Ch 4: Model Organisms and Developmental Genetics

About This Chapter

Watch online video lessons to learn about model organisms and developmental genetics. Each lesson is accompanied by a short multiple-choice quiz to help check your understanding of pattern formation, gap genes, segment polarity genes, stem cells and more.

Model Organisms and Developmental Genetics - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

New information about genetics is discovered through research, which often involves the use of model organisms. These organisms are studied to learn more about how they develop. Such studies can lead researchers to learn about genetic defects, development and more. Our instructors will teach you about model organisms and developmental genetics in this chapter. Lessons will cover topics that include:

  • Invertebrate model organisms
  • The development of the basic body plan
  • Gap, pair rule, segment and homeotic genes
  • Stem Cells

Video Objective
Invertebrate Model Organisms in Genetics Study topics that include wild type, cell cycle checkpoints, C. elegans, Drosophila, mutant screens and developmental genetics.
Vertebrate Model Organisms in Genetics Explore zebrafish and mice in this lesson.
Pattern Formation: Establishing the Basic Body Plan Learn how the basic body plan is developed.
Maternal-Effect Genes Discover how the maternal-effect genes affect development.
Gap Genes Examine the different types and the function of gap genes.
Pair Rule Genes Learn more about pair rule genes in this lesson.
Segment Polarity Genes Examine the role of segment polarity genes.
Homeotic Genes Find out how homeotic genes assist with body formation.
Sex Determination in Drosophila Discover the way gender is determined in drosophila through a completely different way than it is in humans.
Transgenic Mice See how genetically-modified mice are created and use.
Stem Cells Examine the many important aspects of stem cells that have led them to the forefront of science today.

10 Lessons in Chapter 4: Model Organisms and Developmental Genetics
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Non-Vertebrate Model Organisms in Genetic Research

1. Non-Vertebrate Model Organisms in Genetic Research

In this lesson, we'll learn the basics of what makes a good model organism for genetic research. In addition, we'll identify a few common non-vertebrate model organisms, including yeast, worms, and flies.

Vertebrate Model Organisms in Genetic Research

2. Vertebrate Model Organisms in Genetic Research

In this lesson, we'll learn why different vertebrate model organisms are chosen in science. Zebrafish and mice don't just make cute house pets, they are also great model organisms for genetic research.

Drosophila Development: Pattern Formation of the Body Plan

3. Drosophila Development: Pattern Formation of the Body Plan

In this lesson, you'll learn how those pesky fruit flies develop from a fertilized egg through the help of specific genes. Maternal-effect, segmentation and homeotic genes help to establish proper pattern formation and development in Drosophila.

How Maternal-Effect Genes Control Early Drosophila Development

4. How Maternal-Effect Genes Control Early Drosophila Development

In this lesson, we'll begin to learn the classes of genes that are important to Drosophila pattern formation. Specifically, we'll see how maternal-effect genes create a concentration gradient that establishes the anterior to posterior axis of a fruit fly.

Segmentation Genes in Drosophila Development: Pair Rule, Segment Polarity & Gap Genes

5. Segmentation Genes in Drosophila Development: Pair Rule, Segment Polarity & Gap Genes

Building the perfect fruit fly is no simple task. In this lesson, we'll learn how segmentation genes control the development of repeating regions of a fly's body. These include the gap genes, pair-rule genes, and segment polarity genes.

Role of Homeotic Genes in Drosophila Development

6. Role of Homeotic Genes in Drosophila Development

Sometimes fruit flies have legs for antennae. It happens. When it does, it's usually the result of a mutation in a homeotic gene, such as a HOX gene. Homeotic genes are expressed late in fly development and control segment determination.

How Sex is Determined in Drosophila

7. How Sex is Determined in Drosophila

In humans, the Y chromosome denotes a male. In the model organism Drosophila, it is the number of X chromosomes and autosome sets that determine sex rather than the presence of a Y chromosome. In this lesson, we'll learn about what makes normal male and female flies, as well as the super-normal!

Early Embryonic Development: The Morula and Blastula

8. Early Embryonic Development: The Morula and Blastula

This lesson on the early stages of mammalian development covers the processes following fertilization, such as cleavage, the morula formation and blastula formation. Watch to learn what the inner cell mass, trophoblast cells and blastocyst are, as well as their functions within embryonic development.

Embryonic and Adult Stem Cells: Uses, Origins & Properties

9. Embryonic and Adult Stem Cells: Uses, Origins & Properties

How can we grow a brand new windpipe? Or a heart? In this lesson, we'll learn about embryonic and adult stem cells and how scientists are using them to give people a new lease on life.

Knockout Mice: Steps and Uses

10. Knockout Mice: Steps and Uses

In this lesson, we'll learn about the steps to create a knockout mouse. Not to be confused with a mouse and a pair of boxing gloves, a knockout mouse is a model organism that has been genetically manipulated to disrupt a gene's function so that we can learn about the purpose of that gene.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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