• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the Impact of Genome Sequences on the Study of Development

Extracts from this document...


Cells and Development Discuss the Impact of Genome Sequences on the Study of Development Development refers to the biological process an organism undergoes during growth. The introduction of genetics this century has greatly accelerated our understanding in this field. It appears to be exponential, continually more scientists are being drawn into the field and more data is being generated. In this essay I will briefly outline the course of development as a subject over the past 100 years (with a slight bias towards animal development) commenting on how important the use of model organisms has become and the contribution to the field their genomes have made. Development started with Aristotle in the 4th century BC. He noted the different ways in which animals were born, oviparity, viviparity etc, and began to look at the transition from conception to adulthood. Not much happened in the study for about 2000 years, until a man named William Harves in 1651 made the profound statement that all animals are from eggs, "ex ovo omnia". The subject never really took off because the specimens were too small to analyse. The invention of the microscope revolutionised the science and allowed study of these once unseen structures. This coupled with the Morgan's' use of Mendel's' genetic theory to create the chromosomal theory of inheritance allowed scientists to begin to make quantitative assessments and start asking new questions. Despite it's hazy and undramatic origins the field aquired a recognisble unity by the 1930's. ...read more.


Model organisms that are in use today represent specific sections of the phylogenetic tree: E-coli Prokaryotes Sacchromyces cerevisiae (Yeast) Basic Eukaryotes Aribidopsis thaliana Angiosperm plant Caenorhabditis elegans Nematode worm Drosophila melanogatser Insects and invertebrates Brachydanio rerio (Zebra danios) Vertebrates Mus musculus Vertebrates Homo sapiens Vertebrates (not strictly a model organism but a lot of research has gone into it) Arabidopsis is the perfect model organism as it has many of the attributes listed above. Arabidopsis thaliana is a member of the mustard family, a typical angiosperm. It has a small genome, 120mb spread over 5 chromosomes with an estimated 20,000 genes, and having a small amount of interspersed DNA means that sequencing is very cost effective. It is also small in size, so it can be grown in a petri dish and is susceptible to mutations and agrobacterium, making it perfect for genetic experimentation. DNA sequencing of these organisms is already well underway, and in most cases the structural annotation is nearly complete. The relevance genome sequencing has to the field of development may not be apparent at first. Developmentalists have also been working on the model organisms for many years now and are now able to relate the genes involved in the developmental pathways to the genes sequenced on the genome. Since 1996 genetic database searching became a fruitful way to do genetic research (Bassett et al 1997), called research in silico. The use of model organisms provides an important stepping stone for the analysis of other organisms, refered to a comparative genomics. ...read more.


across phyla which they can then apply in conjuction with a phylogenetic tree to make predictions about organisms which they know little developmental biology about. Other advantages of genome sequences to developmetnal biology is that it facilitates not just the study of single genes but of networks of genes and families, for example the HOX cluster in vertebrates. This will lead to a better understanding of emergence (where the whole is greater than the parts) and give a more complete picture of the biology of an organism. Genome sequences also greatly aid the efficeincy of postional cloning in the search for the genes that play key roles in development and in some cases the effort has lead to reveal previously unkown counterparts of developmental pathways. The future of the genome sequencing programs has been outlined by the Gene Ontology group. Established in 1998 by members of fly, mouse and yeast database programs their memebership has grown in 200 to include work from arabidopsis and worm. They are working to develop a standarised for of molecular annotation that will contribute to the unification of genome sequences from different organisms. The need for standardisation is clear given the huge amount of data availible, otherwise searching across databases would become an impossible task. This is vital to the advancement of developmental sciences and biology in general as it will provide a firmer base for comparative studies. It will display similarities between genes that scientists can then draw their own inferences. ?? ?? ?? ?? - 1 - ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Genetics, Evolution & Biodiversity section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

5 star(s)

Response to the question

Exceptional essay that goes above and beyond the remit of an A level Biology essay question. The question has been answered in great depth as well as reasonable breadth, showing a great deal of knowledge and understanding of the field ...

