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Annotated Lecture Slides

F Element Project

The following lectures are highly annotated and provide background information on 1) the C-value paradox and basic chromatin structure; 2) heterochromatin vs. euchromatin; 3) living with transposable elements; and 4) the unique features of the F element.

Each PowerPoint contains extensive notes, bringing out points instructors might want to make in presenting the material, adding details for the experiment being shown, clarifying nomenclature, etc. In many cases the DOI or a link to the paper being cited is included in the notes. If you would like to access a specific paper, and cannot do so from your library, contact Dr. Sarah C.R. Elgin (Washington University in St. Louis).

These lectures assume that the students have a good grasp of the material in the “Understanding Eukaryotic Genes” modules.

Quick Introduction

Alternative to the Lecture Series below, this video presentation—”Why Study the F Element”—provides a quicker introduction of these topics.

This video provides a 50-minute talk on our motivation and progress for the F Element Project. The talk briefly introduces the C-value paradox (2 slides); the need to silence repeats (3 slides); basic chromatin structure (3 slides); heterochromatin and the F Element (6 slides); mapping the F Element in D. melanogaster for repeats and heterochromatin structure (10 slides); examining the Transcription Start Site, looking for regulatory motifs (6 slides); describing the “F Element expansion” project and our initial findings (8 slides).

The slide set used in the video is provided as a PowerPoint (automatic download) and a PDF.

Lecture Series

To develop these concepts in more depth, the following four slide decks are available. Each is intended for a one-hour lecture, although longer will be needed if the concepts are entirely new to the students.

1. Eukaryotic Genomes and Chromatin Structure

This lecture introduces the C-value paradox and explains how we first recognized that eukaryotic genomes are full of repetitious sequences by using Cot curves; followed by repeat characteristics of eukaryotic genomes; the need to package all that DNA to get it into a nucleus; the development of the nucleosome model; and the relationship between nucleosome arrays and gene expression.

2. Heterochromatin Formation — It’s all about silencing!

This lecture develops the relationship between chromatin packaging and control of gene expression, a significant epigenetic system that allows the genome to respond to changes in environment, both the external environment and physiological cues (e.g., hormone responses).

4. Characteristics of the F Element

This lecture combines wet-bench work in the Elgin lab, results of chromatin mapping by the modENCODE consortium, and the bioinformatics efforts of GEP faculty and students to describe what we have learned about the F element.