is held during one week in blocks .

1. Circular dicroism spectroscopy.

Far-UV and near-UV CD spectra of proteins.

Indirect study of secondary and tertiary structure of proteins

Effect of ligand binding, temperature, pressure and denaturing agents on the spectra

2. Differential scanning calorimetry.

Study of thermodynamic parameters of protein's 3-dimensional structure.

Temperature-dependent unfolding experiments.

3. In silico studies of proteins.

Protein structure databases.

Molecular dynamic simulation.

Studies of site-directed mutations by modelling

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Physical Biochemistry I

1. The basics of reaction kinetics and kinetic theory. Reaction velocity. Reaction mechanisms and rate laws. Models for complex reactions: the rate limiting step, steady-state assumption.

2. Order of the reaction. Determining the order of a reaction. The Michaelis-Menten equation. Integrating rate laws: first and second order reactions. Examples: radioactive decay and DNA renaturation.

3. The reaction rate theory of Arrhenius. Maxwell distribution. Arrhenius equation, activation energy. Arrhenius plot.

4. Reactions in solutions, solvent effects on the reaction rate. Diffusion controlled reactions. Eyring's theory: the concepts of activated complex and activation free energy. Van't Hoff plot.

5. Thermodynamics of solutions, the Gibbs free energy. The fundamental law of


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1. What are protists? Different concepts in terms of organization level, clade and taxon. Significance of protists (as foodweb components, symbionts, pathogens, opportunistic pathogens, research tools, role in biostratigraphy). Biodiversity, biogeography, habitats, planktonic and benthic communities.

2. The protist cell: universal and special organells (mitochondrium and derivatives: hydrogenosomes, mitosomes; extrusomes, glycosomes, etc.) Their occurrence, structure, function, evolutionary significance.

3. The endosymbiont theory, serial endosymbiosis, primary, secondary symbiogenesis, evolution of protists. Protist taxonomy: macrotaxonomy: new aspects and trends; the paraphyletic kingdom Protozoa; recognised protist clades.

4. Unicellular organisms in kingdoms different from


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Signal Transduction, Immune Receptors

1. What is signal transduction? Basic molecules and mechanisms of signaling. Intercellular communication, receptors, ligands, molecular recognition, autokrin and parakrin signaling. Four classes of ligand-triggered cell-surface receptors.

2. G protein coupled and enzyme linked signal transduction. Overview of common signaling pathways downstream from G protein – coupled receptors (GPCRs) and receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). The trimeric G proteins. The structure of G protein linked receptors. Activation of adenylate cyclase and PLCβ. The activation of cAMP dependent protein kinase and the calcium/calmodulin dependent protein kinases. Regulation of G protein linked signaling. Activation of the small G protein, ras.

3. Structural moduls of tyrosine kinases, phosphatases and a


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Structural Bioinformatics

1. The Protein Data Bank. The PDB format. Using the RCSB PDB web interface.

2. Structure validation.

Precision and accuracy.. Sources of errors in NMR and X-ray structures. The Ramachandran map. Molecular features usable for validation.

3. Assignment of secondary structure elements.

definition of secondary structure elements. Identification of hydrogen bonds. Overview of several assignment algorithms (DSSP, STRIDE, DEFINE, STICK).

4. Structure classification and hierarchical databases I.

Scope of structure classification. The CATH and SCOP databases. The PDB SELECT collection.

5. Structure classification and hierarchical databases II.

Using classification methods in bioinformatical problems.

6. Structure comparison, algorithms and applications I.

Hardness and general


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T-Cell Ontogeny and the Cellular Immune Response

1. General introduction. The position and function of various T-lymphocyte subpopulations, Tαβ, Tγδ and NKT cells in the immune system. Comparison of development, antigen-recognition and effector functions of T- and B-lymphocytes.

2. The structure and anatomy of the thymus. Significance of the thymic microenvironment in the T-cell development. The role of thymic and extrathymic MHC-pools in T-cell maturation (the MHC-restriction). The early pre-thymic phases of T-cell development and their transriptional regulation.

3. Structure of the genes encoding TcR chains, the origin of TCR diversity. Recombination of TcR genes: the basic mechanisms and their regulation. The Burnet clone-selection theory, the basic early models of thymocyte selection.

4. The positive and negative sel


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The Innate Immunity, Evolution of the Immune System

1. Cells and humoral elements of innate immunity

2. Evolution of the immune system in invertebrates

3. Evolution of the immune system in vertebrates

4. Structure and function of pattern recognition receptors (PRR); Toll-like receptors (TLR), Mannose- and Scavenger receptors)

5. Development of professional antigen-presenting cells (dendritic cells, macrophages); their characteristic features

6. The role of dendritic cells in initiating adaptive responses; antigen presentation

7. The role of NK cells and granulocytes in innate responses

8. Plasma enzyme-systems of higher vertebrates; mechanism of tissue destruction and remodeling

9. Development and characteristic features of inflammation; features and function of acute-phase reaction

10. The role of the complement system


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Veterinary Bacteriology

1. Examination of the morphological, cultural and biochemical characteristics of bacteria

2. Sterilisation and disinfection methods used in veterinary medicine.

3. Antibiotics in veterinary medicine. Pathogenicity and virulence of bacteria.

4. General characteristics of infectious diseases.

5. Genera Bacillus and Clostridium

6. Genera Staphylococcus, Micrococcus, Streptococcus, Enterococcus and Lactobacillus

7. Genera Erysipelothrix, Listeria, Corynebacterium, Rhodococcus and Renibacterium

8. Genera Mycobacterium, Nocardia, Actinomyces, Dermatophilus and Streptomyces

9. Enterobacteriaceae. Genera Escherichia, Klebsiella, Enterobacter, Edwardsiella

10. Genera Salmonella, Citrobacter, Shigella, Proteus, Yersinia, Fusobacterium, Bacteroides

11. Genera Pasteurella,


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Veterinary Virology

Characteristics of animal pathogen viruses (morphology, resistance, biological properties, antigenicity)

The most important diseases caused by animal pathogen viruses (occurrence, pathomechanism, the most important clinical symptoms and pathologic lesions, methods of diagnosis and defence)

Viral infections common in animals and humans, az ún. zooantroponoses (i.e.: reabies, tickborne encephalitis, Ebola-virus infection etc.)

Introduction of the pathogens according their taxonomical position as follows:

1. Papilloma-, Polyoma-, Adenoviridae

2. Herpesviridae

3. Asfarviridae, Poxviridae

4. Parvo-, Circo-, Reo-, Birnaviridae

5. Picornaviridae

6. Calici-, Astroviridae

7. Toga- és Flaviviridae

8. Corona-, Arteriviridae

9. Orthomyxoviridae, Paramyxoviridae

10. Rhabdo-, F


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  1. General introduction (term of algae, algology; connection to other topics in biology; basic elements of algal morphology and reproduction; systematics of algae)
  2. General characteristics of algal divisions I.: cell structure; pigment composition; cell wall; present or absent and structure of flagella; present or absent and position of stigma (eye-spot); cell-motions;
  3. General characteristics of algal divisions II.: characteristic (important) metabolitic processes (e.g. nitrogen fixation); reproduction; base of classification inside of divisions; short owerview of orders; importance of algae in nutrient cicle and water qualification.
  4. Prokariota I. division: Cyanobacteria
  5. Prokariota II.division: Prochlorophyta
  6. Eukariota I. division Rhodophyta
  7. II. division - Heterokontophyta,


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Compulsory courses for the Plant Biology Branch

Embryogenesis and differentiation in plants

I. Zygotic embryogenesis of higher plants 1, The zygote 2, Polarity and asymmetric cell division

II. The terminal and basal cell differentiation 1, The proembryo 2, The suspensor

III. Globular-heart transition 1, Tissue and meristem differentiation 2, Hormonal regulation of embryogenesis

IV. The polarised embryo: apical-basal pattern formation

V. Endosperm: origin, development and function

VI. Embryo culture

VII. Somatic embriogenesis 1, Initiation of somatic embryos from single cells 2, Gene expression during somatic embryogenesis

VIII. Embryogenic development of pollen grains 1, Factors affecting pollen sporophytic growth 2, Cytology of pollen embryogenesis

IX. Shoot apex: strusture and function 1, The shoot apical meristems 2, Cellular differentiation and development


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Microscopic Techniques

1. History of the microscope, from single lens to the compound microscope.

2. Optical basics, image formation, interaction of light with matter,lens abberations

3. Diffraction, interference, dispersion, polarisation.

4. The compound microscope, optical and mechanical parts, critical and Köhler illumination

5. Image formation, objectives and eyepieces. Abberation correction.

6. Magnification and resolution, wave optic, diffraction and resolution, Furier plane, conjugate planes.

7. Phase contrast microscopy.

8. Polarisation microscopy, birefringence, anizotropy, polarisers. Measurement of retardation.

9. Nomarsky differencial interference contrast microscopy, Wollaston prisms, Hoffmann’s modulation contrast microscope.

10. Fluorescence microscopy, excitation and light e


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Research Methods in Plant Physiology I

Weeks 1 and 2. Plant culturing – exercises in plant mineral nutrition

Lecture: Methods in plant culture, nutrient solutions, installing hydroponic cultures. Climate-controlled plant growth chambers, setting the parameters.

Practical: Germination of the test plants (determination of germination %), planting and growth (measurement of pH, growth parameters-fresh and dry weight). (Optional topics: Effect of essential and toxic elements, deficiency solutions, and inhibitory concentrations. Role of iron nutrition, and the effect of chelating agents. Effect of nitrogen forms on plants.)

