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ADVANCED GENETICS

             
Compulsory/Elective Code Semester Lectures Practicals Credits ECTS
Elective 13A504 5th 4 Hrs/Wk - 4 5.5
Aims:
 
 

1. To provide a course on special topics of Genetics. It complements the basic knowledge acquired in the course "Genetics" and introduces students to the principles of: the structure, function, organization and expression of genetic material, damage and repair of DNA, genetic transposable elements, prokaryotic genetics, basic viral genetics, horizontal gene transfer and genetic mapping, organellar genetics and extrachromosomal heredity, chemical communication and induction of genetic phenomena in prokaryotic and lower eukaryotic organisms and modern genetic technology and its applications.

2. To prepare students for developing (a) critical competence in basic and modern Genetics issues, (b) analytical but also synthetic thinking in the subject, and finally (c) knowledge of the historical and future challenges

3. To show and outline how different topics of Genetics evolved and which future challenges they present.

4. To investigate the procedures of searching the most recent relevant articles concerning topics of Genetics, the assimilation of the content, the synthesis of the information and the public presentation of it in a concise and meaningful way (when students undertake who undertake the study and presentation of a seminar theme).

5. To develop skills for writing a paper work based on the requirements and standards of an article published in a peer-reviewed article

6. To teach students how to co-operate in the search, analysis, writing and presentation of a Genetics topic of high impact.

 
Objectives:
 
 

At the end of the course students should: a) Acquire enhanced knowledge on how to search, analyse and synthesize data and information of modern genetic science, b) Acquire knowledge on how to work in an international and interdisciplinary environment for the refresher of course material as well as a bibliographic search / receipt of work for the composition of the seminars, c) Be able to use of the necessary technologies (databases, servers and data analysis programs, international electronic libraries), d) Be able to work autonomously, study, analyze data, write reports and present seminars concerning genetic advanced topics, e) Be able to promote free, creative and inductive thinking, f) Be able to participate successfully in teamwork projects (writing / presenting seminars), g) Be able to apply knowledge in the scientific approach, h) Be able to produce new research ideas that arise during teaching and presentations of students.

 
Lectures:
 
 

DNA Damage (3 Hours): Mechanisms of spontaneous mutation, role of DNA polymerases, depurination and depyrimidination, and environmental mutagenic agents.

Molecular mechanisms of DNA Repair (5 Hours): Detoxification of chemical mutagenic agents, photo-repair, repair of mutations produced by alkylating agents, role of glycosylases, role of AP endonucleases, excision mechanisms, post-replication repair, repair through genetic recombination, SOS-repair system.

Transposable Elements (4 Hours): Prokaryotic and eukaryotic transposable elements, molecular mechanisms of Tn transposition, replication mechanisms, regulation mechanisms, Tn5-Tn10-Mu as prokaryotic examples, corn-drosophila transposons as eukaryotic examples, retroviruses and retrotransposons, LINE and SHINE sequences.

Extrachromosomal Inheritance (8 Hours): Methods of detection, maternal effects, genome organization and gene function of chloroplast DNA, genome organization and gene function of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), mapping of circular eukaryotic replicons, mtDNA in population studies, diagnosis and molecular phylogenesis, endosymbiosis theories.

Bacterial and fungal transformation (8 Hours): Kinetics of bacterial transformation, cell competence, the fate of transformed DNA, molecular mechanisms of transformation, fungal transformation, genetic mapping via transformation. Protoplast technology: generation of naked protoplasts from bacterial, fungal and plant cells. Protoplast fusion between otherwise incompatible to mating cells. Electroporation.

Bacterial conjugation (10 Hours): Conjugation in E. coli, the paradigm and history of F plasmid, F+, F-, F' and Hfr strains, molecular mechanisms of DNA transfer via conjugation, structural and functional properties of plasmids, role of IS elements, copy number control and partition, mechanisms of plasmid incompatibility, catabolic plasmids, R- plasmids, helped conjugation, mobilization, molecular mechanisms of repression and de-repression, strain construction.

Phage transduction (6 Hours): Types of transducing phages, generalised transduction, abortive transduction, specialized transduction, the paradigm of λ phage, genetic organization and gene function of λ phage genome, constructing λd and λdgal strains, role of helper phages, the genetic basis of lysogeny, molecular mechanisms controlling the lytic and lysogenic cycles, the role of phages in gene inactivation and strain construction.

Genetic Engineering (8 Hours): DNA isolation from prokaryotes and eukaryotes – vector DNA isolation (plasmid, phage and viral). DNA shearing and the use of restriction/modification enzymes. Molecular cloning of DNA fragments into plasmid, phage, cosmid, BAC and YAC vectors - cell transformation with recombinant DNA. Genomic or cDNA library construction, methods to search for specific genes. Further analysis of recombinant DNA: restriction analysis and mapping, hybridization, sequencing and PCR. Recombinant DNA technology applications in gene expression studies, directed mutagenesis, gene replacement and therapy, molecular diagnostics, protein overexpression and transgenic technology

 
Practicals:
 
 

 

 
Instructors:
 
  Lectures: K. M. Pappas, Assistant Professor of Genetics – Molecular Microbial Genetics (Coordinator)V. N. Kouvelis, Assistant Professor of Genetics and Biotechnology - M. A. Typas, Professor Emeritus
 
 
Notes:
 
 

The evaluation process is done in Greek (or English for Erasmus students). The process includes for everyone a final written examination of the whole course syllabus: extended answer questions or problem solving description. For those who additionally took a seminar, the process includes the public presentation of the seminar and the delivery/evaluation of the accompanying work. The level of written examination is 100% of the course grade for those who did not take a seminar and 85% for those who took over, with the seminar contributing the remaining 15%.

 
Contact:
 
  If you require more information, please contact the Course Coordinator, Ass. Prof. K. M. Pappas at: Tel: (+30) 210 727 4340 - e-mail: kmpappas[at]biol.uoa[dot]gr