Courses > Semester 4

Biochemistry II

Synthesizing the Molecules of Life - the Biosynthesis of Amino Acids Nucleotide Biosynthesis- The Biosynthesis of Membrane Lipids and Steroids- DNA Replication, -RNA Synthesis -Protein Synthesis Overview of metabolism.

Plant Physiology

Photosynthesis: Photosynthetic light reactions. Carbon fixation: the C3 cycle. The C2 cycle. Carbon dioxide concentrating systems. The physiology of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis and global climate change.
Water and Transport in Plants: The pathway of water movement. Water potential and the direction of water movement. Water flow in soil and xylem. Transpiration and stomatal control. Surviving water shortage. Phloem structure and function. The mechanism and control of phloem transport.
Plant mineral nutrition: Mineral nutrient uptake. Availability of ions. Regulation of internal concentrations of mineral nutrients. Nutrient foraging. Toxic soils. Crop development
Plant growth and development: Embryogenesis, seed formation and germination. Plant growth regulators and plant development. Seedling development. Phototropism and auxin. Flowering and flower development. Fruit ripening, abscission and senescence.
Interactions between seed plants and microbes: Four dimensions of an interaction. Case studies. Plant-microbe interactions. Pathogenesis, virulence and resistance. Defense mechanisms in seed plants. Recognition and response. Mycorrhizas in the community.

Genetics

Contents

Introduction to Genetics

Classical & modern genetics, basic concepts of genetics, geneticicts & genetic research.

Mendelian Genetics

Genotype & phenotype, Mendel's experimental design, monohybrid crosses – Mendel's principle of segregation, dihybrid crosses – Mendel's principle of independent assortment, the rediscovery of Mendel's principles, statistical analysis of genetic data - the x2 test, mendelian genetics in humans.

Chromosomal Basis of Inheritance

Chromosomes & cellular reproduction, chromosomal theory of inheritance, sex chromosomes & sex determination, analysis of sex-linked traits in humans.

Extensions of Mendelian Genetic Principles

Determination of the number of alleles that control a phenotype, multiple alleles, modifications off dominance relationships, gene interactions & modified mendelian ratios, essential genes and lethat alleles, gene expression and the environment.

Gene Mapping in Eukaryotes

The discovery of genetic linkage – Morgan's experiments with Drosophila, gene recombination and the role of chromosomal exchange, construction of genetic maps, tetrad analysis in haploid eukaryotes, mitotic recombination, mapping human genes.

Variations in Chromosome Structure and Number

Types of chromosomal mutations, Variations in Chromosome Structure, Variations in Chromosome Number.

Genetics of Bacteria and Bacteriophages

Genetic analysis of bacteria, gene mapping in bacteria by conjugation, transformation, transduction, mapping bacteriophage genes, fine-structure analysis of a bacteriophage gene.

Non-Mendelian Inheritance

Origin of mitochondria and chloroplasts, organization of extranuclear genomes, rules of non-mendelian inheritance, examples of non-mendelian inheritance, maternal effect.

Population Genetics

Genetic structure of populations, the Hardy-Weinberg law, genetic variation in space & time, in natural populations, forces that change gene frequencies in populations, summary of the effects of evolutionary forces on the genetic structure of a population, the role of genetics in conservation biology, speciation.

Lab courses

  1. Monohybrid-dihybrid crosses. Observation of Drosophila melanogaster individuals, distinction of males-females & phenotypes, crosses.
  2. Polytene chromosomes. Salivary gland isolation of Drosophila melanogaster larvae, isolation and observation of polytene chromosomes.
  3. Phenocopies. Production of Drosophila melanogaster phenocopies by phenocopying agents, control on the heritability of the observed traits.
  4. Extensions of Mendelian Genetics: multiple alleles. Examination and statistics of blood groups.
  5. Genetic analysis in haploid eukaryotes. Crosses between different mutant types of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe.
  6. Genetic linkage. Gene mapping in Drosophila melanogaster.
  7. Genetic analysis in prokaryotes Ι. Bacterial conjugation between Escherichia coli strains, control of the transmission of extrachromosomal inheritance.
  8. Genetic analysis in prokaryotes ΙΙ. Transduction of Escherichia coli by bacteriophage λ: induction of lytic cycle and plaque formation.
  9. Population genetics. Control of Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in a Drosophila melanogaster population.

