Principles of Genetics

By Prof. NB Ramachandra   |   University of Mysore
Learners enrolled: 581
Principles of Genetics is a four-credit course designed for any undergraduate student of all life science programs. 

The rationale for developing this Course :

The logic of science has three essential components, such as observations, facts, and conceptualizations. The main processes of science are induction and deduction by reasoning and hypothesis testing. The father of Genetics, Gregor Mendel, even though applied all these principles by deducing the thumb rule of inheritance, took 35 years of gestation to accept it.

Genetics is a fundamental science which deals with the study of genes, characters, and their inheritance. The knowledge of genetics has become essential to unravel the mysteries of life processes that are extensively pursued in today’s science.
This course is designed to understand the major concepts and processes of genetics. It provides a foundation for understanding the rule of inheritance and genetics applications for undergraduate natural science students. 

The Primary  Objectives of this course are: 
- To build knowledge on the fundamentals of genetics, heredity, or inheritance.

- To build the foundation on the understanding of biological principles.
- To develop the understanding of life processes - survival and maintenance. 
- To enhance the skill in the applications of the genetic principles in day to day life.
- To propagate the science of genetics.

The title of UNIT I is Introduction to Genetics and contains 15 hours of teaching portion.      
a)  History of Science of Genetics: Definition and scope of Genetics, Pre-mendelian genetic concepts, Pre-formation, Epigenesis, Pangenesis, Inheritance of acquired characters, Germplasm theory, Heredity and Environment, Genotype and Phenotype, Heredity and Variation, Norms of reaction. 
b)  Mendelism: Biography of Mendel and his experiments with pea plant. Law of segregation: Monohybrid cross, back cross, and test cross, Dominance and Recessive ness, Co-dominance and Incomplete dominance, Genetic problems related. 
c)  Law of Independent Assortment: Dihybrid cross in Pea plant and Drosophila, Back cross and test cross, Genetic problems related. 
d)  Applications of Mendel’s principles

 The title of Unit II is  Extension of Mendelism and contains 15 hours of teaching portion.
a) Chromosome Theory of Inheritance-Sutton-Boveri work, Inheritance patterns, the phenomenon of Dominance, Inheritance patterns in Human (Sex-linked, Autosomal, Mitochondrial, Unifactorial, and Multi-factorial).
b) Allelic Variation & Gene function – Multiple alleles - Definition, Eye color in Drosophila, Blood groups, and Rh factor in Human, Genetic problems related.

Gene interactions: Inter allelic- Complementary, Supplementary, Epistasis – Dominant and Recessive, and Non-Epistatic gene interaction.

c) Lethal alleles, Penetrance (complete & incomplete), Expressivity, Pleiotropy, and Phenocopy. 

 The title of Unit III is Linkage and Extranuclear inheritance and contains 15 hours of teaching portion.
a) Linkage & Crossing over -  Chromosome theory of Linkage, kinds of linkage, linkage groups, types of Crossing over, mechanism of Meiotic Crossing over, kinds of Crossing over, theories about the mechanism of Crossing over, Cytological detection of Crossing over, the significance of Crossing over. 

b) Sex-linked Inheritance in Drosophila and Humans, Inheritance of sex-limited and sex influenced traits.

c) Extranuclear inheritance –Organelle heredity (mitochondrial, chloroplast), maternal effect, Infectious heredity in Paramecium.
The title of UNIT IV is  Sex determination and contains  15 hours of teaching portion.     
a) Chromosomal theory of sex determination- XX-XY, XX-XO, ZZ-ZW; Genic balance theory of Bridges, Y Chromosome in sex determination in Melandrium

b) Environment and sex determination. Hormonal control of sex determination. Gynandromorphs / Intersexes, Super sexes in Drosophila. 
c) Molecular Basis of Sex determination and dosage compensation in Drosophila and Man.
The expected outcomes of the course are as follows:
On successful completion of this course, each student will be able to: 
- Learn a historical overview of genetics and understand how a fully formed concept of genetics was put-forth 
- Learn the laws of Inheritance in pea plants and other systems
- know the information about how genes function and also what happens when they do not work? 
- Understand the applications of Mendel’s principles
- Know the various deviation mechanisms in understanding the laws of inheritance.
- Learn the various gene interactions and their outcome. 
- Learn linkage and crossing over and their role in breeding experiments.
- Know the fundamentals of extra-chromosomal inheritance.
- Understand the chromosomal theory of inheritance.
- Understand the fundamentals of diagnosing genetic diseases.
- Know the role of the environment in sex determination and hormonal control of sex determination.
- Understand the molecular basis of sex determination and dosage compensation in Drosophila and Man.
- Independently investigate genetic problems using literature and analyses of empirical data.

- Communicate the principles, theories, problems, and research results associated with questions that lie within the genetics framework to specialists and laymen orally and in writing.