Read full review

Response to the question

Exceptional essay that goes above and beyond the remit of an A level Biology essay question. The question has been answered in great depth as well as reasonable breadth, showing a great deal of knowledge and understanding of the field of developmental genomics, the outstanding nature of this essay makes it ideal for researching the history of the field which is great if you want to show that you have done plenty of reading around the subject and achieve those higher grades. The examples of specific organisms used in the study of development shows excellent grasp of the topic and will always go down well with examiners, however it’s not necessary to quote specific scientific papers and their dates, just be able to mention their content as it’s not a test of your bibliographic skills.

Level of analysis

The writer has examined and highlighted various modern techniques such as assays used in genomics and managed to incorporate these to make their answer appear very well researched and thought out, this is very important as you want the examiner to be impressed by the technical vocabulary used but it also needs to make sense. It is clear that this candidate has done a great deal of independent study for reasons mentioned earlier on. However a little less focus on the general benefits of animal development studies and greater breadth encompassing human medical benefits and possible future discoveries would improve the well-roundedness of the essay which can show that you are able to link various different aspects of the biology curriculum.

Quality of writing

The essay flows very well and contains no issues with spelling, punctuation or grammar. It is important to always have an introduction and conclusion and don’t forget to link the last paragraph back to the start.

Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by tomcat1993 01/04/2012

Read less
Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Genetics, Evolution & Biodiversity essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Revision notes - origins of life on Earth, chemistry of life

    5 star(s)

    Some then engulfed photosynthetic bacteria (cyano) � chloroplasts Colonial Organisms * Multicellular organisms; may have originated after cell division to form an aggregation of similar cells or a colony. * As O2 levels reached critical levels cells begin working cooperatively � allowed specialisation of cells * Some cells became attached to each other forming filaments/ sheets

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Human Cloning Assignment

    4 star(s)

    It has been found that cells placed in oviducts early in their development are much more likely to survive than those incubated in the lab. Finally, the embryo is placed into the uterus of a surrogate mother ewe. That ewe then carries the clone until it is ready to give birth.

  1. Peer reviewed

    Is there a relationship between the girth of a tree trunk and the percentage ...

    4 star(s)

    Use a compass to identify the aspects of the trunk. Then mark each aspect one the rope, which has previously been tied around the trunk. Also, measure the light intensity using a light meter at the north mark, ensuring that the light meter is facing away, perpendicular, from the tree trunk.

  2. Biology Report - Effect of Environment on Phenotype

    of plant groups was made, in order to concisely determine the effect of environment on phenotype. This column graph clearly distinguishes each pH group from the other, effectively demonstrating the change in phenotype. Slight change to the pH of the water accommodating the plants resulted in the impediment of root growth, and therefore detectable change in phenotype.

  1. Edexcel Level 3 Extended Project - Should Embyonic Stem Cell Research be applied to ...

    They studied the genetics of the different neurons destroyed by the disease, including basal forebrain cholinergic neurons which are the neurons the disease hits first and hardest, affecting one's ability to comprehend their surroundings. They managed to coax embryonic stem cells into becoming these important neuron cells, and when they

  2. Regulation of gene expression in prokaryotes and eukaryotes.

    Attenuation depends on the fact that transcription and translation are tightly coupled in E.coli- translation occurs whilst the gene is still being transcribed. When tryptophan is in abundance, the ribosome can rapidly translate the trp codons before the operon genes, thus occluding sequence 2 and allowing the 3:4 transcription terminator hairpin loop to form- this attenuates the trp operon.

  1. Chromosomes and DNA

    After fertilisation the embryo contains chromosomes in pairs. One set of chromosomes were inherited from the father and contains his form of each gene. The other set of chromosomes was inherited from the mother and contains her form of each gene.

  2. The purpose of this experiment is to identify plant pigments by separation, using thin ...

    This shows that Ivy has the most pigments than nettle and grass and the more soluble a pigment, the greater the distance it will travel Conclusion I have found out that Ivy had the most pigments and this shows that this would be a better option for a biomass fuel than nettle and grass.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work