Week 3. Exercises in plant gas exchange

Porometry: measurement principle, structure of the Delta-T porometer, measured parameters (resistance, conductance, gas flow velocity), measuring methods. R


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Plant-Fungus Interactions


1. Types of interactions between plants and fungi (Trophic interaction, symbiosis, mutualism,antibiosis, parasitism, coevolution) PARASITIC INTERACTIONS

2. The physiological fundament of necrotrophism (The process of necrotrophic nutrition, role of fungal enzymes, reactions of plant organism, metabolic processes of the fungi, the most important phytophageous and xylophageous fungal groups)

2. Establishment and regulation of biotrophic plant-fungus interactions (Types of biotrophic relationships (parasitism, mycorrhiza formation), physiology of biotrophy from the point of view of the fungus and the plant, iniciation and signals of starting the interaction, genetical regulation of the process)

4. Fungal infection and plant disease (Conditions of diseases,


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Electron microscopic techniques of plants I

1. Basics. History of light and electron microscopy, fundamentals of optics, light microscopy, electron beam, adventages of electron microscopy.

2. Principals for conventional TEM I. Sampling, size of sample, fixatives, vehicles for fixatives, dehydration, infiltration, embedding, resins and their features.

3. Principals for conventional TEM II. Artifacts during sampling, fixation, dehydration and embedding. Semithin and thin sections, grids, coating materials and their characteristics.

4. Principals for conventional TEM III. Knifes, ultramicrotomes, artifacts in sectioning. Staining, negative staining, replica techiques, castings, autoradiography

5. Preparation of biological samples for SEM Electron beam - specimen interactions, information from SEM, sampling, fixation,


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Molecular plant biology I

1. Principle of molecular biology. Central dogma of molecular biology. Results of genome projects - the challenges of post-genomic era in molecular biology. From functional genomics to systems biology.

2. Genetic information of the plant cells and the encoding macromolecules. Distribution of genetic information in the plant cells between nuclear genom and the genomes of autonomous organelles (plastids, mitochondria). Organization levels of nuclear DNA from nucleosomes to chromosome. Role of histones. Functional organization of chromatin. Euchromatin, heterochromatin.

3. Factors affecting accessibility of DNA. Histone modifications, the histone code. Minor histone variants and their role in chromatin condensation and remodelling. ATP-dependent remodelling complex. Role of DNA


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Physiology of fungi

1. The chemistry of the mycelium. Specific fungal metabolites. Properties of the fungal DNA (nuclear and extrachromosomal DNA, plasmids). Regulation of the replication and transcription.

2. Primary metabolism and special aspects (aerobe and anaerobe respiration, cyanide resistant respiration, primary biosynthesis). C, N and P metabolism in fungi.

3. The polysaccharides of fungi. The biosynthesis of trehalose, plant and fungal trehalases, TPS transformation.

4. Secondary metabolism. The specific secondary metabolites of fungi. Synthesis of micotoxins, pigments, antibiotics and other medicinal substances.

5. Regulation of metabolism and division. Internal and external regulatory factors. Signals and signal transduction pathways.

6. Cell growth at the hyphal apex


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Plant stress biology

1. Introduction. Plant and environment, environmental strain, environmental extremities. Stress and life, acclimation, adaptation.

2. Concept of plant stress, stressors, eustress, distress, biotic and abiotic stresses, the stress syndrome, stress phases, alarm reaction, hardening, resistance, exhaustion. Phenotypical plasticity, acclimation, adaptation. Stress and evolution.

3. Stress response, specific and aspecific responses, general and specific markers. Synergism, antagonism. Tolerance, avoidance, crosstolerance.

4. Components and functioning of signal tarnsduction pathway, sensing, receptors, signal transduction in the membrane and in the cell, signal transduction cascades. Kinases, calmodulin. Role of second messengers (Ca2+, inositol-phosphatides, NO, H2O2, etc)



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Plant Transformation and Transgenic Plants

1 The general aim of transformation, methods and a review of the past.

2. Introduction into the special tissue culture methods used during the process of transformation. Generating protoplasts. Plant regeneration from calli, and zygote. Discussing the problem occurs during tissue culture, like somaclonal variation and the methods to reduce the risk.

3. Classification of plant transformation technologies, introduction and a short review. Characterisation of Agrobacterium tumefaciens as a plant pathogen. Virulence genes, gene transfer, structure of the T-DNA, DNA integration into the plant genome.

4. Characterisation of different T-DNA vectors (binary and super binary) used for plant transformation. Assembly of the transformation vector and propagation in bacteria.


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Reproduction of Plants I

1. Discovery of plant sex, a brief history .

2. The evolution of sex, sex and recombination, advantages and disadvantages of sexual and asexual reproduction.

3. Comparison of different life cycles.

4. Sex of algae

5. Sex and life cycle of liverworts and mosses.

6. Lycopodium and Selaginella, reduction and heterospory.

7. Life cycle of horsetails and ferns, izo-,homo-, and heterospory.

8. Sex life of Cycads. Variations for male gametophyte in gymnosperms.

9. A special group: Gnetophyta.

10. The ovule and megasporogenesis of angiosperms.

11. Development, and types of embrio sac. Function and ultastructure of female gametophyte cells.

12. Microsporogenesis, structure of anther, forms and function of tapetum.

13. Development of male gametophyte, pollen and pollen wall.

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Reproduction of Plants II

1. Molecular biology and physiology of flower development

2. Pollen-pistil interaction

3. Incompatibility

4. Pollen tube growth in the stigma and style

5. The function and structur of different synergids

6. Double fertilization

7. Sperm dimorphism, ultrastructure.

8. Early events of zygote formation

9. Apomixis

10. In vitro embrio sac and sperm cell isolation

11. In vitro fertilization

12. Pollen and microspore culture, DH techniques

13. Biotechnology and sexual reproduction

14. Perspectives in plant sexual reproduction research.

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Plant Molecular Biology II
  1. DNA transcription. Classes of DNA-dependent RNA polymerases in plant nuclei, stuctures and function. RNA polymerases in plastids and mitochondria. Steps of RNA biosyntesis initiation elongation and termination, Transcription in the autonomous organelles.
  2. RNA-dependent RNA polymerases and their function in plant cells. PolyA polymerases. Regulation of transcription. (Cis-elements, trans-factors)
  3. Classification of RNAs of plant cells. Distinct sets of universal RNAs in the cytosol, and organelles of the plant cells and their functions in translation. Structure of tRNAs in the cytosol and in the organelles. Structrure and functional domains of rRNAs in the cytoplasm and in the organelles of plant cells.
  4. Function of mRNAs in translation. Structural differences between mRNAs of


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Optional courses for the Plant Biology Branch - 17 ECTS

Actual Problems of Environmental Protection

1. Global changes (climate, flora, fauna, human), diversity levels.

2. Protection of species and habitats in Hungary and in EU (in law and practice), monitoring and registration, topographic database and Geographical Information System.

3. Conservation biology, botanical gardens and zoos, reservation area and gene banks, practical conservation.

4. Environmental status assessment, bioindication, impact study, reconstruction of landscape and vegetation, recultivation, remediation, buffer forests, ecological corridors.

5. Invasive plants, weeds, zoonoses.

6. Genetically modified organisms, GMO materials in the food chain, genetic and gene ethic. Transgenic plants – herbicide resistance, elimination of xenobiotics.

7. Human strain of ecosystem: mine recultivation; chemical, p


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Applied mycology

1. Medical mycology I. Dermatomycoses and human pathogenic fungi (Human mycoses caused by Trichophyton, Microsporium, Epidermophyton species)

2. Medical mycology II. Systemic mycoses and fungi causing systemic infections (Diseases caused by budding, filamentous and dimorphic fungi. Candida, Cryptococcus, Aspergillus, Mucor, Blastomyces, Coccidioides, Sporothrix)

3. Medical mycology III. Fungal toxicology, mycotoxins and mycotoxic syndromes (Main types of mycotoxins. Microscopic fungi causing mycotoxicoses (Aspergillus, Penicillium, Fusarium, Trichothecium). The syndromes of mycetism (phalloides, gyromitra, orellanin, pantherina, muscarin, coprinus, paxillus, psyilocibin and gastrointestinal syndromes) and the causing fungi)

4. Veterinary mycology (Fungal diseases of


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Biology of Crops

1st lecture: Introduction. Possible criteria for the classification of crops. Definition of the anatomical concepts/terms to be used. Classification of crops on the basis of their organs consumed/used. Overview of the ways of using crops.

2nd lecture: Outline of cytology. Structure and types of the most significant nutritive materials and other stocked substances. Their localisation within the cell, their analysis and detection. Plant secretion.

3rd–4th lectures: Systemic overview of crops, chemotaxonomy. History of cultivation and the plants cultivated (aspects of agrarian history and climate). Original homes of the most important crops, the routes of their spreading, an outline of their consumption, their cultivation, their improvement and their use. Global cultivation data.


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Ecology of Fungi

1. Introduction A brief overview of ecological terms and subjects covered in this course. The importance of fungi in the organization of biological communities and ecosystem functioning. Interspecific interactions including fungal components. The non-equilibrium paradigm in ecology. Experimental approaches to ecological problems, long-term ecological studies. The role of biological diversity in ecosystem functioning, ecosystem services.

