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International Biology Olympiad Syllabus and Sample Questions


IBO
International Biology Olympiad Syllabus
Paper I: IBO Theoretical examination
I.  Cell Biology (20 %)
Structure and function of cells
 • Chemical components
  - Monosaccharides; disaccharides; polysaccharides
  - Lipids
  - Proteins: amino acids, three letter symbol; structure of proteins;
  . chemical classification of proteins:
   simple proteins and conjugated proteins
  . functional classification of proteins:
   structural proteins and enzymes
  - Enzymes
   . Chemical structure: apoenzyme and coenzyme
   . Model for enzyme action: enzyme binds with substrate
   . Denaturation
   . Nomenclature
  - Nucleic Acids : DNA, RNA
- Other important compounds
   . ADP and ATP, NAD+ and NADH , NADP+ and NADPH
• Organelles
 nucleus -nuclear envelope
- (nucleohyaloplasm) ,chromosomes ,nucleoli
 cytoplasm -cell membrane
- hyaloplasm
- mitochondria
- endoplasmatic reticulum
- ribosomes
- Golgi apparatus
- lysosomes
- vacuole membrane
- proplastides
- plastides   . chloroplasts
     . chromoplasts
     . leucoplasts (e.g. amyloplasts)
Plant cells are surrounded with a cell wall
Cell metabolism
- Breakdown of carbohydrates
. Anaerobic break down (anaerobic respiration) of glucose: glycolysis
.  Aerobic break down (aerobic respiration) of glucose:
glycolysis
citric acid cycle
oxidative phosphorylation
- Dissimilation of fats and proteins
- Assimilation
. Photosynthesis
. Light reaction
. Dark reaction (Calvin cycle)
• Protein synthesis
- Transcription
- Translation
- Genetic code
Transport through membranes
- Diffusion
- Osmosis, plasmolysis
- Active transport
Mitosis and meiosis
- Cell cycle: interphase (replication) and mitosis (prophase - metaphase -
anaphase - telophase)
- Chromatids, equatorial plate, haploid and diploid, genome, somatic and
generative cells, gamete, crossing over
- Meiosis I and meiosis II.
Microbiology
• Prokaryotic cell organization
• Morphology
Phototrophy and chemotrophy
Biotechnology
• Fermentation
• Genetic manipulation of organisms

II Plant anatomy and physiology   (15 %)
(with emphasis on seed plants)
Structure and function of tissues and organs involved in:
• Photosynthesis, transpiration and gas exchange
- Leaf : structure; function stomata
• Transport of water, minerals and assimilates
- Root : structure (endodermis)
- Stem : structure (vascular bundles)
• Growth and development
- Apical meristem and cambium
- Germination
• Reproduction (ferns and mosses included)
- Asexual reproduction (clone forming)
- Sexual reproduction
. Structure of flowers
. Pollination
. Double fertilization
- Alternation of generation in seed plants, ferns and mosses

III Animal anatomy and physiology  (25 %)
(with emphasis on vertebrates and especially man)
Structure and function of organs and tissues involved in
• Digestion and nutrition
- Digestive tract (including liver, gall bladder and pancreas)
- Mechanical and chemical breakdown of food
- Absorption
- Food components (water, minerals, vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates and
fats)
• Respiration
- Breathing mechanism
- Gas exchange
- Respiratory organs
• Circulation
- Blood : blood plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells, blood platelets
- Blood circulation : arteries, capillaries, veins, heart
- Lymphatic system : tissue fluid, lymph
• Excretion
- Structure of the renal system
- Urine production
• Regulation (neural and hormonal)
- Nervous system : peripheral nervous system, central nervous system (spinal
cord and brain), autonomic nervous system (sympathetic and
parasympathetic), reflexes, sense organs (eyes and ears)
- Endocrine system : pituitary gland, thyroid gland, islets of Langerhans,
adrenal medulla, adrenal cortex, ovaries and testes
• Reproduction and development
- Structure and function of male and female reproductive systems
- Ovulation and menstrual cycle
- Fertilization
- Formation of ectoderm, mesoderm, endoderm
- Embryonic membranes
• Immunity
- Antigens, antibodies

IV Ethology  (5 %)
• Methodology of Ethology
• Innate and Learned Behaviour
• Communication and Social Organization
• Foraging Behaviour
• Defensive Behaviour
• Mating systems and Parental care
• Biological rhythms

V. Genetics and Evolution (20 %)
• Variation : mutation and modification
• Mendelian inheritance
- Monohybrid cross
- Dihybrid cross
- Polyhybrid cross
• Multiple allelism, recombination, sex linkage
• Hardy-Weinberg principle
• Mechanism of evolution
- Mutation
- Natural selection
- Reproductive isolation
- Adaptation
- Fitness

