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The emphasis of this subject is on understanding how evolutionary forces shape the gene pool, on the use of molecular markers in genome mapping, in dissecting polygenic traits by mapping quantitative trait loci, and in other applications such as phylogenetics and conservation biology. The topics covered will be classical population genetics, the impact of natural selection, processes of speciation, conservation genetics, evolution of development, phylogenetic reconstruction, development of saturated linkage maps, physical mapping of genomes, mapping quantitative trait loci, comparative genomics, functional genomics and high-throughout methods of scoring genetic polymorphisms.
Intended learning outcomes
Upon completion of this subject, students should have: understood how genes, gene pools, and genomes change through evolutionary time; acquired an up-to-date understanding of the relationship between molecular genetics and evolutionary biology; developed a capacity to critically review the written literature and to access web-based databases of genomic information; understood how genes, gene pools and genomes change through evolutionary time; developed a critical appreciation for the methods used to detect and quantify the major evolutionary forces; comprehended the logic used in inferring evolutionary processes from patterns of genetic variation in space and time; and appreciated the connections between evolution and conservation biology, development and phylogenetics.
Completion of this subject is expected to enhance the generic skills of a student in: the ability to understand how complex new scientific data is acquired and applied to old and new problems in biology; the ability to read complex literature and be able to interpret this in order to answer detailed questions on both theory and methodology; an appreciation for how modern science is informed by cross-disciplinary studies leading to applications in agriculture, industry and human biology; the ability to use information technology to acquire relevant knowledge; the statistical analysis of data.
Last updated: 8 May 2021