Faculty of Agriculture - University of Peradeniya

Certificate Course on Molecular Biology and Biotechnology - A 100-hour taught course offered by Agricultural Biotechnology Centre, Faculty of Agriculture.

Agricultural Biotechnology Centre (AgBC) of Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya successfully conducted a Certificate Course on Molecular Biology and Biotechnologyfrom 5th to 16th March, 2018 for the fourth consecutive year. This is a 100-hour taught course consisting of lectures, discussions, demonstrations, practicals and a project, focused on the interactions between DNA, RNA and proteins, and the most widely used molecular biological tools. A diverse group of thirty one participants attended the program, which included University Academics, Research Officers, Research Assistants, Technical Officers, Graduate and Undergraduate students, candidates waiting to enter university, and A/L students from many disciplines. The course comprised of three parts. Topics covered in part one included genetic mechanisms (DNA replication, repair, recombination, gene, genome organization, gene expression), genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, eukaryotic nuclear genomes, genomes of prokaryotes and eukaryotic organelles, virus genomes, and mobile genetic elements. The part two covered useful molecular biological techniques, such as PCR, quantitative PCR, primer design, gel electrophoresis, genotyping techniques, bioinformatics, sequencings techniques, analysis of sanger sequence data, sequencing genomes, transcriptoms (RNA seq), microarrays, NCBI resources, DNA barcoding, molecular phylogenetics, gene cloning and directed mutagenesis. In the third part, the participants learnt regulation of gene expression, manipulation of gene expression, gene silencing (RNAi and other), gene and genome editing, genetically modified organisms, and experimental model systems. Participants of the program were evaluated based on four assignments, and a final project on a selected topic in the form of a project proposal or review. The certificate award ceremony was held on 6th April, 2018 with the participation of the Dean, Faculty of Agriculture. All sessions were coordinated and conducted by Dr. Pradeepa C.G. Bandaranayake, Director of AgBC, except one guest lecture which was conducted by Dr. SaumyaWickramasingha.