Developmental Genetics

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Developmental Genetics

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    GENE 223 and (GENE 221 or GENE 222)

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Genetics and epigenetics of development and human disease. Developmental gene regulation. Developmental genetics of plants. Morphogenesis, regeneration and stem cells.

    The lecture course traverses four topics in developmental genetics. The first topic is on Notch signalling and focuses on how cell signalling pathways control cell fate from a cellular to a molecular level. The second topic is flowering time in plants, which will give you background in plant developmental genetics. The third topic will focus on chromatin structure and developmental disease, bringing in both epigenetic control of gene expression in development as well as introducing human aspects to developmental genetics. The final topic will focus on how structures are built in the vertebrate embryos, how they regenerate if damaged and the concepts and importance of stem cells for future medical applications.

    In the labs you will learn "four important techniques" - Immunohistochemistry, RNA interference, Genetic Screening and in-situ hybridisation - as well as introducing you to three new model organisms: the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans; the chick; and the thale cress, Arabidopsis thaliana. The practical course will also focus on teaching you microscopy and imaging, key techniques in developmental genetics.

    Teaching Arrangements
    All labs are held in Room G09, Biochemistry building.

    Course Structure
    The lecture course is divided into 4 lecture modules with 6 lectures in each module, and there are 4 lab modules.

    Learning Outcomes
    This paper aims to develop skills in modern developmental genetics including:
    - Development of an understanding of modern approaches to developmental genetics, including the logic of experiments and the inferences drawn from them
    - Development of key skills in imaging and manipulating embryos in genetics experiments
    - Gaining an understanding of the roles of cell signalling processes, epigenetics and morphogens in development
    - To build an understanding of plant and animal development, both experimental and theoretical
    - To develop skills in interpreting developmental genetic experimental data

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

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Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

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Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.