Course Status : Ongoing
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Start Date : 09 Jan 2023
End Date : 30 Apr 2023
Exam Date :
Enrollment Ends : 15 Mar 2023
Category :
  • Biological Sciences & Bioengineering
Credit Points : 4
Level : Undergraduate

Page Visits

Course layout

Course Layout:

First Week:
Introduction to Genetics - 1. History of Science of Genetics | 2. Pre-mendelian genetic concepts | 3. Heredity and Environment | 4. Biography of Mendel and his experiments with pea plant |

Second Week: Introduction to Genetics - 5. Law of segregation | 6. Co-dominance and Incomplete dominance | 7. Genetic problems related |

Third Week: Introduction to Genetics - 8. Law of Independent Assortment | 9. Genetic problems related | 10. Applications of Mendel’s principles |

Fourth Week: Extension of Mendelism - 11. Chromosome Theory of Inheritance | 12. Phenomenon of Dominance | 13. Inheritance patterns in Humans | 14. Allelic Variation & Gene function |

Fifth Week: Extension of Mendelism - 15. Blood groups and Rh factor in Human | 16. Genetic problems related | 17. Gene interactions: Inter allelic |

Sixth Week: Extension of Mendelism - 18. Epistasis | 19. Lethal alleles, Penetrance and Expressivity | 20. Pleiotropy and Phenocopy |

Seventh Week: Linkage and Extra - nuclear inheritance - 21. Linkage - Features and Discovery of Linkage  | 22. Linkage - Chromosomal Theory of Linkage | 23. Kinds of Linkage and Linkage Groups | 24. Crossing over - Cytological Detection, Features and Types of Crossing over |

Eighth Week: Linkage and Extra - nuclear inheritance - 25. Crossing over - Mechanism, Theories, Factors affecting and Significance of Crossing over | 26. Sex Linked Inheritance in Drosophila Melanogaster | 27. Sex Linked Inheritance in Humans  |

Ninth Week: Linkage and Extra - nuclear inheritance - 28. Inheritance of sex influenced traits | 29. Extra - nuclear inheritance –Organelle heredity Mitochondrial and Chloroplast  | 30. Extra-nuclear Inheritance - Material effect and Infectious Heredity  |

Tenth Week: Sex determination - 31. Chromosomal Theory of Sex Determination XX-XO, XX-XY, and ZZ-ZW System | 32. Y Chromosome in Sex Determination in Melandrium and Hormonal Control of Sex Determination | 33. Environment and Sex Determination | 34. Genic Balance Theory of Bridges |

Eleventh Week: Sex determination - 35. Gynandromorphs Intersexes, Super Sexes in Drosophila | 36. Molecular basis of Sex Determination in Drosophila | 37. Molecular basis of Sex Determination in Man |

Twelfth Week: Sex determination - 38. Dosage Compensation and Strategies | 39. Dosage Compensation in Drosophila | 40. Dosage Compensation in Man |


Books and references

1) Brooker, R. J., 2014, Genetics: Analysis and Principles. 5th edition. McGraw Hill.

2) Cavalli-Sforza L.L., Piazza A., Menozzi P., 1994 History and geography of genes, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.

3) Cummings, M. R., 2014, Human Heredity: Principles and Issues. West Publishing Company.

4) Fisher, R.A., 1918. The correlation between relatives on the Supposition of Mendelian Inheritance. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 52: 399–433.

5) Gardner E. J. M. J. Simmons and D.P. Snustad, 2006, Principles of Genetics. 8th edition. John Wiley & Sons. INC. New York.

6) Griffiths A J F, H. J. Muller, D. T. Suzuki, R. C. Lewontin, and W. M. Gelbart, 2015.An introduction to genetic analysis. 11th edition. W. H. Freeman. New York.

7) Merell, D.J. 1975, Introduction to Genetics, W.W. Norton & Company Inc., NewYork.

8) Nelson and Cox, 2005, Principles of Biochemistry W.H. Freeman and Company, New York, 2005, pp.296-298.

9) Simmons S. 2006, Principles of genetics, 4th Edition, John Wiley & Sons (Asia) Pte Ltd. New Jersey.

10) Strickberger M. W., 2012, Genetics. Mac Millan Publishing Co. NewYork.

11) Sturtevant, A. H. 1965, A History of Genetics. Harper and Row, New York.

12) Tamarin, R H., 2009, Principles of Genetics. McGraw-Hill.

13) Gilbert, S. F. Developmental Biology.2015. 11th edition. John Wiley Publishing.

14) Strickberger M. W.,  2012. Genetics. Mac Millan Publishing Co. NewYork.

15) Watson, J. D., T. A. Baker S. P. Bell, A Cann, M. Levine and R. Losick, 2014. Molecular Biology of Gene 7th Edition, Pearson Education RH Ltd. India.

16) Wolpert, L, Beddington R, Jessel T, Lawrence P, Meyerowitz E, Smith J, 2015. Principles of Development, 5th edition. Oxford University Press.

Instructor bio

Prof. NB Ramachandra

University of Mysore
Prof. NB Ramachandra (NBR) is a renowned academician with 28 years of teaching to his credit in various fields of Genetics. He completed his PhD from the University of Mysore and did his postdoctoral studies at McMaster University, Canada. Prof. NBR later worked as a Senior Research Associate II at the University of California, Los Angeles (1999-2000). He joined his alma mater in 1992 as a faculty of Zoology. He was instrumental in establishing the department of studies in Genetics and Genomics in 2015 and also was its founder-chairman. He is currently a UGC-BSR faculty and has authored and published more than 200 papers in international journals till date. He was the local secretary for the 103rd Indian Science Congress conducted at the University of Mysore. He has several accolades to his name and is the recipient of one national and two state science awards. He has also won a University of Mysore Golden Jubilee Foundation award. Prof. NBR is both an Elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences (FASc.2017) and Honorary Fellow of the Karnataka State Science and Technology Academy (2020 onward).

Course certificate

Assessment/Assignment marks will be considered for Internal Marks and will carry 30 percent for overall Result.

End Term Exam- will have 100 questions and will carry 70 percent of  overall Result.

*All students, who obtain 40% marks in in-course assessment and 40% marks in end-term proctored exam separately, will be eligible for certificate and credit transfer.

MHRD logo Swayam logo


Goto google play store