Examination: written and oral
Lecturer: Judit Bereczki, dr. (senior lecturer), Milós Bán, dr. (senior lecturer)
Aims of the course: To analyse the genetic consequences of various microevolutionary processes and to study the most important rules of evolution as well as to teach ontogenetic and phylogenetic evolution of humans.
The subject of the course: Levels of variation in natural populations: morphological and molecular variation. Short history and relevant ideas in Evolutionary Biology. The transformists, Lamarck and neo-lamarckism; Darwin, the idea of Natural Selection by Survival of the Fittest and the beginnings of Population thinking; the Neo-Darwinists and the "evolutionary synthesis": R. Fisher, S. Wright, Haldane, Chetverikov, Dobzhansky, Huxley, Mayr, Simpson etc.; the Post-Synthetic period.
Population Genetics: The role of Population Genetics in modern evolutionary thinking and research. Genetic equilibria in ideal populations, the Hardy-Weinberg rule. Random and non-random mating, inbreeding, outbreeding, meiotic drive, recombination, maternal and sex-linked heritage. Mutation in populations, mutation rate and pressure. Selection in populations, viability and fertility, absolute and relative fitness, mutation-selection equilibria, types of dominance and selection, Fisher's fundamental theoremGenetic drift and Wright's shifting balance theory, founder effect, effective breeding size and bottlenecks. . The genetic load, theory of "neutral" evolution. Migration, isolation, subdivision, metapopulation structure and gene-flow. Levels of genetic variability in natural populations, components of phenotypic variance, heritability. Chromosomal polymorphism: inversions and Robertsonian fusions. Polymorphism in Mendelian phenotypic characters; maintenance of polymorphism by frequency-dependent, overdominant and disruptive selection: Batesian and Mullerian mimicri; allozyme polymorphism; polymorphism at DNA-level (RFLP and PCR technics, restriction fragments, microsatellites, mitochondrial DNA), measures of molecular polymorphism and genetic distance; phylogeographic analysis. Genetic processes in structured populations, group and kin selection, the "female choice" principle and sexual selection. Evolutionary stable strategies, game theoretical models. Competition and co-evolution.
Facts and Theories on Evolution: Measures of genetic diversity within and between taxa. The biospecies concept in evolutionary context. Isolation, recognition and cohesion criteria. Types of reproductive isolation and case studies. Specific mate recognition systems; reproductive behaviour, pheromones, character displacement. Genetic mechanisms and modes of speciation: Robertsonian and Darwinian phase, polyploidy and speciation. Synpatric and stasipatric speciation, cases of rapid evolution. Allopatric speciation: the "dumbbell" modell, vicariance and speciation at different levels; quaternary speciation in glacial refugia, case studies. The peripatric modell of speciation. Founder effects and speciation. Incomplete reproductive isolation: the semispecies. The genetic and taxonomical structure of polytypic species and superspecies; hybridisation of geographical races and closely related semispecies/species. Cladistic analysis of speciation. Anagenesis and cladogenesis. Adaptive radiation, its relevance in insular faunas and in resource partitioning of new adaptive zones. Adaptive radiations in Tertiary and Quaternary history of biota: case studies. Gradualistic and punctuationalistic ideas in evolutionary theory, palaeontological evidences. Changes of global Biodiversity during the Earth's history. The evolution of the Biosphere: trends and cyclic processes. Problems of mass extinctions. Past, present and future perspectives of human evolution. The evolutionary episthemology.
Human biology: Constitution of the human body, with particular emphasis on the anatomy of the skeleton and the teeth. Quantitative and qualitative characteristics of the body and the skeleton. Ontogenetic and phylogenetic tendencies during the intrauterine development and the postnatal period. Dermal ridges system. Basic biometrical studies. The bases of biodemography. Structures of human populations and their changes. Natality, fertility, mortality, migration and reproduction. Rudiments of human genetics. Genetic types. Classification of human chromosomes. The importance of mutation (gene-, chromosomal and genom-mutations) and selection. Anthropological aspects of physiological characteristics. The bases of human population genetics. An outline of sub-human and human evolution. Cultural evolution of Man. Evolution and taxonomy of recent populations, with special regard to the Carpathian Basin.
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