GEN-30306 Genetic Analysis, Tools and Concepts (GATC)


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Practical extensively supervised24
Practical intensively supervised58
Problem-based learning3
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. JHSGM de Jong
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. AJM Debets
prof. dr. JJB Keurentjes
prof. dr. JHSGM de Jong
dr. ir. K Swart
prof. dr. JAGM de Visser
dr. ir. TG Wijnker
Examiner(s)prof. dr. JHSGM de Jong

Language of instruction:



This course deals with genetic tools and concepts to analyze and understand the processes of evolution/adaptation, genetic recombination, mutation and transmission of genes, quantitative traits and chromosomes in various prokaryotic and eukaryotic model organisms. We demonstrate how genetic analysis is used to unravel and understand complex biological phenomena, such as aging, adaptation, symbiosis, somatic incompatibility, and sexual reproduction.
The following major genetic concepts are dealt with:
- organization of chromosomes and chromatin;
- recombination at the mechanistic level (molecular, chromosomal), and at the level of the consequences (genetic and genome-wide);
- transmission (vertical and horizontal) of nuclear and cytoplasmic genetic elements;
- mutation, with emphasis on induction, selection and characterization of mutants in view of genetic dissection of biological processes. Also modern versions are elaborated: gene replacement, up-regulation, down-regulation, copy number variation;
- adaptation, as demonstration of flexibility and plasticity of genomes;
epigenetic inheritance as a source of variation in phenotypes.
Genetic tools include genetic mapping techniques using (molecular) markers and QTLs, analysis of recombination, strategies for chromosome and genome analysis, and experimental approaches of evolutionary processes. Several techniques for the genetic analysis of biological functions will be illustrated in laboratory practicals and computer based experiments.

Learning outcomes:

At the end of the course the student is expected to:
- have thorough understanding of the concepts of genetic transmission;
- understand genetic recombination, both at the chromosomal and molecular level;
- be able to judge the consequences of mutations and recombination;
- comprehend the common strategies of genetic analysis;
- understand genetic dissection;
- be able to perform genetic experiments and to analyze experimental data;
- be able to write reports about the experiments and to discuss the results;
- be able to evaluate critically research papers.


Lectures and computermodules will help the students to study textbook chapters and the syllabus. Recent research papers will be discussed in the problem oriented part of the course. The practicals include experiments on genetic analysis in bacteria and fungi, and on the analysis of chromosomes and genomes.


The written exam result must be >5.5 and counts for 60%, the problem oriented part and the practical each count for 20%.


Text book: A.J.F. Griffiths et al., An Introduction to Genetic Analysis, Freeman & Co, 9th ed. A study guide, recent research papers, and a practical manual will be available at the start of the course. In addition all information will be provided via the Internetsite or EDUweb.

Compulsory for: BPWPlant SciencesBScA: Plant Genomics and Health1AF
Restricted Optional for: MBIBiologyMScC: Animal Biology1AF
MBIBiologyMScA: Cell Biology1AF
MBIBiologyMScB: Plant Biology1AF
Restricted Optional for: WUPBTBSc Minor Plant Biotechnology1AF