Council of Scientific and Industrial Research
Human Resource Development Group
CSIR-UGC National Eligibility Test (NET) for Junior Research
Fellowship and Lecturer-ship
1. MOLECULES AND THEIR INTERACTION RELAVENT TO BIOLOGY
A. Structure of atoms, molecules and chemical bonds.
B Composition, structure and function of biomolecules (carbohydrates, lipids,
proteins, nucleic acids and vitamins).
C. Stablizing interactions (Van der Waals, electrostatic, hydrogen bonding,
hydrophobic interaction, etc.).
D Principles of biophysical chemistry (pH, buffer, reaction kinetics,
thermodynamics, colligative properties).
E. Bioenergetics, glycolysis, oxidative phosphorylation, coupled reaction, group
transfer, biological energy transducers.
F. Principles of catalysis, enzymes and enzyme kinetics, enzyme regulation,
mechanism of enzyme catalysis, isozymes
G. Conformation of proteins (Ramachandran plot, secondary structure, domains,
motif and folds).
H. Conformation of nucleic acids (helix (A, B, Z), t-RNA, micro-RNA).
I. Stability of proteins and nucleic acids.
J. Metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids nucleotides and vitamins.
2. CELLULAR ORGANIZATION
A) Membrane structure and function (Structure of model
membrane, lipid bilayer and membrane protein diffusion, osmosision channels,
active transport, membrane pumps, mechanism of sorting and regulation of
intracellular transport,electrical properties of membranes).
B) Structural organization and function of intracellular organelles (Cell
wall, nucleus, mitochondria, Golgi bodies, lysosomes, endoplasmic reticulum,
peroxisomes, plastids, vacuoles, chloroplast, structure & function of
cytoskeleton and its role in motility).
C) Organization of genes and chromosomes (Operon, unique and repetitive
DNA, interrupted genes, gene families, structure of chromatin and chromosomes,
heterochromatin, euchromatin, transposons).
D) Cell division and cell cycle (Mitosis and meiosis, their regulation,
steps in cell cycle, regulation and control of cell cycle).
E) Microbial Physiology (Growth yield and characteristics, strategies of
cell division, stress response)
3. FUNDAMENTAL PROCESSES
A) DNA replication, repair and recombination (Unit of
replication, enzymes involved, replication origin and replication fork, fidelity
of replication, extrachromosomal replicons, DNA damage and repair mechanisms,
homologous and site-specific recombination).
B) RNA synthesis and processing (transcription factors and machinery,
formation of initiation complex, transcription activator and repressor, RNA
polymerases, capping, elongation, and termination, RNA processing, RNA editing,
splicing, and polyadenylation, structure and function of different types of RNA,
C) Protein synthesis and processing (Ribosome, formation of initiation
complex, initiation factors and their regulation, elongation and elongation
factors, termination, genetic code, aminoacylation of tRNA, tRNA-identity,
aminoacyl tRNA synthetase, and translational proof-reading, translational
inhibitors, Post- translational modification of proteins).
D) Control of gene expression at transcription and translation level (regulating
the expression of phages, viruses, prokaryotic and eukaryotic genes, role of
chromatin in gene expression and gene silencing).
4. Cell communication and cell signaling
A) Host parasite interaction: Recognition and entry
processes of different pathogens like bacteria, viruses into animal and plant
host cells, alteration of host
cell behavior by pathogens, virus-induced cell transformation, pathogen-induced
diseases in animals and plants, cell-cell fusion in both normal and abnormal
B) Cell signaling: Hormones and their receptors, cell surface receptor,
signaling through G-protein coupled receptors, signal transduction pathways,
messengers, regulation of signaling pathways, bacterial and plant twocomponent
systems, light signaling in plants, bacterial chemotaxis and quorum sensing.
C) Cellular communication: Regulation of hematopoiesis,
general principles of cell communication, cell adhesion and roles of different
adhesion molecules, gap junctions, extracellular matrix, integrins,
neurotransmission and its regulation.
D) Cancer: Genetic rearrangements in progenitor cells, oncogenes, tumor
suppressor genes, cancer and the cell cycle, virus-induced cancer, metastasis,
interaction of cancer cells with normal cells, apoptosis, therapeutic
interventions of uncontrolled cell growth.
