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Methods in Biology
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A) Basic concepts of development : Potency, commitment, specification, induction, competence, determination and differentiation; morphogenetic gradients; cell fate and cell lineages; stem cells; genomic equivalence and the cytoplasmic determinants; imprinting; mutants and transgenics in analysis of development
B) Gametogenesis, fertilization and early development: Production of gametes, cell surface molecules in sperm-egg recognition in animals; embryo sac development and double fertilization in plants; zygote formation, cleavage, blastula formation, embryonic fields, gastrulation and formation of germ layers in animals; embryogenesis, establishment of symmetry in plants; seed formation and germination.
C) Morphogenesis and organogenesis in animals : Cell aggregation and differentiation in Dictyostelium; axes and pattern formation in Drosophila, amphibia and chick; organogenesis – vulva formation in Caenorhabditis elegans, eye lens induction, limb development and regeneration in vertebrates; differentiation of neurons, post embryonic development- larval formation, metamorphosis; environmental regulation of normal development; sex determination.
D) Morphogenesis and organogenesis in plants: Organization of shoot and root apical meristem; shoot and root development; leaf development and phyllotaxy; transition to flowering, floral meristems and floral development in Arabidopsis and Antirrhinum
E) Programmed cell death, aging and senescence
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Cell Communication and Cell Signaling
A) Host parasite interaction Recognition and entry processes of different pathogens like bacteria, viruses into animal and plant host cells, alteration of host cell behavior by pathogens, virus-induced cell transformation, pathogen-induced diseases in animals and plants, cell-cell fusion in both normal and abnormal cells.
B) Cell signaling Hormones and their receptors, cell surface receptor, signaling through G-protein coupled receptors, signal transduction pathways, second messengers, regulation of signaling pathways, bacterial and plant two-component systems, light signaling in plants, bacterial chemotaxis and quorum sensing.
C) Cellular communication Regulation of hematopoiesis, general principles of cell communication, cell adhesion and roles of different adhesion molecules, gap junctions, extracellular matrix, integrins, neurotransmission and its regulation.
Genetic rearrangements in progenitor cells, oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, cancer and the cell cycle, virus-induced cancer, metastasis, interaction of cancer cells with normal cells, apoptosis, therapeutic interventions of uncontrolled cell growth.
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A) Membrane structure and function
(Structure of model membrane, lipid bilayer and membrane protein diffusion, osmosis, ion channels, active transport, membrane pumps, mechanism of sorting and regulation of intracellular transport,electrical properties of membranes).
B) Structural organization and function of intracellular organelles (Cell wall, nucleus, mitochondria, Golgi bodies, lysosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, peroxisomes, plastids, vacuoles, chloroplast, structure & function of cytoskeleton and its role in motility).
C) Organization of genes and chromosomes (Operon, unique and repetitive DNA, interrupted genes, gene families, structure of chromatin and chromosomes, heterochromatin, euchromatin, transposons).
D) Cell division and cell cycle (Mitosis and meiosis, their regulation, steps in cell cycle, regulation and control of cell cycle).
E) Microbial Physiology (Growth yield and characteristics, strategies of cell division, stress response)
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System Physiology – Plant
A. Photosynthesis - Light harvesting complexes; mechanisms of electron transport; photoprotective mechanisms; CO2 fixation-C3, C4 and CAM pathways.
B. Respiration and photorespiration – Citric acid cycle; plant mitochondrial electron transport and ATP synthesis; alternate oxidase; photorespiratory pathway.
C. Nitrogen metabolism - Nitrate and ammonium assimilation; amino acid biosynthesis.
D. Plant hormones – Biosynthesis, storage, breakdown and transport; physiological effects and mechanisms of action.
E. Sensory photobiology - Structure, function and mechanisms of action of phytochromes, cryptochromes and phototropins; stomatal movement; photoperiodism and biological clocks.
F. Solute transport and photoassimilate translocation – uptake, transport and translocation of water, ions, solutes and macromolecules from soil, through cells, across membranes, through xylem and phloem; transpiration; mechanisms of loading and unloading of photoassimilates.
G. Secondary metabolites - Biosynthesis of terpenes, phenols and nitrogenous compounds and their roles.
H. Stress physiology – Responses of plants to biotic (pathogen and insects) and abiotic (water, temperature and salt) stresses.
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Molecules and their Interaction Relevant to Biology
A. Structure of atoms, molecules and chemical bonds.
B Composition, structure and function of biomolecules (carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids and vitamins).
