Developmental and molecular genetics

Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semester 2

Typically offered in

Spring semester

Course description

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 knockout and knockdown in developmental genetics. Genome-wide approaches, mutant rescue.

5. Differential gene expression. Expression techniques (Northern and „in situ” hybridization, antibody staining, reporter genes). Genetic transformation. Michrochip analysis

6. RNA-based gene regulation in development (miRNAs in the genomes, prediction and validation). Heterochronic genes. DNA metilation, chromatin remodelling. The roles of NuRD complex in gene regulation.

7. Sex determination and dosage compensation in nematodes, insects and mammals. Sex determination pathways. Isolation of sex mutants (transformers) and their roles in genetic analysis.

8. Early embryonic development in nematodes, flies and mammals. Maternal effect factors, segmentation genes and Hox genes. Polarization in pattern formation (formation of the anteroposterior and dorsoventral axes). Medical applications.

9. Genetics of cell migration and cell usion. Development of the germ line. Regulation of the ageing process

10. Programmed cell death (apoptosis), its role in development, immune system and nervous system. DNA repair.

11. Genetics of cell cycle. Regulation of cell growth and proliferation. Growth factors, receptor kinases and cytoplasmic tirozine kinases. Oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes. Rb, PTEN, p53 proteins.

12. Protein transport. Vesicule transport, recyclisation and endocytosis.

13. Prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes. Splicing, exons, introns. Organellar DNA. Chromosomes and nucleosomes.

14. Recombination. DNA repair. Transposons and retroviruses. Recombinant DNA technology in genome research.

  • Griffiths A., et al.: Introduction to Genetic Analysis, Freeman and Co., New York, 2010, ISBN 9781464100277

  • SF Gilbert "Developmental Biology”, 7th edition, Palgrave Macmillan, 2003

  • EH Davidson "Genomic regulatory systems”, Academic Press 2002

  • B Lewin "Genes”, Jones & Bartlett Learning 2005