LinkedIn Insight Latest GATE Life Sciences Syllabus - Grad Plus

Latest GATE Life Sciences Syllabus

XL – P Chemistry (Compulsory )

Section 1: Atomic Structure and Periodicity

Planck’s quantum theory, wave particle duality, uncertainty principle, comparison between Bohr’s model and
quantum mechanical model of hydrogen atom, electronic configuration of atoms and ions. Hund’s rule and
Pauli’s exclusion principle.
Periodic table and periodic properties: ionization energy, electron affinity, electronegativity and atomic size.

Section 2: Structure and Bonding

Ionic and covalent bonding, MO and VB approaches for diatomic molecules, VSEPR theory and shape of
molecules, hybridization, resonance, dipole moment, structure parameters such as bond length, bond angle and
bond energy, hydrogen bonding and van der Waals interactions. Ionic solids, ionic radii and lattice energy
(Born‐Haber cycle). HSAB principle.

Section 3: s, p and d Block Elements

Oxides, halides and hydrides of alkali, alkaline earth metals, B, Al, Si, N, P, and S. General characteristics of 3d
elements. Coordination complexes: valence bond and crystal field theory, color, geometry, magnetic properties
and isomerism.

Section 4: Chemical Equilibria

Osmotic pressure, elevation of boiling point and depression of freezing point, ionic equilibria in solution,
solubility product, common ion effect, hydrolysis of salts, pH, buffer and their applications. Equilibrium
constants (Kc, Kp and Kx) for homogeneous reactions.

Section 5: Electrochemistry

Conductance, Kohlrausch law, cell potentials, EMF, Nernst equation, thermodynamic aspects and their

Section 6: Reaction Kinetics

Rate constant, order of reaction, molecularity, activation energy, zero, first and second order kinetics, catalysis
and elementary enzyme reactions. Reversible and irreversible inhibition of enzymes.

Section 7: Thermodynamics

Qualitative treatment of state and path functions, First law, reversible and irreversible processes, internal energy,
enthalpy, Kirchoff equation, heat of reaction, Hess’s law, heat of formation. Second law, entropy and free
energy. Gibbs‐Helmholtz equation, free energy change and spontaneity, Free energy changes from equilibrium

Section 8: Structure-Reactivity Correlations and Organic Reaction Mechanisms

Acids and bases, electronic and steric effects, Stereochemistry, optical and geometrical isomerism, tautomerism,
conformers and concept of aromaticity. Elementary treatment of SN1, SN2, E1, E2 and radical reactions,
Hoffmann/Saytzeff rules, addition reactions, Markownikoff rule and Kharasch effect. Elementary hydroboration
reactions. Grignard’s reagents and their uses. Aromatic electrophilic substitutions, orientation effect as
exemplified by various functional groups. Identification of common functional groups by chemical tests.

Section 9: Chemistry of Biomolecules

Amino acids, proteins, nucleic acids and nucleotides. Peptide sequencing by chemical and enzymatic proteolytic
methods. DNA sequencing by chemical and enzymatic methods. Carbohydrates (upto hexoses only). Lipids
(triglycerides only). Principles of biomolecule purification-Ion exchange and gel filtration chromatography.
Identification of these biomolecules and Beer-Lambert’s law.

XL – Q Biochemistry

Section 1:

Organization of life; Importance of water; Structure and function of biomolecules: Amino acids, Carbohydrates,
Lipids, Proteins and Nucleic acids; Protein structure, folding / misfolding and function; Myoglobin, Hemoglobin,
Lysozyme, Ribonuclease A, Carboxypeptidase and Chymotrypsin.

Section 2:

Enzyme kinetics, regulation and inhibition; Vitamins and Coenzymes; Bioenergetics and metabolism; Generation
and utilization of ATP; Metabolic pathways and their regulation: glycolysis, TCA cycle, pentose phosphate
pathway, oxidative phosphorylation, gluconeogenesis, glycogen and fatty acid metabolism; Metabolism of
Nitrogen containing compounds: nitrogen fixation, amino acids and nucleotides. Photosynthesis, Calvin cycle.

Section 3:

Biochemical separation techniques: ion exchange, size exclusion and affinity chromatography, centrifugation;
Characterization of biomolecules by electrophoresis; DNA- protein and protein – protein interactions; UV-visible
and fluorescence spectroscopy; Mass spectrometry.

Section 4:

Cell structure and organelles; Biological membranes; Action potential; Transport across membranes; Membrane
assembly and Protein targeting; Signal transduction; Receptor-ligand interaction; Hormones and

Section 5:

DNA replication, transcription and translation; DNA damage and repair; Biochemical regulation of gene
expression; Recombinant DNA technology and applications: PCR, site directed mutagenesis, DNA-microarray;
Next generation sequencing; Gene silencing and editing.