2. Fungi in various habitats Occurrence of fungi in terrestrial and aquatic biotopes. Major environmental factors detemining the habitat distribution of fungi: water, temperature, CO2 and O2 concentration, pH, chemical properties of the substrate, and mineral nutrients. Adjustments (adaptation and acclimation) to the habitat environment, and the


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Ecophysiology of tropical forests

The tropical belt. Occurrence of the tropical forests. Lowland and mountain forests. Forest management, forest destruction. Methods in canopy research.

2. Climate and vegetation. Vegetation models. Microclimate. Precipitation. Light. Wind. Temperature. Humidity. Gas composition. Global vegetation models.

3. Structure of the tropical forests. Horizontal structure. Diversity and stress. Succession. Gap formation. Vertical structure. Discription of the structure: methods - units.

4. Plant types and growth forms in the tropical forests.

5. Trees in the tropical forests. Roots. Trunk. Foliage. Architectural models of trees. Reiteration. Minimal unit. Morphodiversity. Roots of the reiterated units.

6. Water uptake and transport. Water uptake in tropical trees. Water transport in


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Electron microscopic techniques of plants II

Main part of practical is the conventional TEM and SEM. Other techniques will be presented according to the possibilities of our department and agreements with other institutes. Because of the special practical trait, lessons are planned as 6 hour-long practicals:

1. Fixation, dehydtation, embeding

2. Coating of grids, vacuum evaporation of carbon, staining, preparing of glass knifes

3. Section, negative staining

4. Sample processing from fixation to coating with gold

5. TEM, centering of TEM, demonstration of artifacts in work with TEM

6. SEM, centering of SEM, demonstration of different settings on image quality, presentation of artifacts in work with SEM

7.Examination of samples prepared by students (TEM and SEM)

8. EELS, image processing

9. X-ray microanalysis work


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Fluorescence Microscopic Techniques

1. Basic concepts in fluorescence – Jablonski energy diagram – The stokes law

2. Quantum yield – Fading, Quenching, Photobleaching – Inhibition of photobleaching and specimen fading – Fluorescence Photobleaching Investigations (FRAP, FLIP) – Fluorescence resonance energy transfer

3. The Fluorescence Light Budget – Fluorescence Light Sources (mercury and xenon burners), Fluorescence Lamp Specifications

4. Basic Aspects of Light Filters – dichroic filters – Filter terminology

5. Detecting Single Molecules – Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy. Setup with prism and Setup through the objective lens illumination

6. The evolution of fluorescence microscopy – Transmitted light illumination. Specimen illumination with darkfield condensers – Fluoresc


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Gel electrophoresis and its Application in plant physiology


Unit 1: Studies of thylakoid component by gel electrophoresis techniques

Weeks 1 and 2. Lecture: Importance of proteomics, applied techniques. History and principle of gel electrophoresis. Advantages of polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE). Composition, chemical structure, and preparation of PAGs. Sample preparation and composition: effects of detergents, reducing compounds, and denaturing agents. Factors influencing the separation of protein bands: physical form of the gel; effective pore size; shape, size and charge density of proteins (Fergusson plot analysis); dissociating/non-dissociating, continuous/discontinuous (multiphasic) buffer system, choice of pH and running conditions. PAGE techniques: application of native, blue-native, SDS,


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Light Microscopic Microtechniques for Plant Materials

1. Fundamentals of light microscopy

2. Special light mictoscopy techniques

3. Sample preparation, fixation, types and effects of fixatives.

4. Dehydration, comparison of different dehydrating agents, paraffin infiltration.

5. PEG technique, acryl based embedding materials.

6. Michrotomes, glass and metal knives.

7. Sectioning of different materials.

8. Staining paraffin and plastic sections.

9. Mounting and preserving sections.

10. Special techniques, whole mounts, maceration.

11. preparation of samples for fluorescent microscopy.

12. In situ techniques.

13. Immunocitology.

14. Histo-, and citochemistry.

15. Kryotechnique.

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Mechanism of Protein Biosynthesis

1. Overview of protein biosynthesis in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Types of protein synthesis in three subcellular compatments of plant cells (cytoplasm, plastids and mitochondria) and differences in protein synthesis machinery. The genetic code and codon usage in organelles. Crick’s adaptor hypothesis. Wobble pairing in the translation of genetic code.

2. Attachment of amino acids to tRNAs, the process of amino acid activation reaction. Multiple tRNAs for individual amino acids - existence of degenerate and redundant isoacceptor tRNAs. The two subclasses of aminoacyl-tRNA-synthetases and their stuctural characteristics. Role of identity elements and antideterminants in the idiosyncratic way of tRNA - synthetase recognition. Exeptions from the rule of „one amino-acyl-tRNA per


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Microscopic Photography

1. History of photography – Image formation with converging lenses – Anatomy of the microscope

2. Lens types and their anatomy – Close-up photography

3. Different types of camera, their anatomy and operation – Leaf shutter and curtain shutter

4. Different types of film – Technical specifications for film emulsions – Exposing of the emulsion and the developing process – The craft of making b&w prints

5. Fundamentals of film exposure– Characteristic curves for color films – Push- and pull-processing of films

6. Digital photography – Image sensors in digital cameras: CCD, CMOS, FOVEON – Cooling of charge-coupled devices

7. Light metering – Multiple exposures – Flash photography

8. Filtration techniques for black & white film – Absorption characterist


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Molecular biology of plant transport mechanisms

1. Introduction. General scheme of plant transport processes and its regulation. The role of the apoplast. Effect of chelates. The role of the symplast in the long distance transport.

2. Uptake of potassion and its regulation. Transporters and channels. Differentiating potassium and sodium during uptake and translocation. Regulation of the turgor. Circulation of potassium in the plant.

3. Uptake of calcium and its regulation. Ca-ATPases, Ca-channels. Ca as second messenger. The role of Ca in the integrity of the cell wall and membranes.

4. Uptake of magnesium and its regulation.

5. Uptake of anions and its regulation. Phosphorus, sulphur, chlorine

6. Uptake of boron and its regulation

7. Uptake of nitrogen forms and its regulation. Relationships between the pH and the


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Molecular Taxonomic and Philogenetic Methods in Mycology

1. Introduction Methods in molecular taxonomy and phylogenetics. The ground of the used laboratory methods (DNA extraction, PCR, RFLP, sequencing). Short overview of the analyses of the data. DNA extraction: different extraction techniques, kits. DNA extraction from frutibody samples.

2. PCR The overview of the specific aspects of polimerase chain reaction (specific primers, loci in fungal taxonomy and phylogenetics etc.). Set the PCR reaction with target DNA extracted on the 1st practice.

3. What to do with the amplicons? ground of agarose gel electophoresis, cloning, RFLP and sequencing. Check of the PCR from the 2nd practice, set of digestion with restriction enzymes. Set of the cycle sequencing reaction.

4. Analyses of the results of 3rd practice. Analysis of the RFLP.


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PCR Techniques in Plant Molecular Biology I

1. Basic knowledge of the PCR method. DNA structure and DNA replication. Components of the reaction mixture. How a PCR programme is organised. Discussing each step of the PCR reaction in details. Quantification of the amplified DNA.

2. Specificity of the PCR reaction. Why does mutation occurs during the reaction? What has to be considered when oligonucleotides as primers are designed? How to calculate the melting temperature? Inhibitors and DNA contamination. Using PCR for analytical purposes. Identification of DNA sequences. Detection of the presence of a target DNA sequence in the genome. Measuring gene expression. Characterisation of the polymerase enzymes used in PCR reaction. Relation between the specificity of the reaction and the reaction mixture components.

3. Hot


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PCR Techniques in Plant Molecular Biology II

1. DNA extraction and purification from wheat (variety Chinese Spring, Glenlea, Bánkúti 306) and analysis with spectrophotometer and gel electrophoresis. 4 hours

2. Nested PCR for genes expressed only in the endosperm (HMW glutenin subunit), and Simple-Sequence Repeats (SSR; Bx7 vs. Bx7 ) . 6 hours

3. Using Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP; Dx2 vs. Dx5) markers for identification of different HMW glutenin subunit genes. 6 hours

4. Nested PCR second step 4 hours

5. QRT-PCR for studying the change in transcription level of the storage proteins during seed development. 10 hours

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Photosynthesis and its Evolution

1. Introduction. Principle and basic processes of photosynthesis (a survey). Photosynthetic organisms. Oldest records of photosynthesis (geological and chemical evidences, fossils).

2. Photosynthetic pigments: Types, spectral properties, functions in photosynthesis. Evolutionary development of biosynthetic pathways. Light independent and light dependent pathways, their molecular biological ground and significance.

3. Evolution of photosynthetic pigments. Gradual recruitment of porphyrin ring in parallel to the appearance of the visible absorption bands. Development of molecular properties and reaction centers: loss of charge, appearance of apolar structures, ability to insert into membranes. Significance of the geometry of antennae and reaction centers.

4. Structure and


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Phylogenetic Systematics of Fungi

1. Introduction Fungal organisms and the kingdom of Fungi. Taxonomy and systematics of the fungi – a historical overview. The main rules of fungal nomenclature. Types, priority, validity. Important fungal collections.

2. Species concept, speciation and evolution of the fungi. Morphological, biological and phylogenetic species concept and recognition. Gene genealogies. Morphology – good and bad characters. Speciation of fungi. Main phylogenetic lineages of the real fungi.

