Biology 430

BIOL 430

Catalog Entry

BIOLOGY 430: Genes and Development
Three hours lecture; three hours laboratory (4).

Prerequisites : BIOL 132 and 231; or permission of instructor.

An introduction to the molecular, physiological, and morphological events of developmental systems with emphasis on vertebrates. Emphasis will be placed on gene regulation during gametogenesis, fertilization, early development, organogenesis, and cellular differentiation. Laboratory will involve a comparative morphological study of embryos and analysis of gene expression during development.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

I. Introduction to Developmental Biology and Gene regulation

A. Techniques and concepts of Gene Regulation
B. Developmental Concepts and Methods

II. Gametogenesis

A. Oogenesis
B. Spermatogenesis

III. Fertilization

A. Egg Activation
B. Parthenogenesis

IV. Early Embryogenesis

A. Cleavage
B. Blastulation
C. Gastrulation
D. Neurulation
E. Germ Layer Formation

V. Cellular Differentiation

A. Maintenance and differentiation of stem cells
B. Current topics in stem cell analysis

VI. Organogenesis

A. Muscle Development
B. Skeletal Development
C. Limb Development
D. Digestive System
E. Respiratory System
F. Circulatory System
G. Urogenital System
H. Nervous System

1. Eyes
2. Ears
3. Brain
4. Cranial nerves

I. Endocrine System
J. Integumentary System

VIII. Regeneration

IX. Hormonal Control of Development
X. Environmental Control of Development and Teratology


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course will be conducted in a traditional lecture format with active learning opportunities such as frequent in-class writing assignments. Students will write either a term paper or a critique of a journal article on developmental biology, and make an oral presentation to the class. The laboratory portion of the course will include experiments designed and conducted by the students. The data from these projects will be presented as written lab reports and oral presentations.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

This course will provide students with the opportunity to achieve:

1. An understanding of the processes of genetic regulation of development and gametogenesis
2. An understanding of the processes of fertilization and egg activation
3. An understanding of the processes of morphogenesis through examining cleavage, blastulation, gastrulation, and neurulation.
4. An understanding of the processes of cellular differentiation and organogenesis.
5. A knowledge of selected comparative embryology and contemporary topics of developmental biology
6. Enhanced skills in written and oral communication as well as small group learning activities.


Assessment Measures

Student knowledge gained from lecture will be evaluated through writing assignments done in class, short answer and essay lecture exams and a comprehensive final exam. Knowledge gained outside of lecture will be evaluated through a term paper or article critique and oral presentations.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

September 2001        Dr. Charles M. Neal, Chair

Revised 4/13/09        Gary Coté