Molecular Evolution (BiSc 224)
Number of Credits: 3
Level of instruction: graduate and advanced undergraduates
In this course we will review the diversity and organization of
genomes. The class is designed to examine all major structures of molecules
include, coding and non-coding regions. For example, repetitive sequences to be
surveyed will include LINES, SINES, mini- and micro-satellites, Alu repeats, as
well as telomeric and centromeric repeats. Other genetic elements to be studied
will include transfer RNAs and ribosomal RNAs from both cytoplasmic and nuclear
components. Gene families (Hox genes, Globin genes) will also be examined.
Students will gain an understanding of the diversity and organization of genomes
with emphasis on interpreting this variation in a phylogenetic perspective.
How often is the course offered: Fall Semester during even years.
What is the average enrollment: This is a new course currently under development
and has not yet been taught; we anticipate an enrollment of 10-15 students each
How broad a student audience is served by the course: This is a new course and has
not yet been taught; we anticipate an enrollment of graduate students from GWU
(Departments of Biology, Genetics, and Anthropology), Georgetown University
(Biology Department) and Howard (Anatomy Department).
Molecular systematics, approaches to studying molecular evolution.
Molecular constraints on phylogeny reconstruction, homoplasy.
Genome organization, Gene structure and molecular characters
Selection and Neutrality of genes
Rates of molecular evolution
Patterns of nucleotide substitution.
Nuclear Genome, Genome size variation and gene duplication
Nuclear Genome, Highly repetitive DNAs, ribosomal genes
Nuclear Genome, mini- and micro-satellite DNAs, SINES, LINES
Nuclear Genome, Repetitive DNAs and Multigene families
Nuclear Genome, Concerted evolution and molecular drive
Nuclear Genome, Transposable elements, Evolution of single copy genes
Extrachromosomal DNA, Chloroplast and mitochondrial DNAs
Extrachromosomal DNA, Rates of evolution, Patterns of change