3. Acrasiomycota, Dictiosteliomycota, Myxomycota, Plasmodiphoromycota

4. Fungi of the regnum Chromista Hyphochytridiomycota, Labyrinthomycota, Oomycota

5. Real fungi (Fungi) – basal groups General characteristics. Main groups of real fungi. The basal groups: Microsporidia, Blastocladia, Chytr


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Physiology and Ecophysiology of Mycorrhizae

1. Symbioses, mutualistic relations, mycorrhizae. The importance of symbiosis in biology: from the casual relationships to the fixed, obligate interdependence. Review of the history and the present importance of mycorrhiza research.

2. Types of mycorrhizae. The occurrence, anatomical characteristics, and ecophysiological roles of ecto-, endo and ectendomycorrhizae. The species specificity of mycorrhizal partners.

3. Identification of mycorrhizal fungi by molecular taxonomical methods. Introduction to the most important methods, review of their possibilities and limits. Identification from fresh samples or samples fixed by different methods. Comparison of PCR methods, review of results of scientific laboratories, review of successes and failures based on own experimental


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Planning Experiments in Plant Molecular Biology

1. Introduction into a possible project aiming to study the structure function relation of a protein involved in plant development. General discussion of the flow chart of the whole project and each step of it and also the methods going to be used during this possible experiment.

2. Choosing and identification of the protein involved in the experiments of functional studies. Protein polyacrilamide gel electrophoresis methods, RP-HPLC and capillary electrophoresis as a choice and their advantages and disadvantages. Protein sequencing.

3. Degenerate primer design for RT-PCR. Poly A RNA extraction and purification from plant tissue. Detailed discussion of the reverse transcription as an enzyme reaction including the reaction conditions, different enzymes could be used and the


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Plant Cell and Tissue Culturing I

1.) Introduction, history of tissue culture techniques and results, terminology

2.) Characterisation of components of tissue culture media, sterilization methods

3.) Callus and cell suspension cultires (inducing, characterisation, use possibilities)

4.) Cell fermantation, bioreactor types, fermentation methods, possible enhancement of secondary metabolite production by plant cells

5.) Somatic embryogenesis, comparison with zygotic embryogenesis, synthetic seed

6.) Techniques of androgenesis , DH (doubled haploid) plants

7.) Plant regeneration via organogenesis

8.) Gynogenesis, generative organ cultures, embryo cultures

9.) Micropropagation, rooting, acclimatization, virus elimination methods, gene bank, kryopreservation

10.) Protoplast; isolation, protoplast fusion


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Plant Cell and Tissue Culturing II

1-2) Preparing of culture medium, sterilization, pourring into vessels

3-4) Initiation and maintenance of callus and cell suspension cultures, microscopical investigations on cell types of the cultures

5-6) Inocule sterilization, initiation of embryo cultures

7-8) Visiting a cell fermentation laboratory,

9-10) Isolation of protoplasts, protoplast fusin by PEG

11-12) Micropropagation, rooting

13-14) Use of biolistic (gene) gun

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Plant lipid metabolism

1. Physical and chemical properties and physiological role of lipids. Classification, structure, physiological role and occurence of fatty acids. Methods for lipid analysis.

2. Structure, occurence and physiological role of neutral lipids.

3. Complex lipids: their structure, occurence and physiological role. Phospholipids, galactolipids, sulfolipids, phytosphingolipids, terpenoids, waxes, cutin, suberin. Lipid distribution among different type of membranes

4. Lipids and membrane structure. Membrane models. General structure and physico-chemical properties of membranes. Lipid-lipid and lipid-protein interactions. Characterization of membrane-bound processes. Lipid turn-over.

5. Biosynthesis of fatty acids. Origen of carbon skeleton. Biosynthesis of malonyl-group. Structure


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Plant Pathology I


1. Introduction: The healthy and the diseased plant Plant diseases and plant pathogenic micro-organisms: basic concepts. Diagnosis, importance and control of plant diseases - a historical overview.

2. Plant pathogenic micro-organisms: an introduction An overview of the most important groups of plant pathogenic viruses, viroids, bacteria, phytoplasmas and fungi. General characteristics of these groups. Epidemics caused by plant pathogenic viruses, viroids, bacteria, phytoplasmas and fungi.

3. The infection process - basic concepts The infection process. Reactions of the infected plants. Susceptibility and resistance to infection. Plant metabolites responsible for disease symptoms. Role of the physiological status of the plants in disease resistance.

4. Plant


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Plant Pathology II

1. Practices in plant virology (I.) Isolation of tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) from tobacco plants based on the method developed by Gooding & Hebert (1967). Infection of potted tobacco plants with TMV isolated from the infected plants.

2. Practices in plant virology (II.) Assessment of the previous experiment (infection with TMV). Infection of potted tobacco plants with plant tissues infected with TMV. Virus transmission using insect vectors.

3. Practices in phytobacteriology (I.) Assessment of the previous experiment. Isolation of Pseudomonas syringae from diseased tobacco plants. Infection of tobacco with P. syringae cultures.

4. Practices in phytobacteriology (II.) Assessment of the previous experiment and characterization of the newly obtained P. syringae isolates using


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Research Methods in Plant Physiology II

1.-2. week: Fluorescence microscopy: examinatons on cytotoxicology Laboratory practice: determination of the ratio of living plant and fungal cells. Incubation of small seeds, yeast suspension and fungal spores in solutions of toxins of different concentrations. Transfer of seeds and cells into solution of vital dye and evaluation of the ratio of living organs by fluorescence microscopy. Determination of concentration- and time-dependence of effect of toxins.

3. week. Examinations on malone dialdehyde (MDA) content of various plant samples. Lecture: Characteristics and production of MDA. MDA content as a physiological indicator in plant cells. Determination of MDA content, principles of experimental work and evaluation of MDA content. Laboratory practice: Isolation of MDA:


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Spectroscopy of Plant Materials

1) The theory of absorption spectroscopy. The structure of spectrophotometers, the function of the optical elements. Common methods of absorption spectrocopy in biochemical laboratories. Room-temperature and 77 K measurements. Derivative, difference and kinetical measurements. Error sources and the possibilities to avoid them. False signals of the spectrophotometer, light scattering (Éva Sárvári).

2) Commercial spectrophotometers, their elements, spearparts and accessories.. How to control the wavelength-correctness and -accuracy? Calibration procedures (Éva Sárvári)

3) Concentration determination. Determination of calibration curves. Protein concentration measurements. Chlorophyll extraction with different solvents, and the measurent of their concentrations (Éva Sárvár


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Structure and function of plant RNAs

1. The RNA world. Aspects and possibilities of classification of RNAs. Universal RNAs (common in living organisms). Special RNAs (restricted to groups of living organisms).

2. Primary structure of tRNAs. Proportion of major and minor nucleotides. Secondary and tertiary structure of tRNAs. Differences in the cytoplasmic, chloroplast and mitochondrial tRNA pool.

3. Posttranscriptional modifications of plant tRNAs. Classification of minor nucleotides. Structural characteristics and biosynthetic pathways of modifications of purin and pirimidin bases and ribose moiety. Role of modifications in the proper function of tRNAs. Special functions of plant tRNAs in biosynthetic and regulatory processes distinct from protein synthesis.

4. Ribosomal RNAs in plant cytolpasmic and organellar


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I. Introduction 1, Definition of symbiosis 2, Subdivisions of symbiosis 3, Symbiosis and coevolution

II. Viral symbiotic associations 1, Virus-virus interactions 2, Viruses in bacteria

III. Virus in higher organisms 1, Viruses in insects 2, Viruses in algae 3, Viral inhabitants of fungi 4, Viruses in plants

IV. Bacterial symbionts 1, Bacterial symbionts of bacteria 2, Bacterial symbionts of protozoa 3, Bacterial symbionts of animals

V. Bacterial associations of plants 1, Nitrogen-fixing symbioses 1.1 Rhizobium-Legume symbioses 1.2 Actinorrhizal symbiosis

VI. Agrobacterium- plant interaction

VII. Symbiotic origin of the eukaryotic cell

VIII. Cyanobacteria as symbionts 1, Geosiphon- Nostoc 2, Gunerra- Nostoc 3, Cycas-Nostoc

IX. Animal symbioses writh cyanobacteria



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Ultrastructure and Cytochemistry

1. The resolution limit in light microscopy (Airy, Abbe), the concept of the ultrastructure

2. Darkfield microscopy. Polarization microscopy (dichroism and fluorescence polarization, intrinsic and formal birefringence, positive and negative birefringence)

3. Video-enhanced differential interference contrast microscopy (AVEC-DIC). Nearfield microscopy (NFOM)

4. Electron microscopy (TEM, HVTEM, LVTEM, HRSEM). Electron diffraction

5. Scanning probe microscopy: scanning tunneling (STM), atomic force (AFM), chemical force (CFM) microscopy

6. Localization of metabolic processes in the cell (cell fractionation, cytochemistry). Enzyme cytochemistry. Subtractive cytochemistry

7. Affinity cytochemistry I (specific staining, decoration, lectin labeling)

8. Affinity cytochemistry II


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Writing Scientific Papers in English

1) Why should we publish, conceptual and practical considerations. What can we publish, when do we get to the stage of paper preparation? Where should we publish, how to choose target journal?. What is originality, copyright? Why should we publish in English?

2) Typs of scientific publications. Differences beween popular and scientific publications: theoretical and sturctural aspects. What is reproducibility? The policy of review writing. Properties of Nature or Science type papers. The importance and structure of regular papers. The importance of "short" and "rapid" communications.

3) How to get instructions for the authors, what do they contain? How to choose co-authors? What is the meaning of the order of names, how to decide it? How to share to work among the co-authors?


