Dr. Morris Maduro, UC Riverside
Biology 168 – 10F – Lecture 1, page 1
Lecture 1: History of developmental biology, genetic equivalence, concepts.
Textbook: 2nd edition: pp. 1-22; pp. 323-325. 3rd edition: 1-29; 327-329. Some figures in these notes are
Wolpert et al.
Biology 168 - Developmental Biology:
We will study
embryonic development of animals
We all start out as a
How does that single cell, through cell divisions, direct particular cells to
become one cell type, and others to do something completely different?
How do the
operate during development undergo change over evolutionary time to produce different animals?
Developmental biology is a field that crosses many disciplines: anatomy, experimental embryology,
evolution, molecular biology, cell biology and genetics. Many of the molecular mechanisms that drive
development in lower animals also do so in higher animals. In humans, abnormal development leads to
birth defects, and cancer. Therefore, the knowledge we gain from working on model animals can apply to
all animals, including humans.
The goals of this course are to learn:
• universal principles that apply to how embryos develop, from fertilization onwards.
• the molecular mechanisms behind many of the remarkable events that occur during
• that nature is a tinkerer: widely different animals re-use similar molecular strategies, and a
species can often re-use the same molecular pathways many times in development.
• that the driving force for development is all in an organisms’
We will learn
about genes that direct specific events in development.
We will learn how elaborate control
mechanisms for gene expression act to restrict gene activity to particular places and times in
We will also see that small changes in genes drive evolutionary change.
that developmental biologists use to probe molecular events in
• principles in the context of several
, in which the most information is known
because these systems give us different tools for experimental manipulation and allow us to
identify the molecules that are important in development, and to assess the effects of their
• relationships between the phenomena you learn about in the course to human health issues,
such as stem cells, cloning, and assisted reproductive technology.
Structure of the Course
Lecture notes will be made available from iLearn before lecture. The best strategy is to download and
class. You are not required to buy a textbook, but
you must buy an H-ITT remote
(clicker) from the UCR Bookstore
Part of the Class Participation grade will come from responses to in-
class questions. Purchase your clicker and register it on
before Friday, October 8,
2010. If you already have a clicker, it has to be registered again. Unless told otherwise, clicker points are
given for correct answers only, and you must be present in the room at the time the clicker responses are