Evolutionary Developmental Biology
The course presents the most recent theory and techniques in evolutionary and developmental biology with an emphasis on the underlying molecular genomics. Recent advances in decoding the genomes of various animals, plants and microbes will be followed, with a discussion on comparative genomics, the evolution of transcription factors and signal transaction molecules and their relation to the evolution of the various complex body plans present through history.
To introduce basic concepts of Evo-Devo that are essential to understand the diversity of animal body plans.
- Introduction (background, general concepts, etc)
- History of animals (fossil records, phylogenic tree)
- History of animals (genomics, molecular phylogeny)
- Genetic toolkits (developmental concepts)
- Genetic toolkits (Hox complex)
- Genetic toolkits (genetic toolkits, animal design)
- Building animals (lower metazoans)
- Building animals (protostomes)
- Building animals (deuterostome and vertebrates)
- Evolution of toolkits (gene families)
- Diversification of body plans (body axis)
- Diversification of body plans (conserved and derived body plans)
- Evolution of morphological novelties
- Species diversification
- Phylum diversification
Homework (20%), Written reports (4 x 20%).
From DNA to Diversity, 2 edn, by Carroll, Grenier and Weatherbee (2005) Blackwell.