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BIO2207 Genetics

Semester 2, 2012 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Biological & Physical Sciences
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: John Dearnaley
Moderator: Ursula Kennedy


Pre-requisite: BIO1101 and STA2300


Genetics is the study of inheritance. Not only is this study essential as a basic part of biology but an understanding of the principles of genetics is important for students whose future professions involve plant or animal breeding, genetic engineering, microbiology and related disciplines. Furthermore an understanding of genetics is necessary for an informed awareness of many human problems related to genetic dysfunction.


The course presents the scientific basis of heredity. The principles of genetics play an increasingly important role in the modern world; in the breeding of improved crops and livestock, the conservation of endangered species and the genetic engineering of new products for agriculture or medicine. The course commences with an overview of Mendelian genetics and introduces concepts of importance to both plant and animal breeding. The theory and practice of manipulating and mapping the location of genes on chromosomes and the effects of mutations on gene expression are studied. The science of genetic engineering is briefly introduced. Changes in chromosome number and structure in plants (e.g. evolution of wheat) and animals (e.g. Downs Syndrome) are examined as are the important areas of population genetics, evolution and behavioural genetics.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the science of genetics and its relation to inheritance;
  2. demonstrate an appreciation of the implications of inheritance in human sociology;
  3. demonstrate an appreciation of the application of genetic principles to plant and animal breeding and genetic engineering;
  4. solve practical problems in genetics;
  5. generate and analyse genetic data in practical situations.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Mendelian inheritance, mitosis, meiosis and DNA geotype and phenotype, independent assortment. 10.00
2. Heredity: dominance, co-dominance, multiple alleles, Genetic symbols and pedigree analysis. 10.00
3. Genes and Chromosomes: Chromosome morphology and structure, the genetic basis of sex, non-disjunction. 6.00
4. Chromosome mapping and genetic linkage, crossing over and recombination. 15.00
5. Variations in chromosome number, aneuploidy, euploidy, prenatal diagnosis. 8.00
6. Variations in chromosome structure, duplications, deficiencies, inversions, translocations. 8.00
7. Behavioural genetics - behaviours, explainable in terms of Mendelian genetics. 6.00
8. Mutation - the determination of mutation rates. Mutagens including ionizing radiation and its effect on man. 8.00
9. Assessment of gene frequencies in populations. The Hardy-Weinberg Law. The effect of mutation, selection, genetic drift, migration and meiotic drive on gene frequencies. 12.00
10. Examples of qualitative and quantitative inheritance - grain colour in wheat, IQ in man. 7.00
11. Plant and animal breeding - an introduction. 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Dearnaley J & Kennedy U 2012, BIO2207 Genetics - practical exercises, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba.
  • Pechenik, JA 2010, A short guide to writing about biology, 7th edn, Longman, Boston.
  • Snustad, DP & Simmons, MJ 2009, Principles of genetics, 6th edn, Wiley, New York.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Brooker, RJ 2012, Genetics Analysis and Principles, McGraw-Hill, New York.
    (ISBN 978 007 3525280.)
  • Hartwell 2011, Study Guide solutions manual Genetics - from Genes to Genomes, McGraw-Hill.
  • Hartwell, LH, Hood, L, Goldberg, ML, Reynolds, AE & Silver, LM 2008, Genetics from Genes to Genomes, McGraw-Hill, New York.
    (ISBN 978 0073525266.)

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Examinations 3.00
Laboratory or Practical Classes 30.00
Lectures 26.00
Private Study 71.00
Report Writing 30.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
1.5 HR RESTRICTED TEST 90 35 17 Jul 2012 (see note 1)
PRACTICAL REPORT 1 15 15 17 Jul 2012 (see note 2)
PRACTICAL REPORT 2 15 15 17 Jul 2012 (see note 3)
1.5 HR RESTRICTED EXAM 90 35 End S2 (see note 4)

  1. Assessment item 1 (1.5 hr Restricted Test) due in week 8, Examiner will provide correct date.
  2. Assessment item 2 (Practical Report 1) due in week 7, Examiner will provide correct date.
  3. Assessment item 3 (Practical Report 2) due in week 12, Examiner will provide correct date.
  4. Assessment item 4 - examination dates will be available during the Semester. Please refer to the examination timetable when published.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration. To maximize their chances of satisfying the objectives of the practical component of the course, students should attend and actively participate in the laboratory sessions in the course.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete each of the assignments satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for each assignment. To complete the examination satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for the examination.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks (or grades) obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Candidates are allowed access only to specific materials during a Restricted Examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are: writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination); calculators which cannot hold textual information (students must indicate on their examination paper the make and model of any calculator(s) they use during the examination). Students whose first language is not English, may, take an appropriate unmarked nonelectronic translation dictionary (but not technical dictionary) into the examination. Dictionaries with any handwritten notes will not be permitted. Translation dictionaries will be subject to perusal and may be removed from the candidate's possession until appropriate disciplinary action is completed if found to contain material that could give the candidate an unfair advantage.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be produced within five days if required by the Examiner.

  2. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded the temporary grade: IM (Incomplete - Make-up). An IM grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non directed personal study. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination); IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).