Evolution and Development

Faculteit Science and Engineering
Jaar 2020/21
Vakcode WBBY037-05
Vaknaam Evolution and Development
Niveau(s) bachelor
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester II a
Rooster rooster.rug.nl

Uitgebreide vaknaam Evolution and Development
Leerdoelen At the end of the course, the student is able to:
1. Describe the developmental process from fertilized egg to late stage embryo in animals including mammals, insects and birds
2. Discuss the relationship between individual-level developmental change and population-level evolutionary change
3. Define and discuss core concepts in evolutionary developmental biology including homology, heterochrony, modularity and robustness
4. Summarize the role of genes of large effect (HOX genes and others) in generating the characteristic body plans of different species
5. Analyse and interpret gene regulatory networks that are important in development
6. Categorize and distinguish between the various types of regulatory genetic element
7. Relate developmental mutations to the origin of phenotypic novelty and major transitions in animal evolution
Omschrijving We often think of evolution as optimizing a phenotype such as beak shape or body size, according to the environment in which an
animal lives. However, these characteristics of animal bodies do not derive directly from expression of one or more genes. In all
multicellular animals, phenotypes arise through a gradual process of individual development which starts with a single cell.

This course examines the process of development in various vertebrate and invertebrate species. We explore the relationship
between individual-level phenotypic change due to development, and population-level change due to evolution by natural selection.
We will study how the basic body plan of different species arises through gene regulatory networks operating during early
development. We will learn how animal development has itself evolved and how it generates morphological variation that is the raw
material for evolution.

Evolutionary developmental biology is a core component of contemporary evolutionary biology and this course is particularly suited
to those wishing to specialize in an evolutionary, genetics or ecology-related major. We focus especially on animal species that are
used for empirical research at RUG – mammals, birds and insects, and will provide some hands-on experience of studying
developmental mutations in Drosophila, along with practical computational methods for studying gene expression networks and their
Uren per week
Onderwijsvorm Hoorcollege (LC), Practisch werk (PRC), Werkcollege (T)
(Traditional lecture 12 hrs, Weeky synthesis lecture 8 hrs, Small group discussion and debate 6 hrs, Developmental mutations in Drosophila 8 hrs, Computational methods for analyzing gene regulatory networks 4 hrs, Self study 32 hrs)
Toetsvorm Meerkeuze toets (MC), Practisch werk (PR), Schriftelijk tentamen (WE)
(Final Exam 40%, Multiple choice exam 20%, Drosophila mutation experiments 20%, Computational analysis of regulatory networks 20%. Students must complete all practical work and complete the final written exam. Students must achieve a grade of over 5.5 in the written exam to pass.)
Vaksoort bachelor
Coördinator M.G. Elliot, PhD.
Docent(en) M.G. Elliot, PhD. ,dr. L.P.W.G.M. Jacobus Mgn Van De Zande
Verplichte literatuur
Titel Auteur ISBN Prijs
From DNA to Diversity, 2nd edition Sean B Carroll, Jennifer K. Grenier and Scott D. Weatherbee 97811 18685 204 €  65,00
Entreevoorwaarden The Evolution and Development course is part of the “Ecology and Evolution” and “Integrative Biology” specializations. As such it
builds upon basic foundations of evolutionary biology acquired in the first year of the Biology curriculum. Students should have
studied a suitable first year course such as: Genetics, Ecology & Evolution; Evolutionary Ecology; Biochemistry and Cell Biology in
Ecology and Evolution.

Biology and Life Science & Technology (old curriculum) course units are only accessible for students of those degree programmes. Students from other degree programmes who would like to participate in Biology course units are obliged to contact one of the academic advisors before registration. After this contact, students have to request admission from the Board of Examiners Biology/Life Science & Technology. Failing to follow this procedure results in immediate unenrollment without prior notification.
Opmerkingen Presence during (parts of) the course is mandatory.

The course will be closely integrated with the following course units: Evolutionary Processes; Evolutionary Medicine; Genes and Behaviour.

Dit vak had vorig jaar vakcode WBLS19023
Opgenomen in
Opleiding Jaar Periode Type
BSc Biology: major Behaviour and Neurosciences 2 semester II a keuze
BSc Biology: major Ecology and Evolution 2 semester II a keuze
BSc Biology: major Integrative Biology 2 semester II a verplicht
BSc LS&T: major Behaviour and Neurosciences (cohort 2018 and 2019) 2 semester II a keuze