1. Discerning types of subviral infectious agents through explaining examples for each of the groups.
2. Adopting basic concepts of biological entities smaller than viruses (satellites, viroids, prions) by evaluating data from the lectures, assessing the results of viroid and/or satellite RNA cultivation and analyses in the practical part of the course.
3. Analysing subviral infectious agents' interactions with their hosts through interpreting disease mechanisms having subviral aetiologies.
4. Realizing the importance of subviral agents for the development of evolutionary concepts, for biology in general through learning about and interpreting the RNA silencing principles, RNA world and prion hypotheses.
5. Developing critical thinking skills, interpreting new research achievements through original and review scientific papers reading and analyses, and through the preparation of research project.
6. Advancing generic laboratory skills and applying specific molecular biology methods in solving a research problem through carrying out a laboratory project.
7. Developing the capacity to devise, organize, execute and present a research project (from developing ideas to writing an original scientific paper).
8. Improving scientific writing skills through writing and discussing laboratory report in the form of an original scientific paper.
1. Definition of subviral infectious molecules, the concept of satellitism, satellites A and B.
2. Satellites C and D (virusoids).
3. Lethal necrosis of tomatoes-a case study of satellite influence on the disease expression in plants.
4. Viroids as agents of plant diseases and noncoding genomes.
5. Molecular mechanisms of viroid diseases and RNA silencing.
6. Hammerhead ribozymes, viroids as relics of the RNA world.
7. Ribozymes and their possible applications.
8. RNA quasispecies and the evolution of RNA.
9. Molecular biology of hepatitis delta agent.
10. Pathology of hepatitis D.
11. Evolution and RNA-mosaics.
12. Prion discovery and prion hypothesis.
13. Human and animal prion diseases, the biology of TSE.
14. Breakthroughs in prion and prion disease research.
15. Prevention and tests for prion diseases.
Practical exercises are carried out in groups of maximum 4 students. With the goal of developing generic laboratory and research skills through adopting viroid and/or satellite RNAs research methodology and devising a small research project.
1. Development of research project proposal (different variants are possible depending on the research object) for purification, detection and characterization of viroids or satellite RNAs.
2. Research project preparation and organization (literature searches and analyses, defining research problem, devising laboratory procedures and protocols).
3. to13. Research project execution (subviral pathogen purification, RT-PCR, amplicon analyses) in small groups (up to 4 students).
14. and 15. Analyses of the results and research report writing (individually) in a format of small research paper. Student-teacher discussion of the report, correcting and finalizing the report.
- Viroids. Eds: A. Hadidi, R. Flores, J. Randles, J. S. Semancik, Science Publishers Inc., 2003.
- Prion Diseases. Eds: J. Collinge & M. S. Palmer, Oxford University Press, 1997.
- Interna skripta (pdf-verzija predavanja).
- Revijalni znanstveni članci (s besplatnim pristupom na internetu) prema odabiru nastavnika.
- Znanstveni članci (s besplatnim pristupom na internetu) prema odabiru nastavnika.
Origin and Evolution of Viruses. Ed. E. Domingo, R. Webster, J. Holland, Academic Press, 1999.
Satellites and Defective Viral RNAs. Eds: P. K. Vogt & A. O. Jackson (Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology Series), Springer Verlag, 1999.