GATE 2011 : Examination Syllabus
XL-Life Sciences ::
SECTION H. CHEMISTRY (Compulsory)
Atomic structure and periodicity: Planck’s quantum theory, wave particle
duality, uncertainty principle, quantum mechanical model of hydrogen atom;
electronic configuration of atoms; periodic table and periodic properties;
ionization energy, election affinity, electronegativity, atomic size.
Structure and bonding: Ionic and covalent bonding, M.O. and V.B. approaches
for diatomic molecules, VSEPR theory and shape of molecules, hybridisation,
resonance, dipole moment, structure parameters such as bond length, bond
angle and bond energy, hydrogen bonding, van der Waals interactions. Ionic
solids, ionic radii, lattice energy (Born-Haber Cycle).
s.p. and d Block Elements: Oxides, halides and hydrides of alkali and
alkaline earth metals, B, Al, Si, N, P, and S, general characteristics of 3d
elements, coordination complexes: valence bond and crystal field theory,
color, geometry and magnetic properties.
Chemical Equilibria: Colligative properties of solutions, ionic equilibria
in solution, solubility product, common ion effect, hydrolysis of salts, pH,
buffer and their applications in chemical analysis, equilibrium constants (Kc,
Kp and Kx) for homogeneous reactions,
Electrochemistry: Conductance, Kohlrausch law, Half Cell potentials, emf,
Nernst equation, galvanic cells, thermodynamic aspects and their
Reaction Kinetics: Rate constant, order of reaction, molecularity,
activation energy, zero, first and second order kinetics, catalysis and
elementary enzyme reactions.
Thermodynamics: First law, reversible and irreversible processes, internal
energy, enthalpy, Kirchoff’s equation, heat of reaction, Hess law, heat of
formation, Second law, entropy, free energy, and work function. Gibbs-Helmholtz
equation, Clausius-Clapeyron equation, free energy change and equilibrium
constant, Troutons rule, Third law of thermodynamics.
Basis of Organic Reactions Mechanism: Elementary treatment of SN1, SN2, E1
and E2 reactions, Hoffmann and Saytzeff rules, Addition reactions,
Markonikoff rule and Kharash effect, Diels-Alder reaction, aromatic
electrophilic substitution, orientation effect as exemplified by various
functional groups. Identification of functional groups by chemical tests
Structure-Reactivity Correlations: Acids and bases, electronic and steric
effects, optical and geometrical isomerism, tautomerism, conformers, concept
SECTION I. BIOCHEMISTRY
Organization of life. Importance of water. Cell structure and organelles.
Structure and function of biomolecules: Amino acids, Carbohydrates, Lipids,
Proteins and Nucleic acids. Biochemical separation techniques and
characterization: ion exchange, size exclusion and affinity chromatography,
electrophoresis, UV-visible, fluorescence and Mass spectrometry. Protein
structure, folding and function: Myoglobin, Hemoglobin, Lysozyme,
Ribonuclease A, Carboxypeptidase and Chymotrypsin. Enzyme kinetics including
its regulation and inhibition, Vitamins and Coenzymes.
Metabolism and bioenergetics. Generation and utilization of ATP. Metabolic
pathways and their regulation: glycolysis, TCA cycle, pentose phosphate
pathway, oxidative phosphorylation, gluconeogenesis, glycogen and fatty acid
metabolism. Metabolism of Nitrogen containing compounds: nitrogen fixation,
amino acids and nucleotides. Photosynthesis: the Calvin cycle.
Biological membranes. Transport across membranes. Signal transduction;
hormones and neurotransmitters.
DNA replication, transcription and translation. Biochemical regulation of
gene expression. Recombinant DNA technology and applications: PCR, site
directed mutagenesis and DNAmicroarray.
Immune system. Active and passive immunity. Complement system. Antibody
structure, function and diversity. Cells of the immune system: T, B and
macrophages. T and B cell activation. Major histocompatibilty complex. T
cell receptor. Immunological techniques: Immunodiffusion,
immunoelectrophoresis, RIA and ELISA.
SECTION J. BIOTECHNOLOGY
Advanced techniques in gene expression and analysis: PCR and RT-PCR,
microarray technology, DNA fingerprinting and recombinant DNA technology;
prokaryotic and eukaryotic expression systems; Vectors: plasmids, phages,
cosmids and BAC.