Section 6:

Immune system: Innate and adaptive; Cell of the immune system; Active and passive immunity; Complement
system; Antibody structure, function and diversity; B cell and T Cell receptors; B cell and T cell activation;
Major histocompatibilty complex; Immunological techniques: Immunodiffusion, immune-electrophoresis, RIA
and ELISA, flow cytometry; monoclonal antibodies and their applications.

XL – R Botany

Section 1: Plant Systematics

Botanical nomenclature, history of plant taxonomy, diversity and classification of plants, APG system of plant
classification; phylogenetics and cladistics, molecular taxonomy and DNA barcoding; Centers for plant
taxonomy and herbaria in India.

Section 2: Plant Anatomy

Anatomy of root, stem and leaves, floral organs, embryo and young seedlings, Primary and secondary meristems,
stellar organization, vascular system and their ontogeny, xylem and phloem structure, secondary growth in plants
and wood anatomy, plant cell structure and differences from animal cells.

Section 3: Plant development; cell and tissue morphogenesis

Life cycle of an angiosperm, development of male and female gametophyte; cell fate determination and tissue
patterning; spacing mechanisms in trichomes and stomata. Embryogenesis, organization and function of shoot
and root apical meristems. Transition to flowering: photoperiodism and vernalization, ABC model of floral organ
patterning, pollen germination, double fertilization, seed development; Xylem and phloem cell differentiation,
photomorphogenesis; phytochrome, cryptochrome, phototropin. Role of auxin, cytokinin, gibberellins, and
brassinosteroids on plant development.

Section 4: Plant physiology and biochemistry

Plant water relations, mechanisms of uptake and transport of water, ions, solutes from soil to plants, apoplastic
and symplastic transport mechanisms. Mechanism of stomatal movements, nitrogen metabolism, photosynthesis;
C3, C4 and CAM cycles, photorespiration, respiration: glycolysis, TCA cycle and electron transport chain. Plant
responses and mechanisms of abiotic stresses including drought, salinity, freezing and heat stress, metal toxicity;
role of abscisic acid in abiotic stresses. Structure and function of biomolecules (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids,
nucleic acid), enzyme kinetics. Structure and biosynthesis of major plant secondary metabolites (alkaloids,
terpenes, phenylpropanoids, flavonoids). Biosynthesis, mechanism of action and physiological effects of auxin,
cytokinin, gibberellic acids, brassinosteroid, ethylene, strigolactone, abscisic acid, salicylic and jasmonic acid.
Senescence and programmed cell death.

Section 5: Genetics and genomics

Cell cycle and cell division. Principles of Mendelian inheritance, linkage, recombination, genetic mapping; extra
chromosomal inheritance; Introduction to epigenetics; gene silencing- transgene silencing, post transcriptional
gene silencing, miRNA and siRNA; evolution and organization of eukaryotic genome structure, gene expression,
gene mutation and repair, chromosomal aberrations (numerical: euploidy and aneuploidy and structural: deletion,
duplication, inversion, translocation), transposons. Model organisms for functional genetics and genomics;
Introduction to transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics.

Section 6: Plant Breeding, Genetic Modification, Genome Editing

Principles, methods – selection, hybridization, heterosis; male sterility, genetic maps and molecular markers,
embryo rescue, haploid and doubled haploids, plant tissue culture: micropropagation, embryo culture and in vitro
regeneration, somatic embryogenesis, artificial seed, cryopreservation, somaclonal variation, somatic cell
hybridization, marker-assisted selection, gene transfer methods viz. direct and vector-mediated, generation of
transgenic plants; Introduction to genome editing: CRISPR/Cas9, Cre-Lox system to generate chimeras; plastid
transformation; chemical mutagenesis.

Section 7: Economic and applied Botany

A general account of economically and medicinally important plants- cereals, pulses, plants yielding fibers,
timber, sugar, beverages, oils, rubber, pigments, dyes, gums, drugs and narcotics. Economic importance of algae,
fungi, lichen and bacteria. Major Indian cash crops. Effect of industrialization on agricultural botany such as
plastic on fiber economy. Genetically modified crops and its regulation eg. Bt cotton, Bt brinjal golden rice etc.

Section 8: Plant Pathology

Nature and classification of plant diseases, diseases of important crops caused by fungi, bacteria, nematodes and

viruses, and their control measures (chemical and biological) mechanism(s) of pathogenesis, resistance: basal,
systemic, induced systemic resistance, gene for gene concept. Molecular detection of pathogens; plant-microbe
interactions: symbionts and mycorrhiza, pathogens and pests. Signaling pathways in plant defence response;

salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA) in plant-pathogen and plant-herbivore interaction, necrosis; host-
parasitic plant interaction (such as Cuscuta).