VI . Ecology  (10 %)
• Individual Organisms
- Unitary and modular organisms
• Population
- Population structure
 . dispersion, age, size and sex structure
- Population dynamics
 . birth rate, death rate
 . exponential and logistic growth, carrying capacity
- Population regulation
 . metapopulation dynamics
• Biotic Communities
 - Species richness and diversity
 - Niche, competition exclusion principle
 - Interspecific Interactions
  . competition, predation, symbiosis
 - Community dynamics
  . succession
 - Terrestrial biomes
 - Aquatic biomes
• Ecosystems
 - Trophic structure
  . food webs
 - Trophic levels
  . producers, consumers, decomposers
 - Energy flow
 - Productivity
  . gross and net primary productivity
  . energy transfer efficiencies
 - Matter flux through ecosystems
 - Global biogeochemical cycles
• Biosphere and man
 - Human population growth
 - Pollution
  . threats to biodiversity
  . in situ conservation
  . ex situ conservation

VII.  BIOSYSTEMATICS  (5 %)
Structure and function, evolutionary and ecological relationships among typical
organisms in the following groups. Knowledge of scientific terms will not be required for
successful solution of the tasks. However, competitors should know what the named
representatives of genera mentioned below look like.

Domain Archaea  Methanobacterium,
Halobacterium,Thermoplasma,
Sulfolobus
Domain Bacteria  Agrobacterium, Anabaena, Bacillus,
Escherichia, Rhizobium, Salmonella,
Streptomyces
Domain Eukarya
Kingdom Protista
D. Rhodophyta  Chondrus
D. Phaeophyta  Sargassum
D. Bacillariophyta  Navicula
D. Euglenophyta  Euglena
D. Chlorophyta  Chlamydomonas, Spirogyra,
Chlorella, Ulothrix
P. Rhizopoda  Amoeba
P. Zoomastigophora  Trypanosoma
P. Apicomplexa  Plasmodium
P. Ciliophora  Paramecium
Kingdom Fungi
D. Zygomycota Mucor
D. Ascomycota  Claviceps, Penicillium, Saccharomyces
D. Basidiomycota  Agaricus
Kingdom Plantae
D. Bryophyta  Polytrichum, Sphagnum
D. Hepatophyta  Marchantia
D. Rhynophyta  Rhynia
D. Lycopodiophyta  Lycopodium
D. Equisetophyta  Equisetum
D. Polypodiophyta  Pteridium
D. Ginkgophyta  Ginkgo
D. Pinophyta  Pinus
D. Cycadophyta  Cycas
D. Magnoliophyta
C. Magnoliopsida
F. Magnoliaceae  Magnolia
F. Ranunculaceae  Ranunculus, Pulsatilla
F. Rosaceae  Rosa, Malus, Prunus
F. Fabaceae  Pisum
F. Oleaceae  Syringa
F. Fagaceae  Quercus
F. Cactaceae  Opuntia
F. Brassicaceae  Brassica
F. Lamiaceae  Lamium
F. Solanaceae  Solanum
F. Asteraceae  Helianthus
C. Liliopsida
F. Liliaceae  Lilium, Allium
F. Orchidaceae  Orchis
F. Poaceae  Zea, Triticum, Bambusa
F. Arecaceae  Cocos
F. Araceae  Monstera
Kingdom Animalia
P. Porifera  Euspongia
P. Cnidaria
C. Hydrozoa  Hydra
C. Scyphozoa  Aurelia
C. Anthozoa  Corallium
P. Platyhelminthes
C. Turbellaria  Polycellis
C. Trematoda  Fasciola
C. Cestoda  Taenia
P. Nematoda  Ascaris, Trichinella
P. Mollusca
C. Gastropoda  Helix, Arion
C. Bivalvia  Ostrea, Mytilus
C. Cephalopoda  Sepia, Octopus
P. Annelida
C. Polychaeta  Nereis
C. Oligochaeta  Lumbricus
C. Hirudinea  Hirudo
P. Arthropoda
SP. Crustacea  Astacus, Daphnia, Cyclops
SP. Chelicerata
C. Arachnida  Euscorpius, Araneus, Ixodes
SP. Myriapoda
C. Chilopoda  Scolopendra
C. Diplopoda  Julus
SP. Hexapoda
C. Insecta
O. Thysanura  Lepisma
O. Odonata  Libellula
O. Blattodea  Blatta
O. Phasmatodea  Carausius
O. Isoptera  Kalothermes
O. Orthoptera  Gryllus, Locusta
O. Phthiraptera  Pediculus
O. Hemiptera
SO. Homoptera  Aphis, Cicada
SO. Heteroptera  Gerris, Nepa, Cimex
O. Coleoptera  Calosoma, Leptinotarsa, Ips,Tenebrio,
Dytiscus
O. Diptera  Anopheles, Drosophila, Musca
O. Lepidoptera  Papilio, Bombyx
O. Hymenoptera  Ichneumon, Apis, Formica
O. Siphonaptera  Pulex
P. Echinodermata
C. Asteriodia  Asterias
C. Echinoidea Echinus
C. Holothuroidea  Holothuria
P. Chordata
SP. Urochordata  Ascidia
SP. Cephalochordata  Branchiostoma
SP. Vertebrata
S
C. Agantha  Petromyzon
S
C. Gnathostomata
C. Chondrichthyes  Scyliorhinus, Carcharodon
C. Osteichthyes
SC. Actinopterygii Acipenser, Clupea, Salmo, Carassius,
Muraena
SC. Sarcopterygii  Lepidosiren, Latimeria
C. Amphibia
O. Caudata  Salamandra
O. Anura Rana, Bufo
C. Reptilia
O. Testudinata  Testudo
O. Crocodylia  Crocodylus
O. Squamata  Lacerta, Vipera
C. Aves
O. Struthioniformes  Struthio
O. Sphenisciformes  Spheniscus
O. Ciconiiformes  Ciconia
O. Anseriformes  Anser
O. Falconiformes  Falco
O. Galliformes  Gallus
O. Columbiformes  Columba
O. Strigiformes  Strix
O. Piciformes  Dryocopus
O. Passeriformes  Parus, Passer
C. Mammalia
O. Monotremata  Ornithorhynchus
O. Marsupialia  Macropus
O. Insectivora  Erinaceus, Talpa
O. Chiroptera  Myotis
O. Rodentia  Mus, Rattus
O. Carnivora  Ursus, Canis, Felis
O. Proboscidea  Elephas
O. Perissodactyla  Equus
O. Artiodactyla  Sus, Bos
O. Cetacea  Delphinus
O. Primates  Cebus, Macaca, Hylobates, Pan, Gorilla,
Pongo, Homo
“Virales”      Bacteriophage
“Lichenes”      Parmelia, Cladonia
Paper II-IBO  Practical Examination
I Science Process skills
1.    Observation
2.    Measurement
3.    Grouping or classification
4.    Relationship finding
5.    Calculation
6.    Data organization and presentation: graphs, tables, charts, diagrams, photographs
7.    Prediction / projection
8.    Hypothesis formulation
9.    Operational definition: scope, condition, assumption
10. Variable identification and control
11. Experimentation: experimental design, experimenting, result/data recording, result interpretation and drawing conclusions.
12. Representing numerical results with appropriate accuracy (correct number of digits)
II Basic biological skills
1.    Observation of biological objects using magnifying glasses
2.    Work with a microscope (objective max. 45 x)
3.    Work with a stereomicroscope
4.    Drawing of preparations (from a microscope, etc.)
5.    Exact description of a biological drawing using tables of biological terms marked with a numerical code
III Biological methods
Competitors in the IBO should know the following methods and be able to use them. If any method requires extra specific information concerning procedures that depend on special technical equipment, instruction will have to be provided.
A . Cytological methods
1.    Maceration and squash technique
2.    Smear method
3.    Staining of cells and slide preparation
B.  Methods to study plant anatomy and physiology
1.    Dissection of plant flower and deduction of flower formula
2.    Dissection of other plant parts: roots, stems, leaves, fruits
3.    Free - hand sectioning of stems, leaves, roots
4.    Staining (for example lignin) and slide preparation of plant tissues
5.    Elementary measurement of photosynthesis
6.    Measurement of transpiration
C.  Methods to study animal anatomy and physiology
1.    Dissection of invertebrates.
Dissection of parts or organs from vertebrates bred for the consumption is allowed, too.
Animals being used as dissection material should be dead before being submitted tot the students.
2.    Whole - mount slide preparation of small invertebrates
3.    Elementary measurement of respiration
D.  Ethological methods
    Determination and interpretation of animal behavior
E. Ecological and environmental methods
1.    Estimation of population density
2.    Estimation of biomass
3.    Elementary estimation of water quality
4.    Elementary estimation of air quality

F.  Taxonomic methods
1.    Use of dichotomous keys
2.    Construction of simple dichotomous keys
3.    Identification of the most common flowering-plant families
4.    Identification of insect orders
5.    Identification of phyla and classes of other organisms
IV.   Physical and chemical methods
1.    Separation techniques: chromatography, filtration, centrifugation
2.    Standard tests for monosaccharides, polysaccharides, lipids, protein (Fehling, I2 in KI(aq), biuret
3.    Titration
4.    Measuring quantities by drip and strip methods
5.    Dilution methods
6.    Pipetting, including use of micropipettes
7.    Microscopy, including use of counting chambers
8.    Determination of absorption of light
9.    Gel electrophoresis
V. Microbiological Methods
1.    Preparing nutrient media
2.    Aseptic techniques (flaming and heating glass material)
3.    Inoculation techniques
VI. Statistical methods
1.    Probability and probability distributions
2.    Application of mean, median, percentage, variance, standard deviation, standard error, T test, chi-square test
VII. Handling equipment
Due to differences in the equipment between participating countries, these skills can only be evaluated if the competitors have been informed beforehand about the algorithm, how to use the equipment, how to proceed with a particular experiment, etc.
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