940105 Introduction to molecular biology

Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Grabherr, Reingard , Luschnig, Christian
Offered in
Sommersemester 2024
Languages of instruction


Lecture part Luschnig:

•Structure and functional attributes of nucleic acids, chromatin

•Amino acids, peptide bonds and basic characteristics of proteins

•Genomes of prokaryotes and eukaryotes; DNA replication, DNA recombination and DNA repair

•Transmission of genetic information: transcription, tRNA and ribosomes, genetic code, translation, protein maturation and degradation

•Gene expression control in eukaryotes and prokaryotes: promoter, operon, dynamics in chromatin structure, transcriptional regulators, RNA-processing und maturation, DNA methylation/gene silencing

Lecture part Rüker

•Basics of genetic engineering

•Applications of genetic engineering, industrial background

•genomic DNA, cDNA, synthetic genes: preparation and analysis (Agarose gel electrophoresis, Sanger dideoxy sequencing

•Gene transfer in vivo und in vitro: transformation of bacteria, yeasts and animal cells: electroporation, chemical methods, lipofection, microinjection, gene gun

•DNA-modifying enzymes: restriktion enzymes, ligases, polymerases, alkaline phosphatase

•cloning vectors

•Identification of recombinant clones

•Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)

•real-time (quantitative) PCR

•Expression systems: bacteria, yeasts, animal cells

•next generation DNA sequencing

•Analysis of gene expression

•transgenic animals and plants

•Aspects of ethics and law


Previous knowledge expected


Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

The main learning outcome is a basic understanding of molecular biological principles, processes and methods

Lecture part Luschnig

These course units will allow to familiarise with basic principles of molecular biology.
With this knowledge, students will be able to understand mechanisms of genome structure and dynamics therein. Furthermore, gene expression and regulatory mechanisms involved will no longer be an empty phrase, after passing this course.

With this lecture, students gain a basic understanding of prokaryotic and eukaryotic molecular biological regulatory circuits. Together with the basic principles and methodology of biotechnology, presented by Prof. Rüker, this course represents an excellent foundation for follow-up courses in the biotechnology curricula.

Lecture part Rüker

Students who have taken the course are familiar with the theoretical and practical basics of molecular biology and genetic engineering. They have a basic knowledge of the methods and tools that are used in the field of molecular biology, and they understand the criteria which are applied in choosing suitable methods and tools.

Students can use this knowledge and understanding for practical applications, like the cloning of genes, recombinant expression of proteins, sequencing of DNA or of genomes, or quantitative analysis of nucleic acids. This prepares the students for subsequent courses, e.g. for the practical courses in the fields of microbiology and of molecular biology. By applying the knowledge that was gained in the part of the lecture taught by Prof. Luschnig, the students can understand and judge the basic molecular biological aspects of practical applications, and can extend this capacity also to applications that where not directly taught in the lecture.

Based on the aspects of the lecture that are related to ethics and to legal regulations the students are able to use molecular biology tools in a legal and ethically responsible way.
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.