E) Innate and adaptive immune system Cells and molecules involved in
innate and adaptive immunity, antigens, antigenicity and immunogenicity. B and T
epitopes, structure and function of antibody molecules. generation of antibody
diversity, monoclonal antibodies, antibody engineering, antigen-antibody
interactions, MHC molecules, antigen processing and presentation, activation and
differentiation of B and T cells, B and T cell receptors, humoral and
cellmediated immune responses, primary and secondary immune modulation, the
complement system, Toll-like receptors, cell-mediated effector functions,
inflammation, hypersensitivity and autoimmunity, immune response during
bacterial (tuberculosis), parasitic (malaria) and viral (HIV) infections,
and acquired immunodeficiencies, vaccines.
5. DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY
A) Basic concepts of development : Potency,
commitment, specification, induction, competence, determination and
differentiation; morphogenetic gradients; cell fate and cell lineages; stem
cells; genomic equivalence and the cytoplasmic determinants; imprinting; mutants
and transgenics in analysis of development
B) Gametogenesis, fertilization and early development: Production of
gametes, cell surface molecules in sperm-egg recognition in animals; embryo sac
development and double fertilization in plants; zygote formation, cleavage,
blastula formation, embryonic fields, gastrulation and formation of germ layers
in animals; embryogenesis, establishment of symmetry in plants; seed formation
C) Morphogenesis and organogenesis in animals : Cell aggregation and
differentiation in Dictyostelium; axes and pattern formation in Drosophila,
amphibia and chick; organogenesis – vulva formation in Caenorhabditis elegans,
eye lens induction, limb development and regeneration in vertebrates;
differentiation of neurons, post embryonic development- larval formation,
metamorphosis; environmental regulation of normal development; sex
D) Morphogenesis and organogenesis in plants: Organization of shoot and
root apical meristem; shoot and root development; leaf development and
phyllotaxy; transition to flowering, floral meristems and floral development in
Arabidopsis and Antirrhinum
E) Programmed cell death, aging and senescence
6. SYSTEM PHYSIOLOGY - PLANT
A. Photosynthesis - Light harvesting complexes;
mechanisms of electron transport; photoprotective mechanisms; CO2 fixation-C3,
C4 and CAM pathways.
B. Respiration and photorespiration – Citric acid cycle; plant
mitochondrial electron transport and ATP synthesis; alternate oxidase;
C. Nitrogen metabolism - Nitrate and ammonium assimilation; amino acid
D. Plant hormones – Biosynthesis, storage, breakdown and transport;
physiological effects and mechanisms of action.
E. Sensory photobiology - Structure, function and mechanisms of action of
phytochromes, cryptochromes and phototropins; stomatal movement; photoperiodism
and biological clocks.
F. Solute transport and photoassimilate translocation – uptake, transport
and translocation of water, ions, solutes and macromolecules from soil, through
across membranes, through xylem and phloem; transpiration; mechanisms of loading
and unloading of photoassimilates.
G. Secondary metabolites - Biosynthesis of terpenes, phenols and
nitrogenous compounds and their roles.
H. Stress physiology – Responses of plants to biotic (pathogen and
insects) and abiotic (water, temperature and salt) stresses.
7. SYSTEM PHYSIOLOGY - ANIMAL
A. Blood and circulation - Blood corpuscles, haemopoiesis and formed
elements, plasma function, blood volume, blood volume regulation, blood groups,
haemoglobin, immunity, haemostasis.
B. Cardiovascular System: Comparative anatomy of heart structure,
myogenic heart, specialized tissue, ECG – its principle and significance,
heart as a pump, blood pressure, neural and chemical regulation of all above.
C. Respiratory system - Comparison of respiration in different species,
anatomical considerations, transport of gases, exchange of gases, waste
and chemical regulation of respiration.
D. Nervous system - Neurons, action potential, gross neuroanatomy of the
brain and spinal cord, central and peripheral nervous system, neural control of
tone and posture.
E. Sense organs - Vision, hearing and tactile response.
F. Excretory system - Comparative physiology of excretion, kidney, urine
formation, urine concentration, waste elimination, micturition, regulation of
water balance, blood volume, blood pressure, electrolyte balance, acid-base
G. Thermoregulation - Comfort zone, body temperature – physical,
chemical, neural regulation, acclimatization.
