BIOL 346

Developmental Biology Course Page

This course will likely be offered again in the 2017-18 academic year


Fall 2014 Syllabus (pdf)

Human embryo

Course Description: This course will give you some basic understanding about the morphological changes that occur during the development of select animals, as well as the underlying molecular events that produce those morphological changes.

Learning Outcomes: When you have completed this course you will be able to describe, compare, and contrast the events of early development and morphogenesis in some animals. You will be able to give the details of the molecular mechanisms of cell-cell, cell-matrix, and tissue interactions during development. You will be able to explain how the common genetic makeup shared by all cells comprising an organism can be regulated to produce a large variety of cell types, and you will be able to explain how changes in developmental programs result in evolutionary change at the gross morphological level.


Course Resources (will gradually be updated for Fall 2014)

Aristotle, William Harvey, Marcello Malpighi; epigenesis and preformation (Warning! These readings are very philosophical) - reading 1, reading 2
Karl Ernst von Baer and Ernst Haeckel -  reading 3, reading 4

Slides   Article on chimaric woman who wasn't genetically related to her sons    Another one
Transgenic organisms and knockouts - reading 1, reading 2
An example of a biotech company providing the tools discussed in lecture
Mircoarrays reading 3
In situ hybridization reading 4

Cell Communication
Cadherins reading 1
Eye development reading 2

Differential Gene Expression
Wikipedia summary - also use links within to get more info

Primordial germ cell migration movie1    movie2
Meiosis reading 1
Gametogenesis (simple) 1, 2, 3

Sea Urchin reading 1, reading 2
Mammal reading 3

reading 1, reading 2

reading 1, reading 2 , reading 3

Extraembryonic Membranes


Germ Layer Derivatives
Slides Ectoderm   Mesoderm+Endoderm

Tetrapod Limb Development
reading 1, Example of a human with an extra limb, possibly due to a split limb field reading 2

Medical Implications of Developmental Biology
Endocrine disruptors reading 1
Bisphenol A reading 2
Therapeutic cloning reading 3
Induced pluripotent stem cells reading 4

What is evo-devo? reading 1 , reading 2   , reading 3   
Be careful in your reading, if you search for macroevolutionary change. "Macroevolution" is one of the buzzwords used by creationists and searching for this term brings up many creationist websites (e.g. talkorigins and icr=institute for creation research)


Movies and Animations:
Sea urchin cleavage - click here
Sea urchin gastrulation - click here and here and here and here

Xenopus gastrulation - click here and here

Zebrafish development - click here

Chick primitive streak and gastrulation - click here

Mammalian embryology - click here
Human embryology - clicke here and here