Master in Plant Sciences

Biodiversity and genetics

Biodiversity and genetics

Université Paris-Saclay and Université Paris Cité common Teaching Unit



Pierre GERARD (AgroParisTech - Université Paris-Saclay).


This module aims to present the notion of biodiversity as a whole with a particular emphasis on its genetic aspect. It will first be introduced from a historical and conceptual point of view, then studied from an applied point of view by distinguishing its components (diversity of natural, cultivated and breeding populations), and finally the processes at the origin of biological diversification (speciation) will be addressed. The first part of the module will focus on the revision and consolidation of the basics of population genetics, during which students will reflect on the evolutionary mechanisms generating genetic diversity through concrete examples by means of problems and computer simulations (sequence comprising one lecture session and 4 tutorial sessions, one of which will be on computer, with a mock exam at the end of the sequence). The second part will focus on applied aspects of the concepts studied in the first sequence, concerning the diversity of crop plants and farm animals, as well as the specific divergence process at the origin of species diversity in natural populations (sequence of 3 lectures/conferences).


8 sessions of 3 hours, including 2 tutorials split into half groups (1 in the computer room).

  • Introductory course (3h): main notions of population genetics.
  • Tutorials (3h): influence of reproductive regimes on genetic diversity.
  • Computer-tutorial (3h): effect of selection and drift on population evolution.
  • Tutorials (3h): balance between mutation and selection, cryptopolymorphism.
  • Tutorials (3h): polymorphism in natural populations. Mock examination.
  • Lecture (3h): diversity of farm animals.
  • Lecture (3h): diversity of cultivated plants.
  • Lecture (3h): origin of specific biodiversity, speciation process.


Henry J.P. & Gouyon P.H., Précis de génétique des populations, Ed. Dunod - Rossignol J.L. et al, Génétique. Gènes et génomes, Ed Dunod.

Mandatory TU
Lectures: 12h, Tutorials: 12h
Location: Paris

Modification date: 12 February 2024 | Publication date: 20 November 2020 | By: MSA