Zoology is offered as an optional subject in UPSC Mains Exam. The syllabus covers classification, ecology, cytology, and genetics. It is a specialized subject with two papers, each worth 250 marks, totaling 500 marks. Although not a popular choice, candidates with a background in Zoology can opt for this subject. Proper book selection is crucial, and past IAS toppers have chosen Zoology as their optional.
UPSC Mains Zoology Paper 1 Syllabus
Section – A
Non-chordata and Chordata
Classification and relationship of various phyla up to subclasses; Acoelomate and Coelomate; Protostomes and Deuterostomes, Bilateralia and Radiata; Status of Protista, Parazoa, Onychophora and Hemichordata; Symmetry.
Protozoa: Locomotion, nutrition, reproduction; evolution of sex; general features and life history of Paramaecium, Monocystis, Plasmodium and Leishsmania.
Porifera: Skeleton, canal system and reproduction.
Cnidaria: Polymorphism, defensive structures and their mechanism; coral reefs and their formation; metagenesis; general features and life history of Obelia and Aurelia.
Platyhelminthes: Parasitic adaptation; general features and life history of Fasciola and Taenia and their pathogenic symptoms.
Nemathelminthes: General features, life history and parasitic adaptation of Ascaris and Wuchereria.
Annelida: Coelom and metamerism; modes of life in polychaetes; general features and life history of Nereis, earthworm and leach.
Arthropoda: Larval forms and parasitism in Crustacea; vision and respiration in arthropods (prawn, cockroach and scorpion); modification of mouth parts in insects (cockroach, mosquito, housefly, honey bee and butterfly); metamorphosis in insects and its hormonal regulation; social behaviour of Apis and termites.
Mollusca: Feeding, respiration, locomotion, general features and life history of Lamellidens, Pila and Sepia, torsion and detorsion in gastropods.
Echinodermata: Feeding respiration, locomotion, larval forms; general features and life history of Asterias.
Protochordata: Origin of chordates; general features and life history of Banchiostoma and Herdamania.
Pisces: Respiration, locomotion and migration.
Amphibia: Origin of tetrapods; parental care, paedomorphosis.
Reptilia: Origin of reptiles; skull types; status of Sphenodon and crocodiles.
Aves: Origin of birds; flight adaptation, migration.
Mammalia: Origin of mammals; dentition; general features of egg laying mammals, pouched-mammals, aquatic mammals and primates; endocrine glands (pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, pancreas, gonads) and their interrelationships.
Comparative functional anatomy of various systems of vertebrates (integument and its derivatives, endoskeleton, locomotory organs, digestive system, respiratory system, circulatory system, including heart and aortic arches; urino-genital system, brain and sense organs (eye and ear).
Section – B
Biosphere: Concept of biosphere; biomes, Biogeochemical cycles, Human induced changes in atmosphere including green house effect, ecological succession, biomes and ecotones, community ecology.
Concept of ecosystem; structure and function of ecosystem, types of ecosystem, ecological succession, ecological adaptation.
Population, characteristics, population dynamics, population stabilization.
Biodiversity and diversity conservation of natural resources.
Wildlife of India.
Remote sensing for sustainable development.
Environmental biodegradation; pollution and its impact on biosphere and its prevention.
Major infectious and communicable diseases (malaria, filaria, tuberculosis, cholera and AIDS) their vectors, pathogens and prevention.
Cattle and livestock diseases, their pathogens (helminthes) and vectors (ticks, mites, Tabanus, Stomoxys).
Pests of sugar cane (Pyrilla perpusilla), oil seed (Achaea janata) and rice (Sitophilus oryzae).
Medical biotechnology, human genetic disease and genetic counselling, gene therapy.
Designing of experiments; null hypothesis; correlation, regression, distribution and measure of central tendency, chi square, student t-test, F-test (one-way & two-way F-test).
Spectrophotometer, phase contrast and fluorescence microscopy, radioactive tracer, ultra centrifuge, gel electrophoresis, PCR, ELISA, FISH and chromosome painting.
Electron microscopy (TEM, SEM).
UPSC Mains Zoology Paper 2 Syllabus
Section – A
Structure and function of cell and its organelles (nucleus, plasma membrane, mitochondria, Golgi bodies, endoplasmic reticulum, ribosomes and lysosomes), cell division (mitosis and meiosis), mitotic spindle and mitotic apparatus, chromosome movement, chromosome type polytene and lampbrush, organization of chromatin, heterochromatin, cell cycle regulation.
Nucleic acid topology, DNA motif, DNA replication, transcription, RNA processing, translation, protein foldings and transport.
Modern concept of gene, split gene, genetic regulation, genetic code.
Sex chromosomes and their evolution, sex determination in Drosophilla and man.
Mendel’s laws of inheritance, recombination, linkage, multiple alleles, genetics of blood groups, pedigree analysis, hereditary diseases in man.
Mutations and mutagenesis.
Recombinant DNA technology; plasmid, cosmid, artificial chromosomes as vectors, transgenics, DNA cloning and whole animal cloning (Principles and methods).
Gene regulation and expression in prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
Signal molecules; cell death, defects in signalling pathway and consequences.
RFLP, RAPD and AFLP and application of RFLP in DNA finger printing, ribozyme technologies, human genome project, genomics and protomics.
Theories of origin of life.
Theories of evolution; Natural selection, role of mutation in evolution, evolutionary patterns; molecular drive, mimicry, variation, isolation and speciation.
Evolution of horse, elephant and man using fossil data.
Continental drift and distribution of animals.
Zoological nomenclature; international code; cladistics, molecular taxonomy and biodiversity.
Section – B
Structure and role of carbohydrates, fats, fatty acids and cholesterol, proteins and amino acids, nucleic acids. Bioenergetics.
Glycolysis and Krebs cycle, oxidation and reduction, oxidative phosphorylation; energy conservation and release, ATP cycle, cyclic AMP – its structure and role.
Hormone classification (steroid and peptide hormones), biosynthesis and function.
Enzymes: types and mechanisms of action.
Vitamins and co-enzymes.
Immunoglobulin and immunity.
Physiology (with special reference to mammals)
Composition and constituents of blood; blood groups and Rh factor in man; factors and mechanism of coagulation; iron metabolism, acid-base balance, thermo- regulation, anticoagulants.
Haemoglobin: Composition, types and role in transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide.
Digestion and absorption: Role of salivary glands, liver, pancreas and intestinal glands.
Excretion: nephron and regulation of urine formation; osmoregulation and excretory product.
Muscles: Types, mechanism of contraction of skeletal muscles, effects of exercise on muscles.
Neuron: nerve impulse—its conduction and synaptic transmission; neurotransmitters.
Vision, hearing and olfaction in man.
Physiology of reproduction, puberty and menopause in human.
Gametogenesis; spermatogenesis, composition of semen, in vitro and in vivo capacitation of mammalian sperm, oogenesis, totipotency; fertilization, morphogenesis and morphogen, blastogenesis, establishment of body axes formation, fate map, gastrulation in frog and chick; genes in development in chick, homeotic genes, development of eye and heart; placenta in mammals.
Cell lineage; cell to cell interaction, Genetic and induced teratogenesis, role of thyroxine in control of metamorphosis in amphibia, Paedogenesis and neoteny, cell death, aging.
Developmental genes in man, in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer, cloning.
Stem cells: Sources, types and their use in human welfare.
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