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Compulsory courses for the Ecology, Evolutionary and Conservation Biology Branch

Major Evolutionary Transitions

(1) Replication and replicators. The quasispecies. Eigen’s equation. Classification of replicators. Artificial replicators.

(2) The origin of life. Organic, abiogenic syntheses. Metabolism. Compartmentation. Protocells and minimal cells.

(3) Ribozymes and their artificial selection.

(4) The origin of the genetic code. Patterns in the code. Molecular data. The appearance of translation.

(5) The origin of eukaryotic cells I. The nucleocytoplasm. Phagocytosis. The endomembrane system. Macrosystematics and eukaryotic phylogenesis. Mitosis.

(6) The origin of eukaryotic cells II. Symbiotic organelles: plastids and mitochondria. Origin of transport systems. Secondary and tertiary endosymbioses.

(7) Evolutionary genetics of the costs and benefits of recombination. Importance of t


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Introduction to Behavioural Ecology

1. Natural selection, ecology and behaviour. Definitions and framework. Connections between genes and behaviour. Selfish individuals or group advantage?

2. Testing hypotheses in behavioural ecology. The comparative approach. Examples: birds, ungulates. Adaptations: cause, effect and confounding variables. Experimental studies. Optimality models in behavioural ecology.

3. Economic decisions ont he individual level. Examples: bees and starlings. Sampling, information and starvation risk. Environmental variability, body reserve and food storing. Variability in searching and handling time. Nutrient constraints.

4. Predators versus prey: Evolutionary arms races.Warning coloration, conspicuousness and crypsis. Brood parasites and their hosts.

5. Competing for resources.


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1. Statistical estimation (Miklos I.) Definitions of terms defining goodness of estimates. Unbiasedness, consistency, robustness, efficiency, power. Central tendency and dispersion. Maximum likelihood estimation with some biological examples. Bayes statistics. Biological examples for the distribution of priors.

2. Generalized linear models (J Garay) Continuous functions describing the effect of one ore more factors. Methods for the construction of such functions. Linear models, generalized linear models, measurement of goodness of fit, residuals. Linear models for contiuous data for constant variance. Linear regression in one or more dimensions. Nonlinear regression.

3. ANOVA and its extensions (J Garay) Variance analysis with one or more factors. Model I ANOVA with single and


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Evolutionary Ecology

1. Evolutionary ecology as a discipline: An overview

2. Adaptation, optimisation and natural selection

3. Optimal life-history traits and life-history traits as adaptations to changes in the environment. Fitness measures based on population dynamics and population ecology

4. Inheritance of traits determining ecological tolerance. Overview and examples.

5. Evidence for strong selection in nature

6. Life-history trade-offs. 1. Modelling

7. Life-history trade-offs 2. Empirical evidence

8. Density-dependent life-history adaptations

9. Coexistence and frequency-dependent selection

10. Modelling frequency dependent selection and speciation: adaptive dynamics

11. Competition, character displacement and genetic change

12. Evolution of virulence.

13. Definitions of


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Conservation Biology

1. Development and scope of conservation biology. Major fields of conservation biology and the history of their development.

2. Applications of theories supporting conservation biology 1. Conservation genetics, demography, theory of metapopulations.

3. Applications of theories supporting conservation biology 2. Population viability analysis (PVA), Risk assessment.

4. Applications of theories supporting conservation biology 3. The theory of island biogeography.

5. Applications of theories supporting conservation biology 4. Landscape ecology 1. Effects of spatial structures of ecological systems on their functions. Scale dependence of ecological processes.

6. Applications of theories supporting conservation biology 5. Landscape ecology 2. Causes of landscape patterns. Natural


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Design of Experiments

I. Guideline for diploma workers 1. Necessary steps 2. How it looks: content of a sample diploma 3. task: compare 10 by 10 student research report and diploma dissertation: similarities and differencies

II. What does it mean doing research? 1. Study, experimentation, research 2. Student research as a tool to achieve and demonstate competencies achieved 3. How to report your results

III. How to collect research papers as references 1. sources of information 2. Electronic databases 3. Using Google Scholar for literature mining 4. task: Find 5 relevant papers for your topic, arrange them alphabetically

IV. How to choose a topic for research 1. Common mistakes: the shy and the sky 2. task: write an intro to the topic based on the references collected

V. Planning 1. Why it is


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Ecology Practical I

In this course students are to acquire skills in the most frequently used research methods in the field of ecology. Students prepare for field practice beforehand, collect data in the field, evaluate these and submit a detailed report of their work.

I. Plant Ecology

1.) Assessement of forest canopy structure through light measurements By measuring the amount and spatial distribution of light penetrating the forest canopy allows the investigator to estimate the amount of current foliage in the forest canopy. The widely used Leaf Area Index (LAI) variable is determined in two deciduous forest stands of different density (i.e. one in a closed forest, the other in an open stand without canopy closure). Students compare the LAI values obtained in the two forests and with literature


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Ecology Practical II

The ecological exercises are based on the ecology lectures, however, due to the sometimes very complicated nature of ecological phenomena of which study would require considerable time and material resources, only relatively simple problems are investigated. Within this circle, however, the exercises address problems from the simple towards the more complicated, and generally from populations to communities.

The second part contains ecological exercises performed during autumn. As living organisms (especially animals) are not available in sufficient numbers in nature in Hungary at this time of the year, laboratory exercises are performed. The exercises are arranged in „blocks”, meaning several hours per day to allow sufficient time to execute them and summing up to 4-5 days dur


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Optional courses for the Ecology, Evolutionary and Conservation Biology Branch - 21 ECTS

Advanced Population Genetics

This is a problem solving seminar that helps in understanding and applying basic models of population genetics.

1-2. Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium

3-4. Linkage equilibrium and disequilibrium

5-6. Genetic drift

7-8. Inbreeding.

9. Genetic structure of populations. Genetic distance. Migration.

10-11. Natural selection

12. Mutation, mutation-selection

13-14. Quantitative genetics

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An introduction to biostatistics I

1. Exploratory and confirmatory data analysis. Description of data sets.

2. Modelling. Probability and random variables. Theoretical distributions of categorical random variables and related biological models (binomial, polinomial, hypergeometrical, Poisson)

3. Theoretical distributions of continous random variables and related biological models (normal, lognormal and exponential.).

4. Estimation. Requirements. Confidence interval, a simulation study. Accuracy, precision

and sample size.

5. Maximum likelihood estimates. Maximum likelihood estimate of the p parameter of the binomial distribution.

6. Hypothesis testing. Sign test. Levels of significance and the p values. Statistical power estimation.

7. Analysis of contingency tables. Tests of goodness-of-fit. χ2


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An introduction to biostatistics II

The course is based on data collected by the students themselves. Students get an introduction to and support in using either Statistica or SPSS program packages. Participation in “An introduction to biostatistics 1.” is recquired. In the end of the course a brief project report (4-8 pages) has to be made by each student.This is evaluated and marked.

Required statistical material:

1. Exploratory and confirmatory data analysis. Description of data sets.

2. Modelling. Probability and random variables. Theoretical distributions of categorical random variables and related biological models (binomial, polinomial, hypergeometrical, Poisson)

3. Theoretical distributions of continous random variables and related biological models (normal, lognormal and exponential.).

4. Est


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Animal Collecting and Preparation

1. The rules of making collections, types of collections (privet, state, scientific); basic knowledges of museology (collecting book, catalogues).

2. The presentation of the sampling instruments of invertebrates (different types of nets, vacum hoover, etc.), the rules of usage of these instruments; preparation on field

3. The presentation of the sampling instruments of vertebrates (nets, traps/fish, amphibians, reptiles, bird, small and large mammals), the rules of usage of these instruments; preparation on field

4-5. Making anatomical preparations Dry and alcoholic preparations, bones, plastination; different dyeing methods; "virtual" preparations

6. Microscopical preparations (unicellular organisms, sponges, cnidarians, moss animals, other lower invertebrates). Water


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Animal welfare

I. Are the animals able to suffer? - Pain sensation in animals - Consciousness and cognition

II. Problems with the "intelligent" species - The personality of the apes; ape rights? - Do the cetaceans have personalities?

III. Breeding of stock animals - Animals in our plates - does vegetartianism offer an alternative? - Wearing a fur coat - is it an ethical issue?

IV. Animals and religions - Species of despise, worship and sacrifice

V. Experimental animals - animal experiments (1) - How far can we go? The estimation of the usefulness of an experiment - International regulations

VI. Experimental animals - animal experiments (2) - Field experimenst - from the aspect of ethics and ecology - Animals in the education

VII. Biotechnology - Genetical engineering and animal welfare -


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Applied Ethology I

I. Introduction to Applied Ethology History and current issues. Advantages and disadvantages. Zoonosis: Infectious diseases transmitted from animals to humans or from humans to animals

II. Behavioural genetics, evolution and domestication Genetic ground of behaviour, Behavioural evolution, the process of domestication

III. Physiology, motivation and the organization of behaviour Mechanisms, motivations and need of animals living in captivity

IV. Learning and cognition Adaptation to an artificial environment, perception and cognition from the welfare's point of view.

V. Social and sexual behaviour Evolutionary and ecological approach

VI. Behavioural disorders, stress and welfare. Deviation from the ethologically expected 'tipical' behaviour.

VII. Behaviour of domesticated


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Behavioural Ecology

A practical covering four full days. The aim is to introduce the basic concepts and methodology used in most behavioural studies. Each half day starts with a discussion of ground information (4 x 2 hours, read the material provided beforehand). Then data collection in pairs (4 x 6 hours). Analyse your data individually (4 x 3 hours), Make a report from one of the topics at home (16 óra).

