Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

Interdepartmental Graduate Major

Undergraduate Study

A special program in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology is not offered for the baccalaureate. Undergraduates wishing to prepare for graduate study in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology should elect courses in biochemistry, biology, genetics, microbiology; and mathematics through calculus; chemistry through organic; and one year of physics.

The following are recommended to undergraduates desiring an introduction to this area:

BIOL 313Principles of Genetics3
BIOL 313LGenetics Laboratory1
BIOL 314Principles of Molecular Cell Biology3

Graduate Study

Work is offered for the master of science and doctor of philosophy degrees with a major in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology in several cooperating departments: Agronomy; Animal Science; Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology; Biomedical Sciences; Entomology; Food Science and Human Nutrition; Genetics, Development and Cell Biology; Horticulture; Physics & Astronomy; Plant Pathology; Veterinary Microbiology & Preventive Medicine; Veterinary Pathology. Facilities and qualified faculty are available in these departments for conducting fundamental research in the various aspects of molecular, cellular, and developmental biology. Ongoing research projects include molecular and cellular studies of viral, prokaryotic, plant, and animal systems.

Students may enter the MCDB major in one of two ways: they may apply to and be accepted into the major directly or they may formally apply to the major after being accepted by a participating department. Students admitted into MCDB will take MCDB 697 Graduate Research Rotation in their first two semesters and choose a major professor from the participating faculty by the end of their second semester. Students admitted by a department will choose a major professor from the participating faculty in that department. All Ph.D. students take a core curriculum consisting of the following courses:

MCDB 511Molecular Genetics3
MCDB 520Genetic Engineering3
MCDB 545Plant Molecular Biology3
MICRO 502Microbial Genetics3
MCDB 676Biochemistry of Gene Expression in Eucaryotes2
V MPM 608Molecular Virology3

In seminar, students will make journal and research presentations and attend MCDB seminars.

M.S. students take the above core but may delete either the molecular genetics, cell biology, or developmental biology component. Additional coursework is selected to meet departmental requirements and to satisfy individual student research interests. All graduate students are required to teach as part of their training for an advanced degree.

Students minoring in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology at the Ph.D. level must meet the following requirements:

One year of biochemistry (one of the following)
Biochemistry I
   and Biochemistry II
Comprehensive Biochemistry I
   and Comprehensive Biochemistry II
One course in each of two of the three areas of molecular biology listed below:
Molecular Genetics
Genetic Engineering
Plant Molecular Biology
Microbial Genetics
Biochemistry of Gene Expression in Eucaryotes
Molecular Virology

Courses primarily for graduate students


MCDB 511. Molecular Genetics.

(Cross-listed with GDCB). (3-0) Cr. 3. S. Prereq: BIOL 313 and BBMB 405
The principles of molecular genetics: gene structure and function at the molecular level, including regulation of gene expression, genetic rearrangement, and the organization of genetic information in prokaryotes and eukaryotes.

MCDB 512. Plant Growth and Development.

(Cross-listed with GDCB, PLBIO). (2-0) Cr. 2. S. Prereq: BIOL 330 or a course in developmental biology; GDCB 545 or BBMB 404, 405 or GDCB 520
Plant growth and development and its molecular genetic regulation. Hormone biosynthesis, metabolism, and action. Signal transduction in plants.

MCDB 520. Genetic Engineering.

(Cross-listed with GDCB, BBMB). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered 2012. Prereq: Gen 411 or BBMB 405
Strategies and rationale of recombinant DNA technologies. The methodology of genetic engineering in basic research and implications for applied research will be considered. Topics include: basic tools of molecular cloning, targeted mutagenesis, fluorescent proteins, protein expression systems, and transgenic model systems.

MCDB 528. Advances in Molecular Cell Biology.

(Cross-listed with GDCB). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered 2012. Prereq: Courses in general cell biology and biochemistry
Cell biological processes including cell signaling, cell division, intracellular trafficking, biogenesis of organelles, cell adhesion and motility.

MCDB 529. Plant Cell Biology.

(Cross-listed with GDCB). (2-0) Cr. 2. Alt. F., offered 2011. Prereq: BIOL 313, 314, 330 or BBMB 405
Organization, function, and development of plant cells and subcellular structures.

MCDB 533. Principles of Developmental Biology.

(Cross-listed with GDCB). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered 2011. Prereq: BIOL 314
Fundamental principles in multicellular development. Emphasis on cellular and molecular regulation of developmental processes, and experimental approaches as illustrated in classical studies and current literature.

MCDB 545. Plant Molecular Biology.

(Cross-listed with GDCB, PLBIO). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered 2011. Prereq: BIOL 314, 330
Organization and function of plant nuclear and organelle DNA; regulation of gene expression. Methods of generating novel genetic variation. Impact of plant biotechnology on agriculture.

MCDB 590. Special Topics.

Cr. arr. Repeatable.

MCDB 676. Biochemistry of Gene Expression in Eucaryotes.

(Cross-listed with BBMB). (2-0) Cr. 2. Alt. S., offered 2012. Prereq: BBMB 404 or 501, 405 or 502 or GDCB 511
Analysis of the biochemical processes involved in expression of eucaryotic genes and the regulation thereof, including RNA polymerase, transcriptional regulatory proteins, enhancers and silencers, chromosome structure, termination, RNA processing, RNA transport, RNA turnover, translational regulation, protein turnover.

MCDB 697. Graduate Research Rotation.

Cr. 1-6. Repeatable. F.S.
Graduate research projects performed under the supervision of selected faculty members in the molecular, cellular, and developmental biology program.

MCDB 698. Seminar in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology.

(Cross-listed with BBMB, GDCB, MICRO, V MPM). (2-0) Cr. 1-2. Repeatable. F.S.
Student and faculty presentations.

MCDB 699. Research.

Cr. arr. Repeatable.