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General Biology Lecture (BIOL 107); Instructor: Elmar Schmid, Ph.D.
Brief Study Guide
In preparation for the scheduled exam (see website) make yourself very familiar with
following terms, key topics and concepts
the listed units and chapters refer to the lecture course-required textbook “Biology:
Concept & Connections”; Campbell, Reece, Taylor & Simon; 7th edition
Final Exam
Chapter 13: Evolutionary Theory: How species and populations evolve
 Be sure you remember the names of the major contributors to the development of the
modern evolutionary theory (classical and synthetic), including Ch. Darwin, R. Wallace, T.
Dobzansky, E. Mayr
 Know the four basic statements and core ideas of the evolutionary theory as introduced by
Darwin in 1859.
 Know the difference between artificial selection and natural selection. Know examples.
 Know the fields which contribute strong evidence for evolution, incl. fossils, biogeography,
comparative anatomy, comparative embryology and molecular biology. Be able to give
examples for each.
 What is a vestiges? What is atavism?
 Know which further ideas and statements have been added to the theory in the 1940s by E.
Mayr and T. Dobzhansky in the so-called “synthetic theory”
 Know the definition of “species”.
 What is the core contribution of population genetics to the modern evolutionary theory?
 What are allele frequencies? What is the definition for “gene pool”?
 What is microevolution?
 Be familiar with the Hardy-Weinberg equation and know how to apply the equation to
calculate allele frequencies.
 What is the bottle neck effect? What can lead to it and what are the consequences for a
population of life forms?
 Rehearse the two contributors of variation, i.e. mutations and recombination events. What
causes mutations?
 Understand how diploidy preserves variation despite natural selection favoring certain
allele combinations.
 What is the heterozygote advantage? E.g. sickle cell anemia & malaria.
 Rehearse the 3 different types of natural selection. What is the difference in outcome
between stabilizing, directional and disruptive natural selection?
 Understand why natural selection does not lead to “perfect biological life forms”.
 Understand and be able to interpret the phrase “survival of the fittest” in the context of the
evolutionary theory; what does “fit” mean in a Darwinian sense?
Chapter 14: The origin of species
 What is meant in the evolutionary theory by the term “speciation”?
 How is a species defined according to the modern evolutionary theory?
 Know examples of factors and events which can lead to speciation
General Biology Lecture (BIOL 107); Instructor: Elmar Schmid, Ph.D.
Know the difference between allopatric and sympatric speciation. Know one or two
(textbook) examples for each of these two.
Rehearse the meaning and examples of prezygotic as well as postzygotic reproductive
barriers. How do and can they contribute to speciation?
Rehearse examples of important geological, cosmic and tectonic events on planet Earth
which are considered to may have contributed to species separation, speciation or
o (Key words: Pangaea super continent, Galapagos island, Hawaiian islands, Alvarez
hypothesis, Madagaska, rift valley)
Understand the impact of continental drift and plate tectonics to the evolution of life on
planet earth
Understand the term “selective pressure” in the context of adaptation as part of the
evolutionary theory
Understand the term “artificial selection” and how this relates to the rise of the new
phenotypes and species
Understand why and how reproductive isolation can trigger speciation
Know the difference between microevolution and macroevolution
Rehearse the outcomes of different selective pressures put upon a population and know the
names of the different forms of selection. What is the difference between diversifying and
directional selection?
Know examples of human activities which can lead to reproductive isolation of species
Chapter 17: Plant kingdom: Fungi, Plants, and the Colonization of Land
 Know the hallmark features and characteristics of fungi (cell type, metabolism,
reproduction, ecological function). What are decomposers?
 Understand how the fungi as a relatively old form of life on this planet may have
contributed to the early colonization of land by primitive plant ancestors.
 Be able to define and explain the terms: symbiosis, mycorrhiza, mycelium, hyphae, spore,
 Be able to define a plant (morphologically, regarding its energy household, reproduction)
 Be able to name the shared characteristics of green algae and modern land plants and be
able to explain these findings in the context of the evolutionary theory (common descent
part of the theory). Who is Choleochaete?
 Be able to recall the names of fossilized early land plant ancestors (hint: Rhynia,
Cooksonia) and know their characteristic features
 Be able to name the major phases, events and plant structures involved in sexual
reproduction of the four major plant groups = bryophyta (e.g. mosses, liverworts),
pterophyta (e.g. ferns, horsetails), gymnosperms (e.g. conifers) and angiosperms (=
flowering plants)
 Which group of plants were the first vascular plants on land? Which form of
vascularization (conducting vessels) did they have?