Developmental Biology

The chapters mentioned in this content description refer to the book primarily used in the course (J.M.W. Slack "Essential Developmental Biology", Blackwell Publishing, Second Edition, 2006). Please be aware that the chapter references are here in general; not everything in the chapter will be taught, as there is simply not enough time. Please refer to the uploaded slides and your course notes for the detailed content of the course. Also, make sure to visit the Appendix: Key molecular components as often as possible, as it provides in depth knowledge to important developmental aspects studied in the course.

1. Fundamentals of developmental Biology

Developmental biology unites, among others, the disciplines of molecular and cellular biology, genetics and morphology. Therefore it is necessary to obtain a basic knowledge in these subjects, to fully understand the concepts of developmental biology. The first part of this course we will deal with common features of development, the basics in developmental genetics and the principles of experimental biology. We will also briefly cover the techniques used to study development (chapters 2-5).

In detail:

Common Features of Development: Gametogenesis, Early Development, Morphogenetic processes, Growth and death; Developmental Genetics: Developmental mutants, Screening for mutants, Cloning of genes, Transgenesis; Experimental Embryology: Normal development, Developmental commitment, Acquisition of commitment, Homeotic genes, Criteria for proof; Techniques for the study of development: Microscopy, Study of gene expression by biochemical methods, Study of gene expression by in situ methods, Reporter genes, Microinjection, Cell-labeling methods, Cell sorting.

2. Major model organisms

Another part of this introductory course will deal about the "model organisms" used to study the various aspects of developmental biology: the worm C. elegans, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, zebrafish Danio rerio, the African claw fish Xenopus, the chicken and the mouse. We will work through the development of each of the model organisms and talk about their importance in today's lives, especially to those working in biological and medical research. However, main focus will be developmental aspects in Drosophila, zebrafish and the mouse (chapters 6-12).

In detail:

Model organisms: The big six, Availability and cost, Access and micromanipulation, Genetics and genome maps, Relevance and tempo; Xenopus: Oogenesis-maturation-fertilization, Embryonic development, Regional specification; Zebrafish: Normal development, Mutagenesis, Regional specification; The chick: Normal development, Regional specification of the early embryo; The mouse: Mammalian fertilization, Normal embryonic development, Technology of mouse development, Regional specification in development, Other topics in mouse development; Drosophila: Insects, Normal development, Drosophila developmental genetics, Overview of the developmental program; Caenorhabditis elegans Normal development, Regional specification in the embryo, Programmed cell death.

3. Organogenesis

After having covered early development in the previous parts of this course, the last part of the teaching course will be focusing on later developmental processes. Organogenesis is huge and an important field for a developmental biologist and we will try to cover the basics regarding tissue types and cell renewal. This part will also cover a general view of the development of the three germ layers. At the end we will be also talking about growth, aging and cancer (chapters 13, 14, 15, 16, 18).

In detail:

Tissue organization and Stem cells: Types of tissue, Tissue renewal, Skin, Intestine Hematopoietic system; Development of the nervous system: Overall structure and cell types, Neural stem cells; Development of mesodermal organs: Somitogenesis and myogenesis, The kidney, Germ cell and gonadal development, Limb development, Heart and blood vessels; Development of endodermal organs: Normal development; Growth-Aging and Cancer


Course book

  • J.M.W. Slack "Essential Developmental Biology" (Blackwell Publishing, Second Edition, 2006)

Additional course material

  1. S. Kousoulakos, "Introduction to Developmental Biology and Histology", (Academic Edition Parisianou A.E.. Athens, 2007)
  2. S. F. Gilbert, "Developmental Biology", (Sinauer and Associates, Sunderland, Mass., 2006).

Ecology

Course Contents

  1. Introduction to Ecology
  2. Populations: Sampling and density, population growth, density dependence, life tables, age-structured populations, population regulation
  3. Ecological interactions: Types of interactions (++, +- and --), competition and niches, predation, herbivory, parasitism, mutualism and symbiosis, coevolution.
  4. Communities: biodiversity, diversity indices, species abundance relations, alpha, beta and gamma diversity, species area curves, island biogeography, ecological succession.

Laboratory Exercises

  1. Population dynamics I
  2. Population dynamics II
  3. Measuring arthropod biodiversity
  4. Measuring plant biodiversity
  5. Analysis of plant diversity data
  6. How to write scientific papers
  7. Field trip to Zagori: self-thinning, life tables and succession
  8. Analysis of field data

Course books

  1. Molles, Manuel C. (Jr), Ecology: meaning and application, 2009
  2. Lykakis, S., Ecology, Athanasopopulos-Papadamis Publishers, Athens 1996.
  3. Pianka, E. Evolutionary Ecology, University of Crete publishers, Iraklion 2006.
  4. J.M. Halley, Notes for General Ecology, UOI Website.