Architecture of plant genome; plant tissue culture techniques; methods of
gene transfer into plant cells and development of transgenic plants;
manipulation of phenotypic traits in plants; plant cell fermentations and
production of secondary metabolites using suspension/immobilized cell
culture; expression of animal protein in plants; genetically modified crops.
Animal cell metabolism and regulation; cell cycle; primary cell culture;
nutritional requirements for animal cell culture; techniques for mass
culture of animal cell lines; application of animal cell culture for
production of vaccines, growth hormones; interferons, cytokines and
therapeutic proteins; hybridoma technology and gene knockout; stem cells and
its application in organ synthesis; gene therapy; transgenic animals and
Industrial bioprocesses: microbial production of organic acids, amino acids,
proteins, polysaccharides, lipids, polyhydroxyalkanoates, antibiotics and
pharmaceuticals; methods and applications of immobilization of cells and
enzymes; kinetics of soluble and immobilized enzymes; biosensors; biofuels;
biopesticides; environmental bioremediation.
Microbial growth kinetics; batch, fed-batch and continuous culture of
microbial cells; media for industrial fermentations; sterilization of air
and media, design and operation of stirred tank, airlift, plug flow, packed
bed, fluidized bed, membrane and hollow fibre reactors; aeration and
agitation in aerobic fermentations; bioprocess calculations based on
material and energy balance; Down stream processing in industrial
biotechnology: filtration, precipitation, centrifugation, cell
disintegration, solvent extraction, and chromatographic separations,
membrane filtration, aqueous two phase separation.
Bioinformatics; genomics; proteomics and computational biology.
SECTION K. BOTANY
Plant Systematics: Systems of classification (non-phylogenetic vs.
phylogenetic - outline), plant groups, molecular systematics.
Plant Anatomy: Plant cell structure, organization, organelles, cytoskeleton,
cell wall and membranes; anatomy of root, stem and leaves, meristems,
vascular system, their ontogeny, structure and functions, secondary growth
in plants and stellar organization.
Morphogenesis & Development: Cell cycle, cell division, life cycle of an
angiosperm, pollination, fertilization, embryogenesis, seed formation, seed
storage proteins, seed dormancy and germination.
Concept of cellular totipotency, clonal propagation; organogenesis and
somatic embryogenesis, artificial seed, somaclonal variation, secondary
metabolism in plant cell culture, embryo culture, in vitro fertilization.
Physiology and Biochemistry: Plant water relations, transport of minerals
and solutes, stress physiology, stomatal physiology, signal transduction, N2
metabolism, photosynthesis, photorespiration; respiration, Flowering:
photoperiodism and vernalization, biochemical mechanisms involved in
flowering; molecular mechanism of senencensce and aging, biosynthesis,
mechanism of action and physiological effects of plant growth regulators,
structure and function of biomolecules, (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids,
nucleic acid), enzyme kinetics.
Genetics: Principles of Mendelian inheritance, linkage, recombination,
genetic mapping; extrachromosomal inheritance; prokaryotic and eukaryotic
genome organization, regulation of gene expression, gene mutation and
repair, chromosomal aberrations (numerical and structural), transposons.
Plant Breeding and Genetic Modification: Principles, methods – selection,
hybridization, heterosis; male sterility, genetic maps and molecular
markers, sporophytic and gametophytic self incompability, haploidy,
triploidy, somatic cell hybridization, marker-assisted selection, gene
transfer methods viz. direct and vector-mediated, plastid transformation,
transgenic plants and their application in agriculture, molecular pharming,
Economic Botany: A general account of economically and medicinally important
plants- cereals, pulses, plants yielding fibers, timber, sugar, beverages,
oils, rubber, pigments, dyes, gums, drugs and narcotics. Economic importance
of algae, fungi, lichen and bacteria.
Plant Pathology: Nature and classification of plant diseases, diseases of
important crops caused by fungi, bacteria and viruses, and their control
measures, mechanism(s) of pathogenesis and resistance, molecular detection
of pathogens; plant-microbe beneficial interactions.
Ecology and Environment: Ecosystems – types, dynamics, degradation,
ecological succession; food chains and energy flow; vegetation types of the
world, pollution and global warming, speciation and extinction, conservation
strategies, cryopreservation, phytoremediation.
SECTION L. MICROBIOLOGY
Historical Perspective: Discovery of microbial world; Landmark discoveries
relevant to the field of microbiology; Controversy over spontaneous
generation; Role of microorganisms in transformation of organic matter and
in the causation of diseases.