 Be able to name the two major conducting vessels in land plants and their function
 Be able to define and explain following terms: alternation of generations, sporophyte stage,
gametophyte stage, archegonium, antheridium, gametes, capsule, rhizoids, sporangium,
gametangium, prothallium, sori, gynecium, androecium, cone, pollen, seed, fruit, ovules,
ovary, overy wall
General Biology Lecture (BIOL 107); Instructor: Elmar Schmid, Ph.D.
Know which of the plant generations is (regarding their chromosome complement) haploid
and which one is diploid
Know the names and functions of the female reproductive parts of a flowering plant
Know the names and functions of the male reproductive parts of a flowering plant
What is the function and location of macrospore and microspore mother cells in a
flowering plant
Which cell builds the embryo sac in flowering plants?
What is the function of the pollen tube cells and the generative cell in gymnosperm and
angiosperm pollen grains?
Know which part of a flower head of an angiosperm plant becomes the later fruit after
Understand the importance of flower colors and shapes in the attraction of pollinators
Be able to explain the advantages of animal pollination over wind pollination and how it
relates to the evolutionary success of angiosperms on planet Earth
What are secondary metabolites in plants? Be able to discuss known or hypothesized
functions of secondary plant metabolites for plant reproduction and survival
Know some names of important secondary plant metabolites as they relate to human
nutrition, life style habits and good health (hint: fruits, wine, tobacco, coffee, perfumes,
aspirin, St. John’s wort)
Chapter 18: Animal kingdom - The evolution of animal diversity
 Be able to name the hall mark features and characteristics of an animal
 Rehearse the early embryonic phases of an animal, and know the sequence of events of it
 Be able to define and explain following terms: heterotrophic, zygote, morula stage, blastula
stage, gastrula stage, tissues, organs
 Know the names and prospective function of the three embryonic tissue layers = endoderm,
ectoderm, mesoderm
 Rehearse the idea of the evolution of animal life forms from a single-celled heterotrophic
protist (= protozoan)
 Rehearse the animal taxonomy and make yourself familiar with the hall mark features and
characteristics (incl. body symmetry, tissues, presence of coelom, segmentation, type of
skeleton, nerve fibers, brains, organs) of following 9 animal phyla:
 sponges (porifera)
 jelly fishes (cnidaria)
 flatworms (platyhelminthes)
 roundworms (nematode)
 segmented animals (annelida)
 arthropods
 mollusks
 echinoderms
 vertebrates
 Know the difference between digestive cavity and digestive system, Which animal phyla
have which?
 Understand the term “coelom” and its importance to animal evolution. What is the
biological function of a coelom in modern animals? How is a pseudo-coelom different from
a ‘real’ coelom? Which animal phylum has a pseudo-coelom?
General Biology Lecture (BIOL 107); Instructor: Elmar Schmid, Ph.D.
Know the names of the three body parts of an insect and their biological function
Understand why slow, less mobile animals tend to be hermaphrodites
Know the general function and major differences of endo- and exoskeletons. Which animal
phyla have an exoskeleton? Which ones have an endoskeleton?
Of which major biological molecule is the exoskeleton of animals made up from? Is it
made up from live cells?
Of which major biological molecule is a bony endoskeleton of animals made up from? Is it
made up from live cells?
Know the difference between molting and metamorphosis. Know animal phyla and
representatives which perform them.
Rehearse the respiratory organs in insects, clams, land snails and land mammals
Know the unique body characteristics of a vertebrate animal
Be able to define and explain following terms: notochord, vertebrae, vertebral column, gill
pouches, gill arches, gill slits, post-anal tail, jaw bones, skull, backbone
Rehearse the vertebrate animal evolution considering lancelets, placoderm fishes,
ostracoderm fishes, cartilaginous fishes, bony fishes, amphibians, reptiles, marsupials and
Be able to coincide major animal transitions with major geological and/or cosmic events on
planet Earth, e.g. fish – amphibian transition, amphibian – reptile transition
Be able to name the major adaptations of amphibians and reptiles to their unique
Be able to define and explain following terms: lateral line system, amphibian skin, scales,
amniotic egg, external fertilization, internal fertilization, ectothermal
Be able to name the advantages of internal fertilization (performed by reptiles and
mammals) over external fertilization (fishes and amphibians)
Who the heck was Archeopterix?
Know the differences of the embryonic development between reptiles, marsupials and
mammals. How are the embryos nourished in these three different animal groups and
where do they develop? Which role does the monotreme animal Platypus play in this
Know the difference between deuterostome and protostome animals. Be able to give the
names of some prominent members in each group.