H. Stress and adaptation
I. Digestive system - Digestion, absorption, energy balance, BMR.
J. Endocrinology and reproduction - Endocrine glands, basic mechanism of
hormone action, hormones and diseases; reproductive processes, gametogenesis,
ovulation, neuroendocrine regulation
8. INHERITANCE BIOLOGY
A) Mendelian principles : Dominance, segregation, independent
B) Concept of gene : Allele, multiple alleles, pseudoallele,
C) Extensions of Mendelian principles : Codominance, incomplete
dominance, gene interactions, pleiotropy, genomic imprinting, penetrance and
expressivity, phenocopy, linkage and crossing over, sex linkage, sex limited and
sex influenced characters.
D) Gene mapping methods : Linkage maps, tetrad analysis, mapping with
molecular markers, mapping by using somatic cell hybrids, development of mapping
population in plants.
E) Extra chromosomal inheritance : Inheritance of Mitochondrial and
chloroplast genes, maternal inheritance.
F) Microbial genetics : Methods of genetic transfers – transformation,
conjugation, transduction and sex-duction, mapping genes by interrupted mating,
fine structure analysis of genes.
G) Human genetics : Pedigree analysis, lod score for linkage testing,
karyotypes, genetic disorders.
H) Quantitative genetics : Polygenic inheritance, heritability and its
measurements, QTL mapping.
I) Mutation : Types, causes and detection, mutant types – lethal,
conditional, biochemical, loss of function, gain of function, germinal verses
somatic mutants, insertional mutagenesis.
J) Structural and numerical alterations of chromosomes : Deletion,
duplication, inversion, translocation, ploidy and their genetic implications.
K) Recombination : Homologous and non-homologous recombination including
9. DIVERSITY OF LIFE FORMS:
A. Principles & methods of taxonomy: Concepts of species and
hierarchical taxa, biological nomenclature, classical & quantititative methods
of taxonomy of plants, animals and microorganisms.
B. Levels of structural organization: Unicellular, colonial and
multicellular forms. Levels of organization of tissues, organs & systems.
Comparative anatomy, adaptive radiation, adaptive modifications.
C. Outline classification of plants, animals & microorganisms: Important
criteria used for classification in each taxon. Classification of plants,
animals and microorganisms. Evolutionary relationships among taxa.
D. Natural history of Indian subcontinent: Major habitat types of the
subcontinent, geographic origins and migrations of species. Comman Indian
mammals, birds. Seasonality and phenology of the subcontinent.
E. Organisms of health & agricultural importance: Common parasites and
pathogens of humans, domestic animals and crops.
F. Organisms of conservation concern: Rare, endangered species.
10. ECOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES
The Environment: Physical environment; biotic
environment; biotic and abiotic interactions.
Habitat and Niche: Concept of habitat and niche; niche
width and overlap; fundamental and realized niche; resource partitioning;
Population Ecology: Characteristics of a population;
population growth curves;population regulation; life history strategies (r and K
selection); concept of metapopulation – demes and dispersal, interdemic
extinctions, age structured populations.
Species Interactions: Types of interactions,
interspecific competition, herbivory, carnivory, pollination, symbiosis.
Community Ecology: Nature of communities; community
structure and attributes; levels of species diversity and its measurement; edges
Ecological Succession: Types; mechanisms; changes
involved in succession; concept of climax.
Ecosystem Ecology: Ecosystem structure; ecosystem
function; energy flow and mineral cycling (C,N,P); primary production and
decomposition; structure and function of some Indian ecosystems: terrestrial
(forest, grassland) and aquatic (fresh water, marine, eustarine).
Biogeography: Major terrestrial biomes; theory of
island biogeography; biogeographical zones of India.Applied Ecology:
Environmental pollution; global environmental change; biodiversity:status,
monitoring and documentation; major drivers of biodiversity change; biodiversity
Conservation Biology: Principles of conservation,
major approaches to management, Indian case studies on conservation/management
strategy (Project Tiger, Biosphere reserves).
11. EVOLUTION AND BEHAVIOUR
A. Emergence of evolutionary thoughts
Lamarck; Darwin–concepts of variation, adaptation, struggle, fitness and
natural selection; Mendelism; Spontaneity of mutations; The evolutionary
B. Origin of cells and unicellular evolution:
Origin of basic biological molecules; Abiotic synthesis of organic monomers
and polymers; Concept of Oparin and Haldane; Experiement of Miller (1953); The
first cell; Evolution of prokaryotes; Origin of eukaryotic cells; Evolution of
unicellular eukaryotes; Anaerobic metabolism, photosynthesis and aerobic
C. Paleontology and Evolutionary History:
The evolutionary time scale; Eras, periods and epoch; Major events in the
evolutionary time scale; Origins of unicellular and multi cellular organisms;
Major groups of plants and animals; Stages in primate evolution including Homo.
