2014 Overview


    Genetics 660: Evolutionary Genomics

    Spring 2014, 2 credits

    Class Meets: Tuesday and Thursday, Room: 1408 Biotech Center, Time: 9:55-10:45am

    Course wiki (currently read-only): http://akka.genetics.wisc.edu/groups/genetics677/

    Instructor:Audrey Gasch: agasch@wisc.edu


    The rapid advances in genomic technologies, and the emergence of large numbers of genome sequences within and across species, makes it now possible to study organismal evolution on a genome-wide scale. In this two-credit course, we will present and discuss modern topics in evolutionary genomics, including genomic approaches, their application to evolutionary biology, and insights gleaned from such studies.Topics covered will include evolution of genome structure and gene content, the role of segmental and whole-genome duplication in the evolution of gene function and expression, theories of molecular evolution applied on a genomic scale, variation in gene expression within and across species, evolution of cis-regulatory elements, and more.The course is open to graduate and upper-level undergraduate students who have had Genetics 466 or equivalent & consent of instructor.

    Organization: The course consists of 1-2 lectures on each topic, followed by a paper discussion to be led by each student.Students will be assigned one paper to present in a “journal club” style (presenting a synopsis of the paper, background information that may require some background reading, critical dissection of the results, summary of directly relevant supplementary information, and discussion of the main points of the paper).

    Class Paper: The main assignment for the class, outside of assigned paper presentations and general participation, is a 5-7 page long written proposal (including figures, extra pages can be used for references). Students are expected to write a single-aim proposal on a question related to evolutionary genomics that includes: Background & Significance, Specific Aim, Research Description, Expected Results, and Potential Pitfalls and Alternate Approaches.

    Students are allowed to assume that genome sequence(s) for their organism are already available. The proposal must take an evolutionary genomic perspective (e.g. incorporate the tools, questions, or perspectives covered in class).

    Students are welcome to meet with Dr. Gasch to work out their topics and receive guidance on writing the proposal.

    Email in Research Paper Topic Description by MARCH 27, 2014 for approval.

    Final Paper is DUE THURSDAY, MAY 8, 2014 (by the end of the day). 1/2 grade deduction for each day late.


    25% Paper Presentation in Class

    25% Attendance and Participation

    50% Final Class Paper

    Attendance policy:

    Attendance is expected, unless prior notification is given, and will be factored into the final grade.

    Reading Schedule:

    Weekly reading (broken into REQUIRED and SUGGESTED readings) will be listed on the course wiki. Students are expected to have read the REQUIRED readings Before Class that day.

    Pdf’s of papers as well as powerpoint lecture slides will be available for download from the wiki.

    Required Activities:

    Complete the required reading before the associated class section.

    Participate in class discussions

    Complete class paper by deadline. Late papers will be docked 0.5 grade per day late.