There are four practicals to choose from the list below. Each has a detailed description, data sheets and basic literature provided a/ how to prove human sexual dimorphism with anatomical and behavioural data b/ how to approach spatial variation in animals: a hypothetical flight to Hawaii c/ capture-mark-recapture: possibilities and constraints d/ risk sensitive vigilance in humans and its


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Botanical Garden Botany I

1-2. History of the gardens and botanical gardens. Theirs cultural and scientifical importance. Survey of the garden-architectural styles.

3-4. Evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs

5. Tropical and subtropical orchids

6. The Pineapple Family

7. Cacti

8. Other succulent plants

9. Palms

10. Tropical aroids

11. Carnivorous plants

12-13. Tropical economic plants.

14. Other frequent house plants

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Botanical Garden Botany II

1. History and tasks of the Botanical Garden of Eötvös University.

3. Tasks of the botanical gardens at present and in the future. Botanical Gardens Conservation International

4-5. Propagation of endangered plants, smethods of conservation, asymbiotic propagation of orchids.

6-7. Hungarian (nativ) flora in the our botanical garden

8. Rock-garden plants

9-10. Medicinal plants

11-12. Educational activity in the botanical garden

13-14. Survey of the hungarian botanical gardens and arboretums

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1. Theory: General description of bryophytes: life history, evolution, fossil records, evolution, taxonomy. Morphology of Jungermanniales. Practice: Determination of selected species of Jungermanniales.

2. Theory: Morphology of Jungermanniales. Practice: Determination of selected species of Jungermanniales.

3. Theory: Morphology of Anthocerotales, Metzgeriales, Marchantiales. Practice: Determination of selected species of Anthocerotales, Metzgeriales, Marchantiales.

4. Theory: General description of Bryophyta: morphology, taxonomy, evolution. Morphology of Sphagnopsida and Andreopsida. Practice: Determination of selected species of Sphagnopsida and Andreopsida.

5. Theory: Morphology of Polytrichales and Tetraphidales. Practice: Determination of selected species of


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1. Historical introduction. The hystory of coevolutionary research. The basic definitions, and the continuous debates about the interpretation of the coevolutionary phenomena.

2. Selection of the topics. Reviwe of the optional topics. Suggetions for the succesful talk.

3. Plant herbivore coevolution.

4. Biochemical background of the coevolution.

5. Host-parasite coevolution.

6. Arms race betwen predator and prey.

7.Coevelution in competition.

8. Endosymbionts. The plant-mycorrhiza symbiozis.

9. Coevolution of the mutualistic interactions I. The evolutionary background of the yucca yucca-moth and the fig fig-wasp interactions.

10. Coevolution of mutualistic interactions II: Ant-plant ineractions.

11. Mimicri.

12. Modelling of coevolutionary process.

13. Coevolutionary


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Cognitive Ethology

1. Introduction: The history of studies on animal thinking. From anecdotal cognitivism to modern cognitive ethology.

2. Methods of behaviour observation. Traditional comparative psychology and ethology as different approaches. Data collection in nature, modern lab. studies, ways of studying human cognition.l

3. Understanding physical world: skills and evolutionary compulsions. Object representation abilities, numerical abilities.

4. Skills of understanding social worlds. The Machiavellian intelligence. Primate studies and observations on human infants: the emergence of human cognition.

5. Levels if intentionality: mentalistic interpretations of others' behaviour. The effect of experimenter on the observations: Clever-Hans effects.

6. What is intelligence? A biological


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Ecological modelling I

1. Population dynamics, density independent models. The basic problems, and the basic equations. The exponential processes.

2. Population dynamics, discrete density dependent models I. Modelling of the density dependency. The linear stability analysis. The canonical form of the logistic model, and the linear stability of it.

3. Population dynamics, discrete density dependent models II. Web diagrams and the stability analysis. Bifurcation, classificatio of the simeple bifurcatiuons. When the period-two emerges in the logistic model?

4. Population dynamics, discrete density dependent models III. Contest and scramble competition. The Ricker and the Beverton-Holt models.

5. Chaos in population dynamics I. The characteristics of chaos. Period doubling, as a route to chaos. The


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Effects of Habitat Fragmentation

1. Lecture: Introduction. Review of human population increase, and historical and recent species extinctions. Introducing spatial scale and species specificity, as key issues. Defining habitat destruction, fragmentation; natural versus anthropogenic fragmentation. Effects of fragmentation on small populations.

2. Lecture: Genetic stochasticity in small populations. Fragmentation results in small isolated populations, where genetic diversity declines. As a results, evolutionary potential, and fitness also declines. Important process are simulated using education software (NEMESIS - Conservation Biology Simulations (Gilpin, M. E. 1993)).

3. Lecture: Demographic stochasticity. Defining demography, and showing its importance in conservation biology. Introducing the source-sink


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Ethology of the predatory behaviour

I. Basics - The definition of predators and predation - Predation as a functional category

II. The warfare beteen plants and herbivors - Herbivors as predators? - Predator avoidance in plants. Compensation.

III. How herbivors can outsmart the plants? - Learning during feeding - Learning what is edible from the others

IV. Food selection (1) - Food selection I. – poly-, oligo-, monophag species - Food selection II. – switch between foods

V. Food selection (2) - Food selection III. – optimal foraging theory - Food selection IV. – generalist and specialist feeders, the cost of searching and handling

VI. Optimal foraging - Feed or do something eles - trade off between feeding and survival - The effect of the prey abundance

VII. Primary predator avoidance (1) - crypsis, c


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Evolution of Behavior

1. Introduction The origins of the evolutionary studies on behaviour traits. Rudiments of genetics. Modern views of the darwinian evolution.

2.Genes and behaviour: towards the understanding of behaviour genetics Natural and experimental populations Strains - basic elements of breeding Modes of inheritance, a mendelian approach On the mechanisms of the inheritance, non-mendelian heredity

3. The evolution of behaviour organizing mechanisms. On the mechanisms of natural and artificial selection. Methodological issues. Tools of statistical analysis.

4. The genetic analysis of quantitative traits Statistical methods for the behaviour-genetic analysis Identifying genes influencing quantitative traits The genetics of stable and plastic behavioural elements

5. Diallele analysis.


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Evolutionary Ecology of Reproduction Systems

1. Sexual selection, mating systems, and parental care: the evolutionary background.

2. Sexual signals in communication. Types of signals. Examples: morphological ornaments, song, UV reflectance of plumage. Multiple ornaments.

3. Theories of female mate choice. ecological and behavioural aspects.

4. Contest competition of males and male mate choice.

5. Male condition, parasites, and fluctuating asymmetry.

6. Ultimate and proximate hypotheses. Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis.

7. Empirical studies: peafowl, house sparrow, red junglefowl, tits and birds of paradise.

8. Sexual selectio and speciation.

9. Social monogamy. Obligate and facultative monogamy. Long-term pair bonds.

10. Extra-pair copulations and genetic variance. Paternity analyses. Evolutionary background.

11. Social


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Evolutionary Game Theory

1. The definition of ESS, basic assumptions, and definitions The problems of optimization for frequency dependent selection. The definition of strategy and the evolutionary stable strategy (ESS). Introduction of the classical Hawk-Dove game. Pure and mixed strategies, polimorph populations. The Bishop-Cannings theorem.

2. Games with more ESSs, games without ESS. The Hawk-Dove-Retailator model. Which ESS will become realized. The Rock-Scissors-Paper game, where ESS might be absent. Finding of ESS in a general symmetric matrix game.

3. The dynamical view: replicator dynamics The continuous and discrete replicator dynamics for pure strategies. Fixed points and their stability. Some simple mathematical examples. Replicator dynamics in the case of mixed strategies. Mathematical


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Fauna of Hungary

1. National and international regulation of animal protection. Evaluation of the ecological and conservation characters of species defining the necessary categories like: rare-frequent, endemic- cosmopolitan, common- endangered, invasive, protected, strictly protected , etc.

2. Monitoring and testing the state of the protected and threatened natural resources. Review the programmes of the National Biodiversity Monitoring System. Standard sampling methods, basic and deductive data, evaluation. Theoretical basement of the Hungarian Nature Conservation Information System.

3. The observation and characterization of indicator elements of the Hungarian associations. Composition of species, diversity, population- biological parameters. Pointing out the indicator species and groups.


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Field Methods in Plant Ecology and Coenology

1. Description of the communities by the method of the phytosociology. Methods of the estimation of species number and abundance. Geometrical and coenological approaches of coverage. The classification system of phytosociology. Abundance-dominance estimation scales: Braun-Blanquet, Soó, Domin, Londo, percentage.

2. Vegetation mapping The category types of mapped objects: point-, line- and polygon types. Definition of the represented categories. The advantages and limits of the National Habitat Classification System (NHCS). The tools of vegetation mapping: maps, aerial and space photographs, databases. The elements of the geographical information system (GIS).

3. Pattern analysis, interspecific associations. Similarity functions, association analysis, multifunctional


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Fish Monitoring of Inland Waters

This class is examines of Hungarian fish fauna and the ecological needs and population of fish species, mainly threatened species. Protected and threatened fish species are regarded as important indicators of the health of aquatic ecosystems: thus, their status must be monitored regularly. In the future, more faunistical changes are expected, due to new water regulation projects. It is very important not only to protect fish, but to be aware their ecological needs and ensure their entire habitat.

