Information about Fundamentals of Genetics (BIOL 234) for Fall 2019

Fundamentals of Genetics (BIOL 234) is one of the two introductory genetics courses available to UBC students.  The information on this page is provided to help registering students choose between it and the alternative course, Genetics for Life (BIOL 233).

  • The goal of Fundamentals of Genetics is to develop a deep conceptual understanding of the mechanisms of inheritance to investigate how genotypes affect phenotype.  The emphasis on genetic analysis builds problem-solving skills.
  • Prerequisites are BIOL 112 and BIOL 121.
  • The format involves lectures three times a week, and a once-a-week 2 hour tutorial. The lecture time is generally active: students are engaged in applying concepts, solving problems, and discussing with their peers. In tutorial students will further practice problem solving and applying their knowledge.
  • Two sections will be offered in Fall 2019, with lectures MWF 10:00-11:00 am (section 101) or 3:00-4:00 pm (section 102). There are also two sections in Spring 2017, with lectures MWF 10:00-11:00 am (section 202) and 12:00-1:00 pm (section 201). Each section has many tutorial times to choose from.

Course Overview

  1. Gene and chromosome function.    How do gene and chromosome structures influence function in terms of inheritance and phenotype?
  2. Mutation.  Predict the effects of mutations on gene function.
  3. Phenotype.  What is phenotype? How do interactions between alleles of a gene, and genotype-environment interactions influence phenotype?
  4. InheritanceHow genes and chromosomes are transmitted through the generations.
  5. Genetic Analysis. Using genetic crosses to investigate the role of various genes and alleles on phenotype.  Pedigree analysis and hypothesis testing.
  6. Sex-linkage.  Comparing the inheritance of autosomal to X-linked genes.
  7. Genetic linkage.  When genes are close together on a chromosome they are often inherited together. This includes identifying the location of genes in a genome by mapping with molecular markers.
  8. Mutant Screening and Complementation How are mutations found that affect a specific process. Once new mutations are identified do they affect a new gene or a gene for which other mutations have previously been found?
  9. Gene Interaction.  Investigating how multiple genes can affect the same phenotype. This can include using mutagenesis to identify novel mutant phenotypes, and elucidate genes interactions.
  10. Cancer and changes to chromosome number.  Exploring some of the genetics of somatic mutations and cancer.  What can happen when there are changes to chromosome number?
  11. Genomics, including genome structure, expression and evolution, plus organelle and maternal inheritance. 

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