By the end of this course, students should be able to:
1. Apply an advanced understanding of the major regulatory mechanisms that impact gene
expression and function
2. Demonstrate knowledge of the modalities of the major signalling pathways during vertebrate
development, including proteins that have a positive and negative effect on transduction of the
major ligand families (BMP, FGF, Hedgehog, Notch, Wnt).
3. Define discrete stages of cell fate restriction during development
4. Distinguish between cell-autonomous and non-cell-autonomous gene functions
5. Describe the actions of maternal gene products in Drosophila axial patterning
6. Contrast mechanisms of dorsal-ventral patterning in Drosophila and vertebrate embryos
7. Describe morphogenetic processes in the vertebrate central nervous system, skull, and limbs
and link to the action of key genes and cell types
8. Describe the guidance cues for migrating embryonic cells
9. Recognize the conservation of developmental control genes across distantly related phyla
10. Evaluate different kinds of evidence in developmental biology
11. Identify the experimental advantages of different model organisms
12. Critically assess the methodology of modern developmental biology
13. Describe and justify suitable experimental controls
Scott F. Gilbert (2016) Developmental Biology, 11
edition. Sinauer Associates.
edition (2013) may also be used if you have one; page numbers will be given for both
editions, wherever possible. Copies of the 10
edition been placed on 2-hour
reserve at McLaughlin library.
Supplemental Textbooks (also on 2-hour reserve)
Lewis Wolpert, 2011. Principles of Development (4
edition) Oxford University Press
Jonathan Slack, 2006. Essential Developmental Biology (2
edition), Blackwell, Malden
Available on D2L
Primary research articles for in-class presentations
Citations will be provided ahead of time. It will be each student’s responsibility to locate these
articles using library resources.