Course Name: Genetics

Credits: 3.0

Level: Undergraduate

Pre-requisite: Biochemistry, Introduction to Life Science

Lecture Time: 15 weeks, 2 sessions/week, 2 hours/session

Instructors: Dr. Bo Zhang, Dr. Xiangjun Tong

Course Description

The Genetics course will focus on the introduction to general principles of inheritance, genetic analyses, genome analyses, and the development of gene concept, as well as the application of these principles. This course will also introduce the latest progress in the field of genetics. Exercises on problem solving skills are emphasized in this course to help students grasp and apply the basic concepts of genetics in practice.

Topics and Schedule

  1. Introduction——Genetics: The Study of Biological Information (4 hrs)
    1. How was Genetics Developed?

(The History of Genetics and The Development of Gene Concept)

  1. What is Genetics?

(What is Gene?)

  1. Why Study Genetics?

(The Relationship Between Genetics and Other Life Sciences)

  1. What Has Genetics Told Us?

(The Themes of Modern Genetics)

  1. What Has Genetics NOT Told Us?

(The New Areas of Genetics)

  1. Mendel’s Laws of Inheritance (4 hrs)

2.1.   Mendel’s Breakthrough: Patterns, Particles, and Principles of Heredity

2.2.   Extension to Mendel: Complexities in Relating Genotype to Phenotype

  1. The Chromosome Theory of Inheritance and Linkage Analysis (6 hrs)

3.1.   The Chromosome Theory of Inheritance

3.2.   Linkage and Recombination

3.3.   Mapping: Locating Genes Along a Chromosome

3.4.   Mechanism of homologous recombination and gene conversion

  1. The Concepts of Gene and Mutation (8 hrs)

4.1.   The evolution of the concept of gene

4.2.   Gene mutations and dissecting gene function

4.3.   somatic mutation and tumor

  1. Genome Analysis (8 hrs)

5.1.   The concept of genome

5.2.   Deconstructing the Genome

5.3.   Reconstructing the genome

  1. Homework tutorial-1 (Chapters 1 and 2) (1 hr)
  2. Chromosomal Aberration (6 hrs)

7.1.   Rearrangements of DNA Sequences Within Chromosomes

7.2.   Changes in Chromosome Number

  1. Genetic Analysis in Prokaryotes (7 hrs)

8.1.   Gene Transfer and Mapping in Model Prokaryotes

8.2.   Gene Regulation in Prokaryotes

  1. Genetic Analysis in Eukaryotes (5 hrs)

9.1.   Genetic Analyses in Unicellular Eukaryotes

9.2.   Genetic Analyses in Multicellular Eukaryotes

  1. Epigenetic Analysis (2 hrs)

10.1.      The concepts and scope of epigenetics

10.2.      Chromatin-based epigenetic variations and regulation

10.3.      Genomic imprinting and epigenetic analyses

  1. Human Disease and Genetics (2 hrs)

11.1. Family-based linkage analysis for monogenic disease

11.2.  Population-based association study for polygenenic disease (complex disease)

11.3. Gene, diseases and environmental factors

  1. Genetic Analysis of Populations (2 hrs) 

12.1.      Hardy-Weinberg Law

12.2.  Changes in Allele Frequency

12.3.      Consanguineous Mating and Path Analysis

  1. Homework tutorial-2 (Chapters 5-7) (1 hr)
  2. Comprehensive Lecture (4 hrs)

Applications of Genetics——Genetic Screen in Model Vertebrate Organisms


Problem sets covering five chapters will be assigned as homework during the class. The homework will be graded and their scores will count for 30% of the total. At the end of the class will be followed by a final examination, which will count for 70%.


Hartwell et al., Genetics: From Genes to Genomes, 5th ed., McGraw-Hill Higher Education, New York, 2015.