Topics of the course:

1. Planning investigations. General introduction to fishes. (Hydrobiology, taxonomy and morphology).

2. Categories of water bodies (streams and lakes).

3. Zonation of streams and lakes. Fish community of streams and lakes.

4. Research of fishpopulations:


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Grassland Ecology

1.) Seminatural grasslands Global distribution of grasslands. Major grassland biomes of the Earth: steppe, prairie, pampa, campos, (grass)veld, tussock. Tropical grasslands: llanos, savanna. Grassy semideserts. Physiognomy, dominant grasss genera, characteristic vegetation dynamics. Main grassland types in Hungary (rock grasslands, dry shortgrass steppe, haymeadows, pastures, etc.).

2.) Poaceae – the dominant components of grasslands Main characteristics of grasses: evolution, diversity and taxonomy. What traits make these plants highly successful in open habitats? Further components of grasslands: legumes (Fabaceae), Apiaceae, Asteraceae, their ecological role. Plant functional groups in grasslands.

3.) Climate as a major determinant of grassland distribution The role of c


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Human Ecology I

1. Introduction to human ecology, general characteristics of ecosystems, associated sciences, history of human ecology, definitions; ecosystems: biosphere, ecosystem types; ecosystem relationships, ecological division of the earth; ecological catastrophes, ecocrises; dynamics and stability of ecosystems; productivity of ecosystems  

2. Population ecology, dynamics of human populations, characteristics of populations: population density, birth rate, death rate, population structure, sexual rate, life expectancy, spatial structure  

3. Population genetics: Hardy-Weinberg law and equilibrium, mutation, selection, evolution, population dynamics, migration, controlling of overpopulation  

4. Mechanisms of the ecological and cultural adaptation, relationships of man and its


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Human ecology II

1. Population dynamic reconstruction of the ancient environment in the periods of human evolution

2. Influence of the Pleistocene climatic pulsation on the Homo sapiens’ origin and differentiation, monocentric and policentric model

3. Relationship between the ancient humans and their environment: environmental archeological introduction, environmental archeological methods  

4. Contradiction between the ancient environmental reconstruction and the populational movements, the harmony of the geographical diversity and zonic environmental conditions  

5. Paloeecological human populations’ dispersion pattern: random, regular, cluster dispersions, dispersion of fossils, morphological variations

6. Functional bone morphology in the view of adaptation: morphological var


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Human Ethology

Aim of the course:

Human ethology is an integral part of ethology, which is the biological study of animal behaviour. In this lecture the basic concepts of ethology are discussed in relation to human ethology. We also present an overview on the development of this field and explain how the interaction between ethology and psychology generated a novel discipline of studying human behaviour. We present an integrative approach to behaviour by discussing the importance of studying function, mechanism, development and evolution of behaviour in parallel.

Learning outcome, competences

  • Basic concepts of ethology
  • Relations of cognitive mechanisms and their malfunctioning


  • Ability to understand and ask questions in relation to the field


  • Skills


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Human Origin: Evolutional Theories and Human Adaptation

 1. Adaptation mechanisms of human evolution; Primate, Hominid, Hominin features appeared in biological evolution; cultural aspects of Homo sapiens’ evolution by describing the diversity of modern populations

2. Historical overview of paleoanthropological research; evolutionary theories in biological focus. The ontogeny-phylogeny nexus: implications for primatology and paleoanthropology; principles of taxonomy and classification: current procedures for classifying organs; quantitative approaches to phylogenetics; homology: philosophical and biological perspectives  

3. The divergence of Hominidae and Pongidae’s ancestrors; Africa in the late Miocene; Hominidae’s evolution: ecological influence on the early Hominidae biodiversity; potential Hominoid ancestors for Hominidae; defin


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Human-Animal Interactions

I. The role of applied ethology in modern ethological research a. Economical aspects b. Welfare considerations c. A new category: pets

II. How can we define „pet”? a. Cultural and ecological aspects  b. The notion of „natural environment”  

III. Behavioural changes: genetical and developmental processes  a. Effect of evolution: domestication b. The role of individual experiences and learning: taming c. Habituation  

IV. Mechanisms of socialisation  a. The role of human in the conspecific recognition system b. Socialisation with conspecifics c. In what extent does living with humans change the species specific social system?

V. Aggression a. The biological function of aggression b. Where and how does the aggressive behaviour towards conspecifics and humans differ?  c.


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1. Special kinds of inland waters. Main hydrological features and communities 1. Soda lakes.  2. Special kinds of inland waters. Main hydrological features and communities

2. Astatic waters, inland saltwaters, brackish, thermal and subterranean waters).

3. Mining lakes (hydrology, biodiversity, succession).  

4. Hypotheses regarding running water ecosystems (e.g. river continuum concept).  

5. Environmental threats in running waters, biotope restorations.

6. Anthropogenic effects. Impacts of water traffic. Reservoires pro and contra. Importance of introduced and invasive species.

7. Freshwater benthos. Seasonal dynamics of benthic communities. Alteration of vertical pattern of microzoobenthos and protozoobenthos according to the dissolved oxygene content.  

8. Origin,


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Marine biology

1. Intruduction into marine biology The history of hungarian marine researches (Leidenfrost - Najade, Entz, Soós…) In generally about the oceans, geography of undersea wordl, vertical zonality

2. Ecology factors which effect on the distribution of marine animals. Water movements (currents, ebb and tide); temperature, salt concentration, light, some elements (P, N, Fe etc.)  

3. Marine habitat types. benthos, plancton, necton; sandy, rocky habitats; marine alga (kelp, Sargasso); mangrove; corall; brack water, deep water, hot water, ice

4. Observation, collecting and keeping marine animals (methods, instruments)  Collecting from shallow water, deep water; collecting by free air diving and with diving gear; aquarium; types of  aquariums

5. Methods of identification of marine s


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Mathematical Models in Biology

Textbooks and/or other information media in use or recommended:  

I. Lotka-Volterra model

1. Lotka-Volterra model, two-species   Historical ground of Lotka-Volterra model, two species models: predator-prey and competition models.  

2. Multi-species Lotka-Volterra model  Stability of rest points. Linearization and Ljapunov’s direct methods.  

3. Conservative and dissipative Lotka-Volterra models.  

4. Critics of Lotka-Volterra models and an overlook.  

II. Fisher-model

5. A Fisher’s selection model Historical ground of Fisher’s selection model. Two-allele cases.  

6. Multi-allele model Rest point, and its stability .

7. Maximality principle.  Lagrange’s method  

8. Fundamental theorem of natural selection

III. Evolutionary Game dynamics  

9. Evolutionary matrix


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Migration, Orientation, Navigation I

1. Movements of animals (diurnal, seasonal) planktons, arthropods, fishes (anadrom-katadrom), amphibians, reptiles, mammals birds: cc. 9 000 species, about half of them are migrant species In Europe 5 billions and in the world 50 billions Records of avian flight Morphology, anatomy, physiology: double respiration, type of hemoglobin, structure of muscles, morphology of wing etc.

2. Importance of the bird migration - stream of the biomass - Gaia theory - damage of hunting and agriculture  - public health – spreading of infectious diseases Origin of bird migration

3. Development of the current bird migration patterns - continental drift - climate change - competition Migratory routes  Expansion, dispersion

4. Duration of the migratory periods Weather and climate To stay or to


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Migration, Orientation, Navigation II

1. Regulation 1. - methods - roles of the external factors - genetic and endogen control - hybridization experiments

2. Regulation 2. - Nomadic and irruptive species - Partial migrants - Obligate migrants Speed of the evolution

3.Orientation  - Piloting, compass, goal orientation Navigation (map)

4. Possibilities of orientation 1. - moon, wind, infrasound - smell Outdoor and laboratory experiments

5. Possibilities of orientation 2.  - sun compass - magnetic compass - star compass Outdoor and planetarium experiments

6. Harmonize between the methods Order of importance Heredity  Experiments

7. Importance of the Carpathian basin  Origin of the crossing migratory birds Palaearctic –Africa system Problems of nature conservation

8. History of the bird ringing Results of the H


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Numerical Methods and Computer Simulation in Biology

1. Introduction to numerical methods.

2. Generating random numbers & ordering.

3. Solutions to linear set of equations

4. Roots of non-linear equations

5. Numerical integration

6. Numerical solutions to differential equations I

7. Nukerical solutions to differenctial equations II

8. Cellular automta I

9. Cellular automata II

10. Coupled map lattcies

11. Generation of temporally and spatially heterogeneous patterns

12. Optimalization

13. Models of evolution I

14. Models of evolution II

15. Fourier transformation 


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Physiological Plant Ecology

1.) The subject of plant ecophysiology Physiological and associated morphological/anatomical plant tolerance traits explaining ecological phenomena. Environment - plant tolerance realtionships: fundamental and realized niche, physiological and ecological optimum. Major determinants of plant distributions, the particular role of physiological characteristics. Short history of plant ecophysiological research.  

2.) Environmental stress, plant responses Abiotic environmental limitations (stress) and physiological and structural responses of plants to these: immediate stress response, acclimation, phenotypic plasticity, adaptation. General and specific stressresponse among terrestrial vascular plants: resistance, avoidance and tolerance of abiotic stress, avoidance and tolerance of


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Plant Strategies

1. Modular organization Modularity in the Plant and Animal kingdoms. Morphogenetic vs. functional units. Metamers, branches, sectors, and other building blocks. Hierarchical selection.

