This unit provides an introduction to developments at the forefront of molecular biology of gene and genome structure/function and molecular genetics. The unit explores the structure of eukaryotic genomes and the function of various sequences that make up these genomes.  Mechanisms that lead to change and evolution of eukaryotic genomes and the maintenance and regulation of individual genes within them will also be covered.  These concepts will also be linked to the laws of Mendelian genetics covered in RBF1320 Biology 2.  The content of this unit provides students with an important theoretical framework and underlying concepts that are essential for studies in biotechnology, molecular biology and science education.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Review the organisation, maintenance and evolution of eukaryotic genomes including repetitive and non-repetitive DNA sequences;  
  2. Collaborate and connect known mechanisms of genomic rearrangement to observed features of eukaryotic genomes;  
  3. Collaborate and connect the replication of DNA at the telomeres to problems associated with the maintenance of linear chromosomes, cancer and cellular aging;  
  4. Investigate the mechanisms of regulation of gene expression in eukaryotic organisms;  
  5. Articulate epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation including the methylation and imprinting of DNA; and  
  6. Analyse the scientific literature on a genetic mechanism in a eukaryotic organism(s) and critically evaluate and present that information to peers and relevant audiences.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Assignment Group, peer-reviewed assignment (~1500 words) 20%
Assignment Individual assignment (~1500 words) 20%
Examination 3 hour duration 60%

Required reading

Genes XI
Krebs JE et al. (2012)
Jones & Bartlett

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