Genetic Change

Students learn about natural and human-induced causes and effects of genetic change, including mutations, environmental pressure and uses of biotechnology. Students investigate how the processes of inheritance and evolution are applied.

The work of scientists in various fields of work, including agriculture, industry and medicine, can be explored within the context of biotechnology. The impact of biotechnology on biological diversity is also explored in this module.

Biology Syllabus p.51



How does mutation introduce new alleles into a population?

Ethidium Bromide intercalates between the base pairs of the DNA Helix.

Ethidium Bromide intercalates between the base pairs of the DNA Helix.

● explain how a range of mutagens operate, including but not limited to:

– electromagnetic radiation sources

– chemicals

– naturally occurring mutagens



compare the causes, processes and effects of different types of mutation, including but not limited to:

– point mutation

– chromosomal mutation

The following is placeholder text known as “lorem ipsum,” which is scrambled Latin used by designers to mimic real copy. Vivamus sit amet semper lacus, in mollis libero. Donec eget risus diam.


distinguish between somatic mutations and germ-line mutations and their effect on an organism (ACSBL082, ACSBL083)

The following is placeholder text known as “lorem ipsum,” which is scrambled Latin used by designers to mimic real copy. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Mauris id fermentum nulla. Aliquam bibendum, turpis eu mattis iaculis, ex lorem mollis sem, ut sollicitudin risus orci quis tellus.


assess the significance of ‘coding’ and ‘non-coding’ DNA segments in the process of mutation (ACSBL078)


investigate the causes of genetic variation relating to the processes of fertilisation, meiosis and mutation (ACSBL078)


evaluate the effect of mutation, gene flow and genetic drift on the gene pool of populations (ACSBL091, ACSBL092)


How do genetic techniques effect earth's biodiversity?

investigate the uses and applications of biotechnology (past, present and future), including: (ACSBL087)

– analysing the social implications and ethical uses of biotechnology, including plant and animal examples

– researching future directions of the use of biotechnology

– evaluating the potential benefits for society of research using genetic technologies

– evaluating the changes to the Earth’s biodiversity due to genetic techniques

Genetic Technologies

Does artificial manipulation of dna have the potential to change populations forever?

investigate the uses and advantages of current genetic technologies that induce genetic change


compare the processes and outcomes of reproductive technologies, including but not limited to:

– artificial insemination

– artificial pollination


investigate and assess the effectiveness of cloning, including but not limited to:

– whole organism cloning

– gene cloning


describe techniques and applications used in recombinant DNA technology, for example:

– the development of transgenic organisms in agricultural and medical applications (ACSBL087)

With the Earth's population continuing to increase there is an increasing demand for food. But how can food production become more efficient? One answer to that question is transgenic crops. Transgenic crops are crops that contain DNA from two different organisms. Usually the genome of the target organism is supplemented with a gene or multiple genes from another organism.

One transgenic crop that has been developed to reduce crop losses due the pest such as the European Corn Borer and the Cotton Bollworm is Bt crops. Bt crops such as Bt Corn and Bt Cotton, contain the cry gene/s from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. This gene codes for a Crystal protein that once ingested by insects, breaks down in their hind gut and lyses the cells lining their gut. This cellular breakdown of the digestive system of the insect by the Bt toxin kills the insect and therefore reduces crop losses due to the action of pest species. As with all things genetically modified there are both ethical and scientific issues to contend with. Ethical issues aside, the real problem of Bt crops is natural resistance in the pest population and the potential effects on non-target organsism. Join us as we explore the world of Bt crops, which continues to help increase crop yields by controlling pest population.


evaluate the benefits of using genetic technologies in agricultural, medical and industrial applications (ACSBL086)


evaluate the effect on biodiversity of using biotechnology in agriculture


interpret a range of secondary sources to assess the influence of social, economic and cultural contexts on a range of biotechnologies