Genome Dynamics and Gene Expression

(was Nucleic Acids)

Tu Th 10:30-11:45a BEAD N172

Instructor: Nicole Buan

Description: Detailed examination of dynamic control mechanisms of genome maintenance and gene regulation. Mechanisms of transcription, translation, and replication based on analysis of current and seminal literature.
Rationale: Encompasses contemporary research in nucleic acid biochemistry.
Class format: Students will read and discuss classic and current literature. Experimental design, data interpretation, and critical analysis will be emphasized. Bacterial, archaeal, and eukaryotic model systems will be discussed in parallel. For each unit, students will write a short, 2 page analysis paper. At the conclusion of the course, students will improve their ability to: 1) identify overarching hypotheses, 2) how to design experiments, 3) identify major in gaps in logic or a lack of support for a hypothesis, 4) be comfortable giving and receiving critical ideas to test hypotheses, 5) draw from their broad familiarity with genome dynamics and gene expression mechanisms across all known kingdoms of life.
Topics to be addressed:
1)      Overview of Central Dogma
2)      DNA polymerase enzymology and fidelity
3)      Chromosome replication and recombination
4)      Copy number and ploidy
5)      Operons, gene neighborhoods
6)      RNA polymerase enzymology
7)      Transcription factors
8)      Viruses and mobile genetic elements
9)      Epigenetics
10)   Critique of Central Dogma
11)   Heredity of information as a prerequisite for life
12)   Stochastic variability as the engine of evolution

Wolbachia pipientis genome (green)

The entire bacterial Wolbachia pipientis genome (green) is inserted in the Drosophila ananassae eukaryote genome (red).

From Hotopp et al. 2007. Science. 317: 1753-6.