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Population Genetics
Code: 45080
ECTS: 6.0
Lecturers in charge: doc. dr. sc. Aleksandar Vojta - Lectures
Lecturers: Aleksandar Vojta - Seminar
Take exam: Studomat
English level:

1,0,0

All teaching activities will be held in Croatian. However, foreign students in mixed groups will have the opportunity to attend additional office hours with the lecturer and teaching assistants in English to help master the course materials. Additionally, the lecturer will refer foreign students to the corresponding literature in English, as well as give them the possibility of taking the associated exams in English.
Load:

1. komponenta

Lecture typeTotal
Lectures 30
Seminar 15
* Load is given in academic hour (1 academic hour = 45 minutes)
Description:
LEARNING OUTCOMES
1. Define and describe the basic concepts of population genetics and their implications for other biological disciplines.

2. Explain the effect of evolutionary forces, emphasize the similarities and differences between them, and determine which of them and under which condition are the most effective for evolutionary dynamics (allele frequency changes) and for microevolutionary change (change of mean population phenotype).

3. Calculate population genetic parameters and predict evolutionary dynamics using equations which connect evolutionary forces and microevolutionary change.

4. Understand and analyse the empirical estimates of population genetic and quantitative genetic parameters, and explain them by theoretical concepts of population and quantitative genetics.

5. Recognise and apply the concepts of population and quantitative genetics in other relevant disciplines of biology (botany, zoology, evolutionary biology and ecology) and applied biology (conservation biology, agronomy, medicine and forensics).

6. Develop critical thinking and problem solving abilities which are in addition to scientific curiosity, the most important factors for further learning and scientific progress.
COURSE CONTENT:
The Population Genetics course consists of three parts: classical population genetics, molecular population genetics and quantitative genetics.
LECTURES
1. Classical population genetics History of population genetics (origin of neodarwinism and the scope of population genetics); population without the action of evolutionary forces (ideal population, concept of allelic and genotypic frequencies, Hardy-Weinberg law, gametic phase or linkage disequilibrium).

2. Evolutionary forces a general view (systematic and stochastic forces, definition of evolutionary change); isolated action of evolutionary forces at the level of a single locus with two alleles; mutation as an evolutionary force (allele frequency change under the action of mutation, model with and without backward mutation); migration or gene flow as an evolutionary force (island migration model).

3. Natural selection as an evolutionary force (concept of fitness, equations for the allele frequency change under selection, directional and balancing selection).

4. Balancing selection (overdominance); alternative formulas for the allele frequency change under natural selection (concept of selection coefficient, genetic load of population).

5. Mutation-selection balance (equations for the equilibrium allele frequency under deleterious mutation-selection balance for various dominance coefficients, equilibrium genetic load of population); genetic drift in metapopulation (sampling error as a major source of genetic drift, variance of allelic frequencies between subpopulations as a measure for differentiation between subpopulations, Drosophila experiment, Wright-Fisher model of genetic drift, Kimura model of genetic drift - diffusion equation approach).

6. Genetic drift and inbreeding (definition of inbreeding coefficient, concept of an effective population size, genotypic frequencies as a consequence of inbreeding, fixation index as a measure for the differentiation between subpopulations, Wright´s F-statistics).
7. Molecular population genetics Infinite alleles model (derivation of equation for the equilibrium heterozygosity due to the simultaneous effect of neutral mutation and genetic drift, allele fixation probability, rate of gene substitution or the rate of molecular evolution).

8. Neutral theory of molecular evolution (rate of aminoacid substitution, empirical data for neutral polymorphism and the rate of gene substitution, neutralist-selectionist debate).

9. Quantitative genetics Polygenic inheritance and simultaneous segregation at many loci; phenotypic value and its distribution in population (theoretical contributions of Fisher and Udny-Yule, Nilsson-Ehle experiment, division of quantitative traits, environmental effects on quantitative traits, mean phenotype of population).