D. Molecular Evolution:
Concepts of neutral evolution, molecular divergence and molecular clocks;
Molecular tools in phylogeny, classification and identification; Protein and
nucleotide sequence analysis; origin of new genes and proteins; Gene duplication
E. The Mechanisms:
Population genetics – Populations, Gene pool, Gene frequency; Hardy-Weinberg
Law; concepts and rate of change in gene frequency through natural selection,
migration and random genetic drift; Adaptive radiation; Isolating mechanisms;
Speciation; Allopatricity and Sympatricity; Convergent evolution; Sexual
F. Brain, Behavior and Evolution:
Approaches and methods in study of behavior; Proximate and ultimate
causation; Altruism and evolution-Group selection, Kin selection, Reciprocal
altruism; Neural basis of learning, memory, cognition, sleep and arousal;
Biological clocks; Development of behavior; Social communication; Social
dominance; Use of space and territoriality; Mating systems, Parental investment
and Reproductive success; Parental care; Aggressive behavior; Habitat selection
and optimality in foraging; Migration, orientation and navigation; Domestication
and behavioral changes.
12. APPLIED BIOLOGY:
A. Microbial fermentation and production of small and macro molecules.
B. Application of immunological principles, vaccines, diagnostics. Tissue and
cell culture methods for plants and animals.
C. Transgenic animals and plants, molecular approaches to diagnosis and strain
D. Genomics and its application to health and agriculture, including gene
E. Bioresource and uses of biodiversity.
F. Breeding in plants and animals, including marker – assisted selection
G. Bioremediation and phytoremediation
13. METHODS IN BIOLOGY
A. Molecular Biology and Recombinant DNA methods:
Isolation and purification of RNA , DNA (genomic and plasmid) and proteins,
different separation methods. Analysis of RNA, DNA and proteins by one and two
dimensional gel electrophoresis, Isoelectric focusing gels. Molecular cloning of
DNA or RNA fragments in bacterial and eukaryotic systems. Expression of
recombinant proteins using bacterial, animal and plant vectors. Isolation of
specific nucleic acid sequences
Generation of genomic and cDNA libraries in plasmid, phage, cosmid, BAC and YAC
vectors. In vitro mutagenesis and deletion techniques, gene knock out in
bacterial and eukaryotic organisms. Protein sequencing methods, detection of
post translation modification of proteins. DNA sequencing methods, strategies
for genome sequencing. Methods for analysis of gene expression at RNA and
protein level, large scale expression, such as micro array based techniques
Isolation, separation and analysis of carbohydrate and lipid molecules RFLP,
RAPD and AFLP techniques
B. Histochemical and Immunotechniques: Antibody
generation, Detection of molecules using ELISA, RIA, western blot,
immunoprecipitation, fluocytometry and immunofluorescence microscopy, detection
of molecules in living cells, in situ localization by techniques such as FISH
C Biophysical Method: Molecular analysis using
UV/visible, fluorescence, circular dichroism, NMR and ESR spectroscopy Molecular
structure determination using X-ray diffraction and NMR, Molecular analysis
using light scattering, different types of mass spectrometry and surface plasma
D Statisitcal Methods: Measures of central tendency
and dispersal; probability distributions (Binomial, Poisson and normal);
Sampling distribution; Difference between parametric and non-parametric
statistics; Confidence Interval; Errors; Levels of significance; Regression and
Correlation; t-test; Analysis of variance; X2
test;; Basic introduction to Muetrovariate statistics, etc.
E. Radiolabeling techniques: Detection and measurement
of different types of radioisotopes normally used in biology, incorporation of
radioisotopes in biological tissues and cells, molecular imaging of radioactive
material, safety guidelines.
F. Microscopic techniques: Visulization of cells and
subcellular components by light microscopy, resolving powers of different
microscopes, microscopy of living cells, scanning and transmission microscopes,
different fixation and staining techniques for EM, freeze-etch and
freezefracture methods for EM, image processing methods in microscopy.
G. Electrophysiological methods: Single neuron
recording, patch-clamp recording, ECG, Brain activity recording, lesion and
stimulation of brain, pharmacological testing, PET, MRI, fMRI, CAT .
H. Methods in field biology: Methods of estimating
population density of animals and plants, ranging patterns through direct,
indirect and remote observations, sampling methods in the study of behavior,
habitat characterization: ground and remote sensing methods.