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Molecular Evolution

Code: 45075
ECTS: 5.0
Lecturers in charge: prof. dr. sc. Damjan Franjević
Lecturers: prof. dr. sc. Damjan Franjević - Seminar

doc. dr. sc. Josip Skejo - Practicum
Take exam: Studomat
English level:


All teaching activities in the course will be held on English. This level includes courses with multiple groups (i.e., all teaching will be held strictly in Croatian for Croatian groups, and strictly in English for English groups).

1. komponenta

Lecture typeTotal
Lectures 30
Practicum 30
Seminar 15
* Load is given in academic hour (1 academic hour = 45 minutes)
1. To introduce students to the basic principles and mechanisms of molecular evolution.
2. Overview of all areas of molecular evolution.
3. Applying basic concepts of the molecular evolution with the acquisition of scientific experience and critical thinking
4. Showing the example of the teaching focused on the interpretation of molecular evolution concepts
5. Practical application of computer programs in molecular evolution and molecular phylogenetics
6. Introduction to experimental work in molecular evolution
7. Usage of scientific aids, biological material and accessories in scientific research
8. Ability to recognize molecular evolutionary problems in Biological Sciences
9. Implementation of molecular evolutionary mechanisms in future experimental and theoretical scientific work

1. What is molecular evolution?
2. History of molecular evolution
3. Methods in molecular evolution and examples of molecular evolution.
4. Molecular evolution and morphology.
5. Role of mutation, selection and drift in molecular evolution.
6. Molecular clock theory.
7. Neutral theory of molecular evolution.
8. Evolution via gene duplication and domain shuffling.
9. Evolution via transposition and horizontal gene transfer.
10. Concerted evolution of multigene families.
11. Genome organization, genomics and proteomics.
12. Tree of Life.
13. Ancient DNA.
14. Molecular phylogenetics.
15. Molecular anthropology.

1. DNA isolation
2. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and primer design for polymerase chain reaction
3. Purification of Polymerase chain reaction products
4. Electrophoresis
5. Sequencing
6. Databases and database search
7. Local alignment and BLAST
8. Multiple alignment and ClustalX
9 - 15. Molecular phylogenetic analysis. The application of software for molecular phylogenetic analysis.
Reconstruction of phylogenetic trees. Rooted and unrooted phylogenetic trees. The molecular clock. Ancestral nodes.
The interpretation of phylogenetic trees. Monophyly, paraphyly and polyphyly. The statistical credibility of phylogenetic trees.
Graphical representation of phylogenetic trees.

1. African origin of human-specific polymorphic Alu insertions
2. Controversies on the Origin of Life
3. Genomic clocks and evolutionary timescales
4. Human evolutionary genomics ethical and interpretive issues
5. Incomplete taxon sampling is not a problem for phylogenetic inference
6. Integrating phylogenetics, phylogeography and population genetics through genomes and evolutionary theory
7. Introns and the origin of nucleus - cytosol compartmentalization
8. Is there a molecular key to the level of biological species in eukaryotes - A DNA Guide
9. Morphological and population genomic evidence that human faces have evolved to signal individual identity
10. Origins of mitochondria and hydrogenosomes
11. Premetazoan genome evolution
12. Resurrecting Surviving Neandertal Lineages from Modern Human Genomes
13. Stick Insect Genomes Reveal Natural Selection's Role in Parallel Speciation
14. Symmetry Breaking and the Evolution of Development
15. Tyrosine kinase signaling and the emergence of multicellularity
  1. Wen-Hsiung L: Molecular Evolution. Sinauer Associates Inc. 1997.
    Nei M & Kumar S: Molecular Evolution and Phylogenetics. Oxford University Press 2000.
    Patthy L: Protein Evolution, Second Edition. Blackwell Publishing 2008.
  2. Hall BG: Phylogenetic Trees Made Easy: A How to Manual for Molecular Biologists. Sinauer. 2001
    Higgs GP & Attwood KT: Bioinformatics and Molecular Evolution. Blackwell Publishing 2004.
    Page RDM & Holmes EC: Molecular Evolution a Phylogenetic Approach. Blackwell Science Ltd. 2004
1. semester
Mandatory course - Regular module - Zoology
Consultations schedule: