CSIR NET Life Science Syllabus

CSIR NET Life Science Syllabus 2022: Download PDF

CSIR NET Life Science Syllabus

CSIR NET Life Science Syllabus can be read and downloaded from here. The syllabus will help you in preparing in right direction.

CSIR NET Life Science Pattern

PartsTopicsNo. of QuestionsMarks
Part AGeneral Science
Quantitative Reasoning & Analysis
Research Aptitude
Answer any 15 questions
Part BTopics Given in Syllabus below40
Answer any 25 questions
Part CScientific concepts or application of the scientific concepts60
Answer any 20 questions
Total120 Questions
Required answer of 80 Questions


CSIR-UGC National Eligibility Test (NET) for Junior Research  Fellowship and Lecturer-ship  


A. Structure of atoms, molecules and chemical bonds.  

B. Composition, structure and function of biomolecules (carbohydrates, lipids,   proteins, nucleic acids and vitamins).  

C. Stablizing interactions (Van der Waals, electrostatic, hydrogen bonding,   hydrophobic interaction, etc.).  

D. Principles of biophysical chemistry (pH, buffer, reaction kinetics,   thermodynamics, colligative properties).  

E. Bioenergetics, glycolysis, oxidative phosphorylation, coupled reaction, group   transfer, biological energy transducers.  

F. Principles of catalysis, enzymes and enzyme kinetics, enzyme regulation,   mechanism of enzyme catalysis, isozymes.  

G. Conformation of proteins (Ramachandran plot, secondary, tertiary and quaternary  structure; domains; motif and folds).  

H. Conformation of nucleic acids (A-, B-, Z-,DNA), t-RNA, micro-RNA).   I. Stability of protein and nucleic acid structures.  

J. Metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids, nucleotides and vitamins.  


A. Membrane structure and function: 

Structure of model membrane, lipid bilayer   and membrane protein diffusion, osmosis, ion channels, active transport, ion pumps,   mechanism of sorting and regulation of intracellular transport, electrical properties of   membranes.  

B. Structural organization and function of intracellular organelles: 

Cell wall, nucleus,  mitochondria, Golgi bodies, lysosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, peroxisomes, plastids,  vacuoles, chloroplast, structure & function of cytoskeleton and its role in motility.  

C. Organization of genes and chromosomes: 

Operon, interrupted genes, gene families,  structure of chromatin and chromosomes, unique and repetitive DNA, heterochromatin,  euchromatin, transposons.  

D. Cell division and cell cycle: 

Mitosis and meiosis, their regulation, steps in cell cycle, and  control of cell cycle.  

E. Microbial Physiology: 

Growth, yield and characteristics, strategies of cell division,  stress response. 


A. DNA replication, repair and recombination: 

Unit of replication, enzymes involved,  replication origin and replication fork, fidelity of replication, extrachromosomal  replicons, DNA damage and repair mechanisms.  

B. RNA synthesis and processing: 

Transcription factors and machinery, formation of  initiation complex, transcription activators and repressors, RNA polymerases, capping,  elongation and termination, RNA processing, RNA editing, splicing, polyadenylation,  structure and function of different types of RNA, RNA transport.  

C. Protein synthesis and processing: 

Ribosome, formation of initiation complex, initiation  factors and their regulation, elongation and elongation factors, termination, genetic code,  aminoacylation of tRNA, tRNA-identity, aminoacyl tRNA synthetase, translational  proof-reading, translational inhibitors, post- translational modification of proteins.  

D. Control of gene expression at transcription and translation level: 

Regulation of  phages, viruses, prokaryotic and eukaryotic gene expression, role of chromatin in  regulating gene expression and gene silencing.  


A. Host parasite interaction: 

Recognition and entry processes of different  pathogens like bacteria, viruses into animal and plant host cells, alteration of host  cell behavior by pathogens, virus-induced cell transformation, pathogen-induced  diseases in animals and plants, cell-cell fusion in both normal and abnormal cells.  

B. Cell signaling: 

Hormones and their receptors, cell surface receptor, signaling  through G-protein coupled receptors, signal transduction pathways, second  messengers, regulation of signaling pathways, bacterial and plant two-component  signaling systems, bacterial chemotaxis and quorum sensing.  

C. Cellular communication: 

Regulation of hematopoiesis, general principles of cell  communication, cell adhesion and roles of different adhesion molecules, gap  junctions, extracellular matrix, integrins, neurotransmission and its regulation.  

D. Cancer: 

Genetic rearrangements in progenitor cells, oncogenes, tumor suppressor  genes, cancer and the cell cycle, virus-induced cancer, metastasis, interaction of  cancer cells with normal cells, apoptosis, therapeutic interventions of uncontrolled  cell growth. 

E. Innate and adaptive immune system: 

Cells and molecules involved in innate  and adaptive immunity, antigens, antigenicity and immunogenicity. B and T cell  epitopes, structure and function of antibody molecules, generation of antibody  diversity, monoclonal antibodies, antibody engineering, antigen-antibody  interactions, MHC molecules, antigen processing and presentation, activation and  differentiation of B and T cells, B and T cell receptors, humoral and cell mediated immune responses, primary and secondary immune modulation, the  complement system, Toll-like receptors, cell-mediated effector functions,  inflammation, hypersensitivity and autoimmunity, immune response during  bacterial (tuberculosis), parasitic (malaria) and viral (HIV) infections, congenital  and acquired immunodeficiencies, vaccines. 


A. Basic concepts of development: 

Potency, commitment, specification, induction,   competence, determination and differentiation; morphogenetic gradients; cell fate   and cell lineages; stem cells; genomic equivalence and the cytoplasmic   determinants; imprinting; mutants and transgenics in analysis of development.  

B. Gametogenesis, fertilization and early development: 

Production of gametes,   cell surface molecules in sperm-egg recognition in animals; embryo sac   development and double fertilization in plants; zygote formation, cleavage,   blastula formation, embryonic fields, gastrulation and formation of germ layers in   animals; embryogenesis, establishment of symmetry in plants; seed formation   and germination.  

C. Morphogenesis and organogenesis in animals: 

Cell aggregation and   differentiation in Dictyostelium; axes and pattern formation in Drosophila,   amphibia and chick; organogenesis – vulva formation in Caenorhabditis elegans;  eye lens induction, limb development and regeneration in vertebrates;   differentiation of neurons, post embryonic development-larval formation,   metamorphosis; environmental regulation of normal development; sex   determination.  

D. Morphogenesis and organogenesis in plants: 

Organization of shoot and root   apical meristem; shoot and root development; leaf development and phyllotaxy;   transition to flowering, floral meristems and floral development in Arabidopsis  and Antirrhinum. 

E. Programmed cell death, aging and senescence. 


A. Photosynthesis: 

Light harvesting complexes; mechanisms of electron transport;  photoprotective mechanisms; CO2 fixation-C3, C4 and CAM pathways.  

B. Respiration and photorespiration: 

Citric acid cycle; plant mitochondrial  electron transport and ATP synthesis; alternate oxidase; photorespiratory  pathway.  

C. Nitrogen metabolism: 

Nitrate and ammonium assimilation; amino acid  biosynthesis.  

D. Plant hormones: 

Biosynthesis, storage, breakdown and transport; physiological  effect and mechanisms of action.  

E. Sensory photobiology: 

Structure, function and mechanisms of action of phytochromes, cryptochromes and phototropins; stomatal movement;  photoperiodism and biological clocks.  

F. Solute transport and photoassimilate translocation: 

Uptake, transport and  translocation of water, ions, solutes and macromolecules from soil, through cells,  across membranes, through xylem and phloem; transpiration; mechanisms of  loading and unloading of photoassimilates.  

G. Secondary metabolites – 

Biosynthesis of terpenes, phenols and nitrogenous  compounds and their roles.  

H. Stress physiology: 

Responses of plants to biotic (pathogen and insects) and  abiotic (water, temperature and salt) stresses; mechanisms of resistance to biotic  stress and tolerance to abiotic stress  


A. Blood and circulation: 

Blood corpuscles, haemopoiesis and formed elements,  plasma function, blood volume, blood volume regulation, blood groups,  haemoglobin, immunity, haemostasis.  

B. Cardiovascular System: 

Comparative anatomy of heart structure, myogenic  heart, specialized tissue, ECG – its principle and significance, cardiac cycle, heart  as a pump, blood pressure, neural and chemical regulation of all above.  

C. Respiratory system: 

Comparison of respiration in different species, anatomical  considerations, transport of gases, exchange of gases, waste elimination, neural  and chemical regulation of respiration. 

D. Nervous system: Neurons, action potential, gross neuroanatomy of the brain and  spinal cord, central and peripheral nervous system, neural control of muscle tone  and posture.  

E. Sense organs: 

Vision, hearing and tactile response.  

F. Excretory system: 

Comparative physiology of excretion, kidney, urine  formation, urine concentration, waste elimination, micturition, regulation of  water balance, blood volume, blood pressure, electrolyte balance, acid-base  balance.  

G. Thermoregulation: 

Comfort zone, body temperature – physical, chemical, neural  regulation, acclimatization.  

H. Stress and adaptation  

I. Digestive system: 

Digestion, absorption, energy balance, BMR.  

J. Endocrinology and reproduction: 

Endocrine glands, basic mechanism of  hormone action, hormones and diseases; reproductive processes, neuroendocrine  regulation.  


A. Mendelian principles: 

Dominance, segregation, independent assortment, deviation  from Mendelian inheritance.  

B. Concept of gene: 

Allele, multiple alleles, pseudoallele, complementation tests.  

C. Extensions of Mendelian principles: 

Codominance, incomplete dominance, gene  interactions, pleiotropy, genomic imprinting, penetrance and expressivity, phenocopy,  linkage and crossing over, sex linkage, sex limited and sex influenced characters.  

D. Gene mapping methods: 

Linkage maps, tetrad analysis, mapping with molecular  markers, mapping by using somatic cell hybrids, development of mapping population  in plants.  

E. Extra chromosomal inheritance: 

Inheritance of mitochondrial and chloroplast genes,  maternal inheritance.  

F. Microbial genetics: 

Methods of genetic transfers – transformation, conjugation,  transduction and sex-duction, mapping genes by interrupted mating, fine structure  analysis of genes.  

G. Human genetics: 

Pedigree analysis, lod score for linkage testing, karyotypes, genetic  disorders. 

H. Quantitative genetics: 

Polygenic inheritance, heritability and its measurements, QTL mapping.  

I. Mutation: 

Types, causes and detection, mutant types – lethal, conditional,  biochemical, loss of function, gain of function, germinal verses somatic mutants,  insertional mutagenesis.  

J. Structural and numerical alterations of chromosomes: 

Deletion, duplication,  inversion, translocation, ploidy and their genetic implications.  

K. Recombination: 

Homologous and non-homologous recombination, including  transposition, site-specific recombination.  


A. Principles and methods of taxonomy:

Concepts of species and hierarchical taxa,   biological nomenclature, classical and quantititative methods of taxonomy of   plants, animals and microorganisms.  

B. Levels of structural organization: 

Unicellular, colonial and multicellular   forms; levels of organization of tissues, organs and systems; comparative   anatomy.  

C. Outline classification of plants, animals and microorganisms:

Important   criteria used for classification in each taxon; classification of plants, animals and   microorganisms; evolutionary relationships among taxa.  

D. Natural history of Indian subcontinent: 

Major habitat types of the   subcontinent, geographic origins and migrations of species; common Indian   mammals, birds; seasonality and phenology of the subcontinent.  

E. Organisms of health and agricultural importance: 

Common parasites and   pathogens of humans, domestic animals and crops.  


A. The Environment: 

Physical environment; biotic environment; biotic and abiotic  interactions.  

B. Habitat and niche: 

Concept of habitat and niche; niche width and overlap;  fundamental and realized niche; resource partitioning; character displacement.

C. Population ecology: 

Characteristics of a population; population growth curves;  population regulation; life history strategies (r and K selection); concept of  metapopulation – demes and dispersal, interdemic extinctions, age structured  populations.  

D. Species interactions: 

Types of interactions, interspecific competition, herbivory,  carnivory, pollination, symbiosis.  

E. Community ecology: 

Nature of communities; community structure and attributes;  levels of species diversity and its measurement; edges and ecotones.  

F. Ecological succession: 

Types; mechanisms; changes involved in succession;  concept of climax.  

G. Ecosystem: 

Structure and function; energy flow and mineral cycling (CNP); primary  production and decomposition; structure and function of some Indian ecosystems:  terrestrial (forest, grassland) and aquatic (fresh water, marine, eustarine).  

H. Biogeography: 

Major terrestrial biomes; theory of island biogeography;  biogeographical zones of India.  

I. Applied ecology: 

Environmental pollution; global environmental change;  biodiversity-status, monitoring and documentation; major drivers of biodiversity  change; biodiversity management approaches.  

J. Conservation biology: 

Principles of conservation, major approaches to  management, Indian case studies on conservation/management strategy (Project  Tiger, Biosphere reserves).  


A. Emergence of evolutionary thoughts: 

Lamarck; Darwin–concepts of variation,   adaptation, struggle, fitness and natural selection; Mendelism; spontaneity of   mutations; the evolutionary synthesis.  

B. Origin of cells and unicellular evolution: 

Origin of basic biological molecules;   abiotic synthesis of organic monomers and polymers; concept of Oparin and   Haldane; experiment of Miller (1953); the first cell; evolution of prokaryotes;   origin of eukaryotic cells; evolution of unicellular eukaryotes; anaerobic   metabolism, photosynthesis and aerobic metabolism.  