10. Genetic basis of quantitative trait (offspring-parent regression); decomposition of phenotype (genotypic value and the environmental deviation, genic or breeding value as a potential for the change of a mean population phenotype, dominance deviation and interaction or epistatic deviation, mean breeding value and mean dominance deviation of population).

11. Phenotypic variance and its decomposition (genotypic and environmental variance, additive genetic variance, dominance variance and interaction or epistatic variance).

12. Concept of heritability as an evolutionary potential of population; resemblance between relatives (offspring-parent regression, intraclass correlation coefficient, genetic covariances between relatives); heritability estimates based on data about resemblance between relatives.

13. Selection of quantitative traits (artificial selection and breeder´s equation, selection differential as a mean superiority of selected individuals, response to selection as a measure of microevolutionary change of population mean phenotype, derivation of breeder´s equation).

14. Experimental examples of artificial selection and artificial microevolution (short-term and long-term responses to selection, artificial selection on mouse and Drosophila); natural selecton of quantitative traits (limited application of breeder´s equation for natural selection).

15. Natural selection of quantitative traits in wild populations (selection differential as a phenotypic covariance between particular trait and fitness, selection equation for natural selection of quantitative traits, Fisher´s fundamental theorem of natural selection and its meaning); genes for quantitative traits and the concept of quantitative trait locus (QTL).
EXERCISES
Exercises consist of the problem (exercise) solving based on a particular lecture as follows:
1. Hardy Weinberg law and gametic phase disequilibrium;

2. Mutation and migration;

3. Natural selection based on general selection equation (single locus model);

4. Overdominant selection and alternative formulas for directional and overdominant selection;

5. Mutation-selection balance and genetic drift;

6. Genetic drift and inbreeding;

7. Equilibrium inbreeding coefficient and equilibrium heterozygosity, allele fixation probability and the rate of gene substitution;

8. Neutral theory and the rate of aminoacid substitution;

9. Mean population phenotype;

10. Decomposition of the phenotypic and genotypic values;

11. Phenotypic variance and its decomposition;

12. Resemblance between relatives and heritability estimates;

13. Selection of quantitative traits artificial selection;

14. Selection of quantitative traits artificial and natural selection;

15. Selection of quantitative traits natural selection.

SEMINAR
Seminar consists of empirical examples and discussions based on a particular lectures as follows:
1. Population without the actions of evolutionary forces;

2. Mutation and migration;

3. Natural selection on a single locus;

4. Natural selection on a single locus;

5. Mutation-selection balance and genetic drift;

6. Genetic drift and inbreeding;

7. Genetic drift, inbreeding and the rate of gene substitution;

8. Neutral theory and the rate of aminoacid substitution;

9. Mean population phenotype;

10. Decomposition of phenotypic and genotypic values;

11. Phenotypic variance and its decomposition;

12. Resemblance between relatives and the heritability estimates;

13. Selection of quantitative traits artificial and natural selection;

14. Selection of quantitative traits natural selection;

15. Student seminars presentations of original scientiffic articles.
Literature:
  1. Halliburton R., 2004, Introduction to Population Genetics. Pearson Education, Inc.
    Falconer D. S. and Mackay T. F. C., 1996, Introduction to Quantitative Genetics. Essex: Longman.
  2. Halliburton R., 2004, Introduction to Population Genetics. Pearson Education, Inc.
    Falconer D. S. and Mackay T. F. C., 1996, Introduction to Quantitative Genetics. Essex: Longman.
1. semester
Izborni predmeti - Mandatory modul - Zoology

3. semester
Izborni predmeti - Genetika - Mandatory studij - Molecular Biology
Consultations schedule:
  • doc. dr. sc. Aleksandar Vojta :

    Monday 11 a.m. - 12 noon (by appointment)

    Location: 224
  • doc. dr. sc. Aleksandar Vojta :

    Monday 11 a.m. - 12 noon (by appointment)

    Location: 224