C. Stablizing interactions (Van der Waals, electrostatic, hydrogen bonding, hydrophobic interaction, etc.).
D Principles of biophysical chemistry (pH, buffer, reaction kinetics, thermodynamics, colligative properties).
E. Bioenergetics, glycolysis, oxidative phosphorylation, coupled reaction, group transfer, biological energy transducers.
F. Principles of catalysis, enzymes and enzyme kinetics, enzyme regulation, mechanism of enzyme catalysis, isozymes
G. Conformation of proteins (Ramachandran plot, secondary structure, domains, motif and folds).
H. Conformation of nucleic acids (helix (A, B, Z), t-RNA, micro-RNA).
I. Stability of proteins and nucleic acids.
J. Metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids nucleotides and vitamins.
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The Environment: Physical environment; biotic environment; biotic and abiotic interactions.
Habitat and Niche: Concept of habitat and niche; niche width and overlap; fundamental and realized niche; resource partitioning; character displacement.
Population Ecology: Characteristics of a population; population growth curves; population regulation; life history strategies (r and K selection); concept of metapopulation – demes and dispersal, interdemic extinctions, age structured populations.
Species Interactions: Types of interactions, interspecific competition, herbivory, carnivory, pollination, symbiosis.
Community Ecology: Nature of communities; community structure and attributes; levels of species diversity and its measurement; edges and ecotones.
Ecological Succession: Types; mechanisms; changes involved in succession; concept of climax.
Ecosystem Ecology: Ecosystem structure; ecosystem function; energy flow and mineral cycling (C,N,P); primary production and decomposition; structure and function of some Indian ecosystems: terrestrial (forest, grassland) and aquatic (fresh water, marine, eustarine).
Biogeography: Major terrestrial biomes; theory of island biogeography; biogeographical zones of India.
Applied Ecology: Environmental pollution; global environmental change; biodiversity: status, monitoring and documentation; major drivers of biodiversity change; biodiversity management approaches.
Conservation Biology: Principles of conservation, major approaches to management, Indian case studies on conservation/management strategy (Project Tiger, Biosphere reserves).
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A) DNA replication, repair and recombination (Unit of replication, enzymes involved,
replication origin and replication fork, fidelity of replication, extrachromosomal replicons,
DNA damage and repair mechanisms, homologous and site-specific recombination).
B) RNA synthesis and processing (transcription factors and machinery, formation of
initiation complex, transcription activator and repressor, RNA polymerases, capping,
elongation, and termination, RNA processing, RNA editing, splicing, and polyadenylation, structure and function of different types of RNA, RNA transport).
C) Protein synthesis and processing (Ribosome, formation of initiation complex, initiation factors and their regulation, elongation and elongation factors, termination, genetic code, aminoacylation of tRNA, tRNA-identity, aminoacyl tRNA synthetase, and translational proof-reading, translational inhibitors, Post- translational modification of proteins).
D) Control of gene expression at transcription and translation level (regulating the expression of phages, viruses, prokaryotic and eukaryotic genes, role of chromatin in gene expression and gene silencing).
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A) Mendelian principles : Dominance, segregation, independent assortment.
B) Concept of gene : Allele, multiple alleles, pseudoallele, complementation tests
C) Extensions of Mendelian principles : Codominance, incomplete dominance, gene interactions, pleiotropy, genomic imprinting, penetrance and expressivity, phenocopy, linkage and crossing over, sex linkage, sex limited and sex influenced characters.
D) Gene mapping methods : Linkage maps, tetrad analysis, mapping with molecular markers, mapping by using somatic cell hybrids, development of mapping population in plants.
E) Extra chromosomal inheritance : Inheritance of Mitochondrial and chloroplast genes, maternal inheritance.
F) Microbial genetics : Methods of genetic transfers – transformation, conjugation, transduction and sex-duction, mapping genes by interrupted mating, fine structure analysis of genes.
G) Human genetics : Pedigree analysis, lod score for linkage testing, karyotypes, genetic disorders.
H) Quantitative genetics : Polygenic inheritance, heritability and its measurements, QTL mapping.
I) Mutation : Types, causes and detection, mutant types – lethal, conditional, biochemical, loss of function, gain of function, germinal verses somatic mutants, insertional mutagenesis.
J) Structural and numerical alterations of chromosomes : Deletion, duplication, inversion, translocation, ploidy and their genetic implications.
K) Recombination : Homologous and non-homologous recombination including transposition.
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