Section 9: Ecology and Environment

Ecosystems – types, dynamics, degradation, biogeochemical cycles, ecological succession; food webs and energy
flow through ecosystem; vegetation types of the world, Indian vegetation types and biogeographical zones,
climate and flora endemism; pollution and global climate change, speciation and extinction, biodiversity and
conservation strategies, ecological hotspots, afforestation, habitat restoration; plant interactions with other
organisms; epiphytes, parasites and endophytes.

XL – S Microbiology

Section 1: Historical Perspective

Discovery of microbial world; Landmark discoveries relevant to the field of microbiology; Controversy over
spontaneous generation; Role of microorganisms in transformation of organic matter and in the causation of

Section 2: Methods in Microbiology

Pure culture techniques; Principles of microbial nutrition; Enrichment culture techniques for isolation of
microorganisms; antigen and antibody detection methods for microbial diagnosis; Light-, phase contrast-,
fluorescence- and electron-microscopy; PCR, real-time PCR for quantitation of microbes; Next generation
sequencing technologies in microbiology.

Section 3: Microbial Taxonomy and Diversity

Bacteria, Archea and their broad classification; Eukaryotic microbes: Yeasts, molds and protozoa; Viruses and
their classification; Molecular approaches to microbial taxonomy and phylogeny.

Section 4: Prokaryotic Cells: Structure and Function

Prokaryotic Cells: cell walls, cell membranes and their biosynthesis, mechanisms of solute transport across
membranes, Flagella and Pili, Capsules, Cell inclusions like endospores and gas vesicles; Bacterial locomotion,
including positive and negative chemotaxis.

Section 5: Microbial Growth

Definition of growth; Growth curve; Mathematical expression of exponential growth phase; Measurement of
growth and growth yields; Synchronous growth; Continuous culture; Effect of environmental factors on growth;
Bacterial biofilm and biofouling.

Section 6: Control of Micro-organisms

Disinfection and sterilization: principles, methods and assessment of efficacy.

Section 7: Microbial Metabolism

Energetics: redox reactions and electron carriers; Electron transport and oxidative phosphorylation; An overview
of metabolism; Glycolysis; Pentose-phosphate pathway; Entner-Doudoroff pathway; Glyoxalate pathway; The
citric acid cycle; Fermentation; Aerobic and anaerobic respiration; Chemolithotrophy; Photosynthesis; Calvin
cycle; Biosynthetic pathway for fatty acids synthesis; Common regulatory mechanisms in synthesis of amino
acids; Regulation of major metabolic pathways.

Section 8: Microbial Diseases and Host Pathogen Interaction

Normal microbiota; Classification of infectious diseases; Reservoirs of infection; Nosocomial infection;
Opportunistic infections; Emerging infectious diseases; Mechanism of microbial pathogenicity; Nonspecific
defense of host; Antigens and antibodies; Humoral and cell mediated immunity; Vaccines; passive
immunization; Immune deficiency; Human diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, and pathogenic fungi.

Section 9: Chemotherapy/Antibiotics

General characteristics of antimicrobial drugs; Antibiotics: Classification molecular mechanism of mode of
action and resistance; Antifungal and antiviral drugs.

Section 10: Microbial Genetics

Types of mutation; UV and chemical mutagens; Selection of mutants; Ames test for mutagenesis; Bacterial
genetic system: transformation, conjugation, transduction, recombination, plasmids, transposons; DNA repair;
Regulation of gene expression: repression and induction; Operon model; Bacterial genome with special reference
to E.coli; Phage λ and its life cycle; RNA phages; mutation in virus genomes, virus recombination and
reassortment; Basic concept of microbial genomics.

Section 11: Microbial Ecology

Microbial interactions; Carbon, sulphur and nitrogen cycles; Soil microorganisms associated with vascular
plants; Bioremediation; Uncultivable microorganisms; basic concept of metagenomics and metatranscriptomics.

XL – T Zoology

Section 1: Animal Diversity

Distribution, systematics and classification of animals, phylogenetic relationships (based on classical and
molecular phylogenetic tools).

Section 2: Evolution

Origin and history of life on earth, theories of evolution, natural selection, adaptation, speciation.

Section 3: Genetics

Basic Principles of inheritance, molecular basis of heredity, sex determination and sex-linked characteristics,
cytoplasmic inheritance, linkage, recombination and mapping of genes in eukaryotes, population genetics,
genetic disorders, roles of model organisms in understanding genetic principles.

Section 4: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Nucleic acids, proteins, lipids and carbohydrates; replication, transcription and translation, Krebs cycle,
glycolysis, enzyme catalysis, hormones and their actions, roles of vitamins and minerals.

Section 5: Cell Biology

Basic principles of cellular microscopy, structure of cell, cytoskeletal organization, cellular organelles and their
structure and function, cell cycle, cell division, chromosomes and chromatin structure.

