BIOL 303 (Winter)

Developmental Biology

M. Hendricks (Coordinator)
(514) 398-6581
D. Dufort
(514) 934-1934 ext. 34743
Y. Rao
(514) 934-1934 ext. 42520
3 credits (3-0-6)
BIOL 200, BIOL 201 or ANAT 212 / BIOC 212
BIOL 202

This introductory course in developmental biology is designed to acquaint the student with the fundamental processes operating during embryonic development and cellular differentiation of plants and animals. Development will be considered at the organismal, cellular, and molecular levels to provide a total appreciation of developmental phenomena. The emphasis will be on the interpretation of important experiments that have led to an understanding of the basic principles of development.

1) Introduction, history, principles of experimental embryology (4 lectures)
2) Fertilization and early invertebrate development (3 lectures)
3) Axis patterning and early embryonic development in Drosophila (3 lectures)
4) Patterning the vertebrate body plan (4 lectures)
5) Sex determination (1 lecture)

6) Organogenesis and limb development (4 lectures)

7) Metamorphosis, regeneration and aging (1 lecture)

8) Environmental regulation of development (1 lecture)

9) Gametogenesis (2 lectures)

10) Plant development (2 lectures)

11) Evolution and development (2 lectures)

Recommended text:  Developmental Biology, 9th ed. by Scott F. Gilbert, Sinauer Associates, Inc. 2010 (Note: subject to change; do not purchase before receiving course handout).
There are 2 90-minute lectures and optional tutorials every week.

Students will be evaluated on the basis of their performance on two examinations and an essay assignment.  Examinations will stress the ability to design and interpret simple experiments on developing organisms.  The essay will be a summary and critique of a research article from a relevant scientific journal.

McGill University values academic integrity. Therefore all students must understand the meaning and consequences of cheating, plagiarism and other academic offences under the Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures (see for more information).

Last update: March 21, 2017