Course code BIO421

BIO421 Population Genetics and Molecular Evolution

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2022 - 2023 .

Course responsible: Peer Berg
Teachers: Simen Rød Sandve
ECTS credits: 15
Faculty: Faculty of Biosciences
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Autumn parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Autumn parallel, .
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2011-2012
Preferential right:
PhD students
Course contents:
Topics: Genetic Variation, The Hardy-Weinberg Principle, Recombination, Linkage and Disequilibrium, Basic Models for Natural Selection, Mutation, Genetic Drift, Inbreeding, Nonrandom Mating, Population Subdivision and Gene Flow, Molecular Population Genetics, Molecular Evolution, Phylogenetics, Advanced Models for Natural Selection, Quantitative Genetics.
Learning outcome:

Knowledge: Students will

  • acquire a thorough understanding of population genetics
  • be able to describe effects of population genetic forces on evolution and how it can be detected in molecular data
  • understand the dynamics of the evolutionary changes that happen at the molecular level
  • be able to explain the evolutionary forces and the evolutionary effects of different molecular mechanisms on genomes, genes and gene products
  • gain theoretical insight in methods used in comparative and phylogenetic analyses based on molecular data

SKILLS: Students will be able to

  • test for the effects of evolutionary forces affecting allele and gene frequencies
  • use a critical approach towards the interpretation of population genetic and evolutionary molecular data
  • understand cutting edge research articles on the subject


Students will acquire

  • practical skills in methods used in comparative and phylogenetic analyses based on molecular data
  • understanding of the dynamics resulting in evolutionary changes in allele and genotype frequencies
Learning activities:
Lectures. Exercises and discussion of papers. Two compulsory assignments/computer exercises have to be handed in. Calculations/colloquia organized by students.Individual supervision as regards relevant articles for preparing the semester assignment.
Teaching support:
Canvas will be used actively to distribute information and links to computer programs, websites and data.
Textbook: Philip W. Hedrick: Genetics of populations, 2011, Jones and Bartlett Publishers, LLC.
BIO120 - Introduction to Genetics,MATH100 - Introductory Mathematics, STAT100 - Statistics.
Recommended prerequisites:
BIO211 - Molecular Biology, BIO220 Eukaryotic Molecular Biology /BIO200 Molecular Genetic in Eukaryots, BIO223 Molecular Ecology and Evolution
Mandatory activity:
Two compulsory assignments/computer exercises have to be handed in.
Oral examination based on the complete syllabus counts 2/3, and evaluation and oral examination of the term paper counts 1/3 towards the final grade. Both parts must be passed.
Nominal workload:
Lectures: 24 hours. Exercises and discussions: 24 hours. Course readings, writing and presentation of a semester assignment and individual study: 327 hours.
Entrance requirements:
Special requirements in Science
Reduction of credits:
Credit reduction in relation to BIO321: 10 credits.
Type of course:
Lectures: 2 hours per week for 12 weeks. Exercises: 2 hours per week for 12 weeks.Presentation and discussion of semester assignment: 3 hours.
An external examiner will take part in the oral examination and read the term paper
Examination details: Combined assessment: Passed / Not Passed