Evolutionary Genetics

Course code:
Period 3
Language of tuition:
Fac. der Aard- en Levenswetenschappen
dr. J.M. Kooter
dr. J.M. Kooter
dr. J.M. Kooter
dr. ir. T.F.M. Roelofs
Teaching method(s):
Lecture, Seminar, Computer lab

Course objective

Course objectives:
At the end of the course, the student
• is able to describe and explain the dynamic nature of genomes and the
underlying molecular mechanisms in relation to molecular evolution
• can describe the regular mechanisms of transcriptional and
post-transcriptional gene regulation and how genetic variation can
affect these processes in relation to new traits and adaptation
• can describe how natural selection, genetic drift, mutation, and
migration influence the genetic structure of populations and speciation
• is able to explain the basic concepts of population genetics and apply
those mathematically
• can interpret and determine phylogenetic relationships and is able to
use computer programs for the construction of phylogenetic trees
• is able to describe current hypotheses of 'the origin of life' and to
discuss the evidence

Course content

To achieve the course objectives, the following topics will be
• Causes and mechanisms of genetic variation at nucleotide, gene, and
chromosomal level
• Genome evolution in pro- and eukaryotes
• Horizontal DNA transfer
• Evolutionary consequences of genome evolution and sex
• Causes of Speciation
• Molecular evolution of viral and bacterial pathogens
• Origin of life models
• The use of bioinformatics and comparative genomics
• Population genetics: allele frequencies in relation to selection and
genetic drift
• Use of genetic variation to examine stochastic and deterministic
• Application of simple mathematical rules to examine the behavior of
alleles of one and two loci in ideal populations, and for genes with a
quantitative effect.
• Reconstruction of phylogenetic trees using DNA sequences and cladistic
computer programs
• Phylogeography
• Evolution - Development (Evo-Devo)

Type of assessment

- Written exam; 80% of final grade
- Literature presentation on Evolution-related subject; 20% of final

To pass, grades for both assessments should be ≥ 5,5

Entry requirements

Genetics, molecular genetics, and developmental biology

Recommended background knowledge

Basic genetics and molecular biology

Registration procedure

Enrollment through studentportal:Vunet.vu.nl


This minor course requires a minimum of 20 participants to take place.

© Copyright VU University Amsterdam
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