Section 6: Gene expression in Eukaryotes

Eukaryotic genome organization and regulation of gene expression, transposable elements.

Section 7: Animal Anatomy and Physiology

Comparative physiology, the respiratory system, Muscular system, circulatory system, digestive system, the
nervous system, the excretory system, the endocrine system, the reproductive system, the skeletal system.

Section 8: Parasitology and Immunology

Nature of parasite, host-parasite relation, protozoan and helminthic parasites, the immune response, cellular and
humoral immune response.

Section 9: Development Biology

Gametogenesis, Embryonic development, cellular differentiation, organogenesis, metamorphosis, Model
organisms used in developmental biology, genetic and molecular basis of development, stem cells.

Section 10: Ecology

The ecosystem, Animal distribution, ecological niche and its contribution to ecological diversity, the food
chain, population dynamics, species diversity, zoogeography, biogeochemical cycles, conservation biology,

Section 11: Animal Behaviour

Type of behaviours, courtship, mating and territoriality, instinct, learning and memory, social behaviour across
the animal taxa, communication, pheromones, evolution of behavior in animals.

XL – U Food Technology

Section 1: Food Chemistry and Nutrition

Carbohydrates: structure and functional properties of mono-, oligo-, & poly- saccharides including starch,
cellulose, pectic substances and dietary fibre, gelatinization and retrogradation of starch. Proteins: classification
and structure of proteins in food, biochemical changes in post mortem and tenderization of muscles. Lipids:
classification and structure of lipids, rancidity, polymerization and polymorphism. Pigments: carotenoids,
chlorophylls, anthocyanins, tannins and myoglobin. Food flavours: terpenes, esters, aldehydes, ketones and

Enzymes: specificity, simple and inhibition kinetics, coenzymes, enzymatic and non- enzymatic

Nutrition: balanced diet, essential amino acids and essential fatty acids, protein efficiency ratio, water
soluble and fat soluble vitamins, role of minerals in nutrition, co-factors, anti-nutrients, nutraceuticals, nutrient
deficiency diseases. Chemical and biochemical changes: changes occur in foods during differentprocessing.

Section 2: Food Microbiology

Characteristics of microorganisms: morphology of bacteria, yeast, mold and actinomycetes, spores and
vegetative cells, gram-staining. Microbial growth: growth and death kinetics, serial dilution technique.

Food spoilage: spoilage microorganisms in different food products including milk, fish, meat, egg, cereals and their
products. Toxins from microbes: pathogens and non-pathogens including Staphylococcus, Salmonella, Shebelle,
Escherichia, Bacillus, Clostridium, and Aspergillums genera. Fermented foods and beverages: curd, yoghurt,
cheese, pickles, soya-sauce, sauerkraut, idly, dose, vinegar, alcoholic beverages and sausage.

Section 3: Food Products Technology

Processing principles: thermal processing, chilling, freezing, dehydration, addition of preservatives and food
additives, irradiation, fermentation, hurdle technology, intermediate moisture foods.

Food packaging and storage: packaging materials, aseptic packaging, controlled and modified atmosphere storage. Cereal processing
and products: milling of rice, wheat, and maize, parboiling of paddy, bread, biscuits, extruded products and ready
to eat breakfast cereals. Oil processing: expelling, solvent extraction, refining and hydrogenation.

Fruits and vegetables processing: extraction, clarification, concentration and packaging of fruit juice, jam, jelly, marmalade,
squash, candies, tomato sauce, ketchup, and puree, potato chips, pickles. Plantation crops processing and
products: tea, coffee, cocoa, spice, extraction of essential oils and oleoresins from spices. Milk and milk products
processing: pasteurization and sterilization, cream, butter, ghee, ice- cream, cheese and milk powder.

Processing of animal products: drying, canning, and freezing of fish and meat; production of egg powder. Waste utilization:
pectin from fruit wastes, uses of by-products from rice milling. Food standards and quality maintenance: FPO,
PFA, A-Mark, ISI, HACCP, food plant sanitation and cleaning in place (CIP).

Section 4: Food Engineering

Mass and energy balance; Momentum transfer: Flow rate and pressure drop relationships for Newtonian fluids
flowing through pipe, Reynolds number. Heat transfer: heat transfer by conduction, convection, radiation, heat
exchangers. Mass transfer: molecular diffusion and Flick’s law, conduction and convective mass transfer,
permeability through single and multilayer films. Mechanical operations: size reduction of solids, high pressure
homogenization, filtration, centrifugation, settling, sieving, mixing & agitation of liquid. Thermal operations:
thermal sterilization, evaporation of liquid foods, hot air drying of solids, spray and freeze-drying, freezing and
crystallization. Mass transfer operations: psychometric, humidification and dehumidification operations.

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