Biosystematics, taxonomy & evolution

Paper Code: 
ZOL 121
Contact Hours: 
Max. Marks: 

Course objectives:

This course will enable the students to -

  • Analyse basic concepts of Biosystematics.
  • Determine study of taxonomy including speciation, Concept of evolution and theories of organic evolution with an emphasis on Darwinism and Genetics of quantitative traits in population. 
  • Infer the process of speciation and methods of Phylogenetic analysis, Taxonomy and Evolution.


Course Outcomes (COs): 


Learning outcomes

(at course level)

Learning and teaching strategies

Assessment Strategies

Paper Code

Paper Title


ZOL 121

Biosystematics, Taxonomy & Evolution

The Students will

CO1: Build the basic concepts of animal taxonomy and analyze the implications of Chemotaxonomy, Cyto-taxonomy and Molecular taxonomy

CO2: Analyse the Concept of Molecular Phylogenetics and Genetics of Quantitative traits in a population.

CO3: Furnish their Knowledge about different taxonomic procedures including taxonomic collection, species concept and Speciation, preservation, methods of identification and taxonomic keys.

CO4: Assess different theories of biological classification and the basic concept of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN).

CO5: Predict the Molecular analysis of quantitative traits


Approach in teaching:

Interactive Lectures, Discussion, Tutorials, Reading assignments, Demonstration, Team teaching


Learning activities for the students:

Self-learning assignments, Effective questions, Simulation, Seminar presentation, Giving tasks, Field practical

Class test

Semester end examinations,




Individual and group projects


Unit I: 


  • Definition and basic concepts of biosystematics and taxonomy
  • Importance and applications of bio-systematic in biology
  • Material basis of biosystematics-different attributes
  • Trends in biosystematics- Chemotaxonomy, Cytotaxonomy, Molecular taxonomy
Unit II: 
Dimensions of speciation and taxonomic characters
  • Dimensions of speciation – types of lineage changes, production of additional lineage
  • Mechanisms of speciation in panmictic and apomictic species
  • Species concept- Species category, different species concept, subspecies and other infra specific categories
  • Theories of Biological classification , Hierarchy of categories
  • Taxonomic characters – different kinds, origin of reproductive isolation
Unit III: 
Procedure keys in taxonomy
  • Taxonomy procedures-Taxonomic collections, preservations, curetting process of identification
  • Taxonomic keys-Different kinds of Taxonomic keys, their merits and demerits
  • Systematic publication-Different kinds of publications
  • Process of typification and different zoological types
  • International code of Zoological nomenclature (ICZN) – its operative principles, interpretation and application of important rules, Zoological nomenclature, formation of scientific names of various taxa.
  • Evaluation of biodiversity indices: Shannon-Weinner index, dominance index
Unit IV: 
  • Concept of evolution and theories of organic evaluation with an emphasis on Darwinism.
  • Micro and Macro-evolution
  • Neo-Darwinism
  • Hardy –Weinberg law of genetic equilibrium
Detailed account of Destabilizing forces:
  •  Natural selection
  •  Mutation
  • Genetic drift
  • Migration
  • Meiotic drive
Unit V: 
  • Genetics of quantitative traits in populations
  • Analysis of quantitative traits
  • Quantitative traits and natural selection
  • Genotype-environment interactions
  • Inbreeding depression and heterosis
  • Molecular analysis of quantitative traits
  • Phenotypic plasticity
  • Molecular phylogenetics
  • How to construct phylogenetic trees
  • Phylogenetic inference-Distance methods, parsimony methods, maximum likelihood method
Essential Readings: 
  • Evolutionary Biology, Futuyamma, D. J. Suinuaer Associates, INC Publishers, Sunderland.
  • Principles of Systematic Zoology by Ernst Mayr
  • A Primer of Population Genetics. Hart, D.L. Suinuaer Associates, Inc, Massachusetts.
  • Genes and Evolution. JhaA.P.John Publication, New Delhi
  • Species Evolution-The role of chromosomal change. King,M. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Evolution and Genetics Merral, D.J.Holt, Rinchart and Winston, Inc.
  • Evolutionary Genetics. Smith,J.M. Oxford University Press, New York.
  • Evolution. Strikberger, M.W.Jones and Barlett Publishers, Boston London
  • Batschelet-F-Introduction to mathematics for life scientists Springer Verlag, Berling.
  • Skoal R.R. and F.J.Rohiff Biometry-Freeman, San-Francisco.
  • Snecdor, G.W. and W.G. CocharanStatisical Methods of affiliated-East West Press, New Delhi.
  • Murry J.D. Mathematical Biology-Springer, Verlag, Berlin.
Academic Year: