Universität Wien
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300343 VO Genome structure and evolution (2021W)

2.00 ECTS (1.00 SWS), SPL 30 - Biologie


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


Language: English

Examination dates


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Course is held in English and digitally (BBB).
VB and first lecture will take place on first day of the course; lectures will be blocked (2 hours/week).
1st exam will take place one week after last course.

  • Thursday 07.10. 11:00 - 13:00 Digital
  • Thursday 14.10. 11:00 - 13:00 Digital
  • Thursday 21.10. 11:00 - 13:00 Digital
  • Thursday 28.10. 11:00 - 13:00 Digital
  • Thursday 04.11. 11:00 - 13:00 Digital
  • Thursday 11.11. 11:00 - 13:00 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

This course offers an overview of plant genome structure and evolution. Plant genome structure (types of coding and non-coding DNA sequences that contribute to the genome function and evolution; mechanisms of their change) as well as main chromosomal landmarks (telomeres, centromeres, NORs) will be discussed. All these features will be compared with genomic features and evolutionary trends of other organisms (animals, including humans, insects etc.). The newest methods recently developed to analyze genome composition and function including methods to characterize the coding and repetitive DNA fractions (e.g., high-throughput sequencing) will also be introduced. The course will also introduce types and consequences of various genomic changes including polyploidy and more subtle chromosomal rearrangements as well as dynamics of mobile genetic elements in the genome, and discuss these in the comparative phylogenetic context. The last lecture will present analyzes of the genomic evolution in various plant groups (case studies) to demonstrate the applicability and importance of cytogenetic approaches in evolutionary biology.

Assessment and permitted materials

DIGITAL: written exam (100%) from course material.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Positive evaluation: min. 50% of points.

Examination topics

Lectures (material on moodle), recommended reading (optional)
Knowledge of the structure, types, and function of chromosomes; comparative genome structure and evolution; types and dynamics of repetitive DNAs in the genome; most important cytogenetic and genomic tools and how they contribute to our understanding of genome structure and evolution.

Reading list

1. Stebbins G.L. 1971. Chromosomal evolution in higher plants. Edward Arnold, London.
2. Fukui K. & Nakamya S. 1996. Plant chromosomes. Laboratory methods. CRC Press, Boca Raton.
3. Maluszynska J. (ed.) 1998. Plant cytogenetics. Silesian University Press, Katowice, Poland.
4. Schwarzacher T. & Heslop-Harrison P. 2000. Practical in situ hybridization. 2nd ed. BIOS, Oxford UK.
5. Levin D.A. 2002. The role of chromosomal change in plant evolution. Oxford University Press, New York, USA.
6. Singh R.J. 2003. Plant cytogenetics. CRC Press, Boca Raton.
7. Puertas M.J. & Naranjo T. (eds.) 2005. Plant cytogenetics. Karger, Basel.
8. Puertas M.J. & Naranjo T. (eds.) 2008. Reviews in plant cytogenetics. Karger, Basel.
9. Birchler J.A. & Pires J.C. (eds.) 2010. Advances in plant cytogenetics. Karger, Basel.
10. Plant Genome Diversity vol. 1 (2012) and 2 (2013). Springer

Association in the course directory

BBO 2, BAN 6, BMG 10, BMB 10, BOE 11, BPB 11, BZO 11, UF BU 10

Last modified: Fr 12.05.2023 00:23