Methods in Microbiology: Pure culture techniques; Theory and practice of
sterilization; Principles of microbial nutrition; Enrichment culture
techniques for isolation of microorganisms; Light-, phase contrast- and
Microbial Taxonomy and Diversity: Bacteria, Archea and their broad
classification; Eukaryotic microbes: Yeasts, molds and protozoa; Viruses and
their classification; Molecular approaches to microbial taxonomy.
Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells: Structure and Function: Prokaryotic Cells:
cell walls, cell membranes, mechanisms of solute transport across membranes,
Flagella and Pili, Capsules, Cell inclusions like endospores and gas
vesicles; Eukaryotic cell organelles: Endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi
apparatus, mitochondria and chloroplasts.
Microbial Growth: Definition of growth; Growth curve; Mathematical
expression of exponential growth phase; Measurement of growth and growth
yields; Synchronous growth; Continuous culture; Effect of environmental
factors on growth.
Control of Micro-organisms: Effect of physical and chemical agents;
Evaluation of effectiveness of antimicrobial agents.
Microbial Metabolism: Energetics: redox reactions and electron carriers; An
overview of metabolism; Glycolysis; Pentose-phosphate pathway;
Entner-Doudoroff pathway; Glyoxalate pathway; The citric acid cycle;
Fermentation; Aerobic and anaerobic respiration; Chemolithotrophy;
Photosynthesis; Calvin cycle; Biosynthetic pathway for fatty acids
synthesis; Common regulatory mechanisms in synthesis of amino acids;
Regulation of major metabolic pathways.
Microbial Diseases and Host Pathogen Interaction: Normal microbiota;
Classification of infectious diseases; Reservoirs of infection; Nosocomial
infection; Emerging infectious diseases; Mechanism of microbial
pathogenicity; Nonspecific defense of host; Antigens and antibodies; Humoral
and cell mediated immunity; Vaccines; Immune deficiency; Human diseases
caused by viruses, bacteria, and pathogenic fungi.
Chemotherapy/Antibiotics: General characteristics of antimicrobial drugs;
Antibiotics: Classification, mode of action and resistance; Antifungal and
Microbial Genetics: Types of mutation; UV and chemical mutagens; Selection
of mutants; Ames test for mutagenesis; Bacterial genetic system:
transformation, conjugation, transduction, recombination, plasmids,
transposons; DNA repair; Regulation of gene expression: repression and
induction; Operon model; Bacterial genome with special reference to E.coli;
Phage λ and its life cycle; RNA phages; RNA viruses; Retroviruses; Basic
concept of microbial genomics.
Microbial Ecology: Microbial interactions; Carbon, sulphur and nitrogen
cycles; Soil microorganisms associated with vascular plants.
SECTION M. ZOOLOGY
Animal world: Animal diversity, distribution, systematics and classification
of animals, phylogenetic relationships.
Evolution: Origin and history of life on earth, theories of evolution,
natural selection, adaptation, speciation.
Genetics: Principles of inheritance, molecular basis of heredity, mutations,
cytoplasmic inheritance, linkage and mapping of genes.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: Nucleic acids, proteins, lipids and
carbohydrates; replication, transcription and translation; regulation of
gene expression, organization of genome, Kreb’s cycle, glycolysis, enzyme
catalysis, hormones and their actions, vitamins.
Cell Biology: Structure of cell, cellular organelles and their structure and
function, cell cycle, cell division, chromosomes and chromatin structure.
Eukaryotic gene organization and expression (Basic principles of signal
Animal Anatomy and Physiology: Comparative physiology, the respiratory
system, circulatory system, digestive system, the nervous system, the
excretory system, the endocrine system, the reproductive system, the
skeletal system, osmoregulation.
Parasitology and Immunology: Nature of parasite, host-parasite relation,
protozoan and helminthic parasites, the immune response, cellular and
humoral immune response, evolution of the immune system.
Development Biology: Embryonic development, cellular differentiation,
organogenesis, metamorphosis, genetic basis of development, stem cells.
Ecology: The ecosystem, habitats, the food chain, population dynamics,
species diversity, zoogerography, biogeochemical cycles, conservation
Animal Behaviour: Types of behaviours, courtship, mating and territoriality,
instinct, learning and memory, social behaviour across the animal taxa,
communication, pheromones, evolution of animal behaviour.