Functional Genomics and Reverse Genetics

This module will explain current methods of exploring and confirming the nature of candidate genes underlying quantitative and major gene traits using model organisms. It will cover forward and reverse genetic approaches, gene cloning, functional analysis of genes via knock-out and knock-in technologies and applications of high throughput ‘omics technologies to describe gene functions. The module describes commonly used model organisms and their applications in the study of gene functions and as models for human disease. Emphasis is also given in using model organisms for biotechnology applications and development on novel functions for genes.

By the end of the module the student should be able to:

  • Explain the principles of forward and reverse genetics and why model organisms are used for functional genomics.
  • Explain the principles and applications of gene cloning and identify which methods are appropriate to different situations.
  • Explain a variety of methods available to determine the function of a gene by reverse genetics: such as knock-outs, gene silencing, etc and choose which method is appropriate to a particular situation
  • Describe, using specific examples the methods for analysing gene and protein function including the use of reporter genes, protein-protein interaction assays and ‘omics technologies.
  • Communicate their ideas concisely in writing in the format of a “Primer” and a “News and Views” style article.
  • Interrogate genomic databases and interpret its outcome