2. The dynamics of growth Birth and death of the modules: demographic rules. Spatial positions of the modules: geometric rules. Transport and other links between modules: physiological rules. Regulatory mechanisms. Internal signals and environmental effects. Some examples for correlative phenomena. Cooperation and competition between different parts of the same organism.

3. Basic types of growth forms Practical motivations for classifying growth forms. Some classification systems. Relation to life strategies. Rigid vs. plastic growth forms. The importance of chance.

4. Phenotypic plasticity:


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Plant Trait Databases

The practical is held in six blocks, each lasting 4-5 hours.

1. Fundamentals of plant taxonomy and ecology. What are plant traits. Hungarian and international plat traits databases, and their availability. Benefits of using plant traits in plant ecology, and in interdisciplinary researches. Frequent mistakes in the work with databases.

2. Demonstration of homework based on the themes of the previous block. Fundamentals of the taxonomic nomenclature. Recognition and handling of nomeclatural problems in the evaluation of floristical or phytosociological datasets. Work with archive data.

3. Demonstration of homework based on the themes of the previous block. The structure of Hungarian Flora Database. The phytogeografical and phytosociological attributes in the Flora Database.


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Programming for Biologists

1. Programming and programming languages

2. Basics of programming I

3. Basics of programming II

4. Procedures and functions I

5. Procedures and functions II

6. File operations

7. Object oriented programming I

8. Object oriented programming II

9. Programming Windows I

10. Graphics I

11. Graphics II

12. Programming Windows II

13. Compositional types

14. Examples from other programming languages

15. Individual programming project 


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Reproductive Strategies in Animals

1. General overview of life-history evolution. Roots and links.

2. Life-history components and fitness. Energy allocation as constraint. Heritability of life-history components

3. Optimality models of life-histories.  

4. Currency, constraints and trade-offs. Problems in measuring constraints.  

5. The cost of reproduction and its measures. Correlative and experimental methods. Secondary sexual traits as lifehistory components

6. Optimal clutch and litter size. Individual optimization.  

7. Trade-offs between the number and fitness of offspring.

8. Phenotypic plasticity.  

9. Extremes of reproductive effort. Reproductive investment.

10. Mating systems in animals. Monogamy, polygamy and promiscuity

11. The parental care. Mono- and biparental care in vertebrates.



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Significance and Use of Animal Venoms and Bioactive Products

1. Definition of poisonous and venomous animals. Poisonous and venomous animals in myths and mythology. Application of drugs, poison and venoms in the natural therapy and in the drug industry.  

2. Dinoflagellates poisoning, shellfish poisoning, Red tide. Classification, phylogeny and distribution of the poisonous species. Biochemistry and pharmacology of the poison. Effect methods, clinical aspects. Envenomation, first aid, treatment.  

3. Classification, phylogeny and distribution of poisonous and venomous sponges and cnidarians, evolutionary strategy. Stucture of the poison apparats, poisoning and envenomation. Biochemistry and pharmacology of the poison. Effect methods, clinical aspects. Envenomation, first aid, treatment. Possibility of new drugs.  4

. Classification,


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The Social Behaviour of Vertebrates I

1. Communication 1. What is communication?; Signalers, signals and receivers. Visual communication: origin of the plumage of birds. The functions of plumage coloration. Communication by colorful bare skin (bill, legs).

2. Communication 2. Visual communication of fishes. Mammals: the evolution of horns and antlers. Primates: sex skin.

3. Communication 3. Visual communication. UV vision and communication. Poisonous animals and the aposematic coloration. Human visual attractiveness (face, waist/hip ratio, fluctuating asymmetries).

4. Communication 4. Acoustic communication. Sounds under the water: fishes. The cetacean acoustic communication. Frogs and toads: the first noisy vertebrates. Sound production: benefits and costs.  

5. Communication 5. Acoustic communication. Songs


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The Social Behaviour of Vertebrates II

1. Sexual selection 9. Female choice. Mate choice for indirect benefits.  Main mechanims. Fisher-model: guppies. Good Genes models. Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis, signalling genetic resistance.

2. Sexual selection 10. Evidence for models. Sensory bias hypothesis: the tungara frog. Mate choice copying.

3. Sexual Selection 11. Sperm competition 1.  Copulation, insemination and fertitilization. Gametes, gonads, copulatory organs and sperm competition. Cryptic mate choice.

4. Sexual selection 12. Sperm competition 2. External and internal fertilization.. Fishes: simultaneous common spawning. Life history of sneakers. Sperm competition in amphibians. Lizards: sperm choice.

5. Sexual selection 13. Sperm competition 3. Birds: Sequential ovulation. Last sperm precedence rule. Male


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Theoretical Ecology Seminar

1. Introduction Strategic vs. tactical models. Representation of space, time, and state. Model types. A review of seminar topics, and recommended literature for individual talks. Choice of individual mini-projects.

2. Models and empirical studies Simplifying assumptions - be careful! Strategies for measurements and observation. From the field to the computer - and . Interpretation of the results. Holistic vs. reductionist approaches: advantages, disadvantages, and unsolved problems. Emergent phenomena. Crossing boundaries between sciences.

3. Tools for modelling /1 Choosing a model type: questions to answer before the start. A danger: confounding assumptions with results! Facts and artefacts. Some examples.  

4. Tools for modelling /2  An inventory. Some tools of particular


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Vegetation of Hungary

Theoretical and methodological introduction

1.  Introduction to phytosociology and habitat ecology.

2.  Vegetation history of Hungary. Basic methods in vegetation science. Systematic discussion of vegetation types Part I.  Herbosa

3.  Euhydrophyte communities including free-floating vegetation.

4.  Flood swards and related communitites. Reed beds, Medium tall waterside communities, Tufted sedge tussocks, Large sedge communities.

5.  Springs, bogs, mires. Soft water and hard water springs, Tranzition mires, Raised bogs. Oligotrophic humid grasslands. Purple moorgrass meadows; Humid tall herb fringes.

6.  Collinar hay meadows. Submontane hay meadows, Humid mat-grass swards, Sub-Atlantic CallunaGenista heathlands.

7.  Dry grasslands including grassy rock debris communities


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Optional Courses

Diploma Research Work

Career opportunities

Biology M.Sc. program is intended for students who wish to pursue a research-oriented or teaching career in biology, for students who interested in carrying out distinguished scholarly activities: have original, creative and critical thinking and are able to develop a both theoretically and technically broadly based research knowledge in their selected fields of specialization or who want to gain competence in high/university level teaching.

M.Sc. graduates will be able to participate creatively in research projects, to recognize and handle complex problems through multi-sided approach in planning and performing experiments. The knowledge obtained in the M.Sc. program forms an excellent basis that is necessary for studies in a Ph.D. program.

Students having diploma from the Biology Master of Science Program of Eötvös Loránd University will be competent researchers in any countries on wide fields of biology from basic to applied science, they can get a job as researchers in industrial firms, different research institutes or even in other universities. Diploma awarded by Eötvös Loránd University scores full marks worldwide.

Those who do not want career as a researcher but are interested in more practice oriented jobs can exploit their knowledge from this program, after some further training, in teaching, in managing technology development projects at industrial or agricultural firms, and in governmental organizations.

Job examples
  • Researcher in basic or applied research institutes in different fields of biological discovery or development (from agriculture through environment protection, health care, medical techniques and applications, to drug development).
  • University teacher of different fields of biology, college or high school teacher of biology.
  • Company employee of agricultural firms (gene technology of organisms, pest control e.t.c.), of industrial firms (among others, gene technology products, environment protection, drug development), officials in governmental organizations (e.g. health care, environment management and protection)
EU/EEA students
non-EU/EEA students
Tuition fee/semester

4,190 EUR

4,190 EUR

Application fee

160 EUR (non-refundable)

160 EUR (non-refundable)

Registration fee

60 EUR (For registering for the first semester only.)

60 EUR (For registering for the first semester only.)

Other costs



non-EU/EEA students
Tuition fee/semester

4,190 EUR

Application fee

160 EUR (non-refundable)

Registration fee

60 EUR (For registering for the first semester only.)

Other costs


Offered for the next academic year


Start program

07, Sep, 2020

Deadline for applications - September intake

30, May, 2020

Is there a February intake


Admission requirements

Entry requirements:

BSc degree is required preferably in biology related fields.

Language requirements

Transcript of test report of International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or equivalent (e.g. TOFEL).

Documents to submit with application
Document Comment
Online application form -
Bachelor-level degree -
Transcript of records -
CV -
Motivation letter -
Letter of recommendation -
Copy of the main pages of the passport needs to be valid
Passport photo -
Medical certificate -
Certificate of clean criminal records -
Copy of application fee transfer -
Language certificate -
Application procedure

The application starts at the online application system. Students need to register in the system, fill in the online application form, upload the required documents and follow the instructions during the application process.

Procedure of the entrance examination:

Applicants will be informed via e-mail on the topics of the oral test two weeks before the entrance examination. The topics are equal to the Hungarian Biology masters entrance oral test topics. The Skype interview is oganised in an in advance collated time. Two examiners interview the applicant. During the interview, examiners gain information of the English comunication skills and the terminology knowledge, moreover on the preparedness of the applicant. The competence of the applicant will be evaluated on a percentual scale. Following all interviews, the eligible applicants will be scored.

Program leader

Prof. Dr. Ádám MIKLÓSI
Head of the Institute of Biology

Program coordinator

Prof. Dr. Erika TÓTH
Head of the Department of Microbiology

International Coordinator
TEL: +36-1-372-2500/6095 (ext.)

More information

Faculty of Science

Faculty of Science