MARINE MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
Undergraduate genetics and ecology
Examination type: Oral examination. Students will perform a presentation focused on a research paper based on Molecular Biology approach and they will discuss about the principles and applications of technologies introduced in this course.
Mark range: 18-30/30
This course introduces the basic aspects of the molecular and cellular biology of marine organisms. Topics include the methodology and applications of molecular biology as a means of examining ecosystem-wide biological processes. At completion of the course, the students should be able to define specific biological problems with corresponding molecular markers, to design compatible experimental procedures and to define the necessary analytical protocols.
Principles and applications of molecular biology tools (genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics) for the study of marine ecology.
Organization and structure of genomes.
Principles of molecular evolution of genes.
Relationship between gene regulation and biological functions.
Phylogenetic relationships among marine organisms
Section 1: Molecular tools for marine biology and ecology
Marine ecological genomics:
Genome sequencing methods: dideoxy procedure, primer walking, pyrosequencing, use of reversible chain terminators, sequencing by ligation, large-scale DNA sequencing methods: shot-gunning strategy for sequencing genomes, cyclic array
sequencing whole genome of key organisms, genome comparison for phylogeny, genomic analysis of natural communities, genomic analysis of communities (genome ecology),
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR): principles and application in marine ecology
Species identification by barcoding.
o Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (QPCR): principles and probes;
o Absolute and quantitative analyses
RNase protection-based assays
CDNA subtractive hybridization(SSH)
DNA arrays: cDNA and oligonucleotide arrays
Comparative approaches to cellular functions based on molecular analyses.
Preparation of protein samples from bacteria, plants and animal tissues.
SDS PAGE and protein detection by Western analysis.
2D gel electrophoresis: 2D protein patterns, mass spectrometry and comparative analyses.
Section 2: Application of molecular markers in marine biology and ecology
Types of molecular markers and their applicability – a matter of scale
Basic concepts in evolution – why molecular data markers?
Specific concepts on genetics
Markers and the individual
Barcode of life revisited- a tool to understand biology
Markers and population
Basic principles of population genetics
Markers and species
Markers and communities
Conservation genetics in the marine environment
Textbook and teaching resource
The students can use "Gene Cloning and DNA Analysis: An Introduction" T.A. Brown 7th Edition as general textbook. The teaching material used for the lessons is available on the e-learning platform.
Lessons and field activities.