C. Paleontology and evolutionary history: 

The evolutionary time scale; eras,   periods and epoch; major events in the evolutionary time scale; origins of   unicellular and multicellular organisms; major groups of plants and animals;   stages in primate evolution including Homo. 

D. Molecular Evolution: 

Concepts of neutral evolution, molecular divergence and   molecular clocks; molecular tools in phylogeny, classification and identification;   protein and nucleotide sequence analysis; origin of new genes and proteins; gene   duplication and divergence.  

E. The Mechanisms: 

Population genetics – populations, gene pool, gene   frequency; Hardy-Weinberg law; concepts and rate of change in gene frequency   through natural selection, migration and random genetic drift; adaptive radiation   and modifications; isolating mechanisms; speciation; allopatricity and   sympatricity; convergent evolution; sexual selection; co-evolution.  

F. Brain, Behavior and Evolution: 

Approaches and methods in study of   behavior; proximate and ultimate causation; altruism and evolution-group   selection, kin selection, reciprocal altruism; neural basis of learning, memory,   cognition, sleep and arousal; biological clocks; development of behavior; social   communication; social dominance; use of space and territoriality; mating   systems, parental investment and reproductive success; parental care; aggressive   behavior; habitat selection and optimality in foraging; migration, orientation and   navigation; domestication and behavioral changes.  


A. Microbial fermentation and production of small and macro molecules.  

B. Application of immunological principles (vaccines, diagnostics). tissue   and cell culture methods for plants and animals.  

C. Transgenic animals and plants, molecular approaches to diagnosis and   strain identification.  

D. Genomics and its application to health and agriculture, including gene   therapy.  

E. Bioresource and uses of biodiversity.  

F. Breeding in plants and animals, including marker – assisted selection.    

G. Bioremediation and phytoremediation.  

H. Biosensors. 


A. Molecular biology and recombinant DNA methods: 

Isolation and purification   of RNA , DNA (genomic and plasmid) and proteins, different separation   methods; analysis of RNA, DNA and proteins by one and two dimensional gel   electrophoresis, isoelectric focusing gels; molecular cloning of DNA or RNA   fragments in bacterial and eukaryotic systems; expression of recombinant  proteins using bacterial, animal and plant vectors; isolation of specific nucleic   acid sequences; generation of genomic and cDNA libraries in plasmid, phage,   cosmid, BAC and YAC vectors; in vitro mutagenesis and deletion techniques,   gene knock out in bacterial and eukaryotic organisms; protein sequencing   methods, detection of post-translation modification of proteins; DNA sequencing   methods, strategies for genome sequencing; methods for analysis of gene   expression at RNA and protein level, large scale expression analysis, such as   micro array based techniques; isolation, separation and analysis of carbohydrate   and lipid molecules; RFLP, RAPD and AFLP techniques  

B. Histochemical and immunotechniques:

Antibody generation, detection of   molecules using ELISA, RIA, western blot, immunoprecipitation, floweytometry   and immunofluorescence microscopy, detection of molecules in living cells,  in situ localization by techniques such as FISH and GISH.

C. Biophysical methods: 

Analysis of biomolecules using UV/visible, fluorescence,   circular dichroism, NMR and ESR spectroscopy, structure determination using   X-ray diffraction and NMR; analysis using light scattering, different types   of mass spectrometry and surface plasma resonance methods.  

D. Statistical Methods: 

Measures of central tendency and dispersal; probability   distributions (Binomial, Poisson and normal); sampling distribution; difference   between parametric and non-parametric statistics; confidence interval; errors;   levels of significance; regression and correlation; t-test; analysis of variance; X2  test;; basic introduction to Muetrovariate statistics, etc.  

E. Radiolabeling techniques: 

Properties of different types of radioisotopes   normally used in biology, their detection and measurement; incorporation of   radioisotopes in biological tissues and cells, molecular imaging of radioactive   material, safety guidelines.  

F. Microscopic techniques: 

Visulization of cells and subcellular components by   light microscopy, resolving powers of different microscopes, microscopy of   living cells, scanning and transmission microscopes, different fixation and   staining techniques for EM, freeze-etch and freeze-fracture methods for EM,   image processing methods in microscopy.  

G. Electrophysiological methods: 

Single neuron recording, patch-clamp recording,   ECG, Brain activity recording, lesion and stimulation of brain,   pharmacological testing, PET, MRI, fMRI, CAT . 

H. Methods in field biology: 

Methods of estimating population density of animals   and plants, ranging patterns through direct, indirect and remote observations,   sampling methods in the study of behavior, habitat characterization-ground   and remote sensing methods.  

I. Computational methods: 

Nucleic acid and protein sequence databases; data  mining methods for sequence analysis, web-based tools for sequence searches,  motif analysis and presentation. 

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