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GATE 2020 Syllabus for Biotechnology (BT)

Last Updated - July 19, 2019

Biotechnology is covered in various engineering branches like Bioinformatics, Biomedical engineering and in biotechnology itself. Exam pattern for GATE Biotechnology is same as that of Biomedical and Bioinformatics. GATE 2020 will be held from February 1, 2, 8 and 9, 2020 in online mode as a Computer Based Test and will have multiple-choice questions. Candidates will be given 3 hours to complete the exam. 

GATE Exam PatternGATE Paper AnalysisGATE Syllabus
  • It consists of 3 sections namely General Aptitude, Engineering Mathematics and specific subject of the paper.
  • A proper paper analysis must be done by the candidates about the sections are covered in the exams and must exclude the unworthy sections.
  • GATE Biotechnology Syllabus will include Engineering Mathematics, Biotechnology, Recombinant DNA Technology, Plant and Animal Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering and Process Biotechnology.

The exam consist of total 65 questions and a candidate can score maximum 100 marks in the exam. No marks will be deducted for any wrong answer. It is very important for a candidate to know the exam pattern so that he or she can know the type and number of questions asked in the exam.

Direct link to download GATE Biotechnology (BT) syllabus PDF 

GATE Biotechnology Syllabus 2020

GATE 2020 for Biotechnology program will have questions from topics such as Engineering Mathematics, Biotechnology, Recombinant DNA Technology, Plant and Animal Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering and Process Biotechnology. to study these topics, candidates can refer to the best Preparation Books for GATE

Section-wise syllabus of GATE 2020 is explained below.

Section. 1 Engineering Mathematics

Linear AlgebraMatrices and determinants, Systems of linear equations, Eigen values and Eigen vectors
CalculusLimit, continuity and differentiability, Partial derivatives, Maxima and minima, Sequences and series, Test for convergence, Fourier series
Differential EquationsLinear and nonlinear first order ODEs, higher order ODEs with constant coefficients, Cauchy's and Euler's equations, Laplace transforms, PDE- Laplace, heat, and wave equations
Probability and StatisticsMean, median, mode and standard deviation, Random variables, Poisson, normal and binomial distributions, Correlation and regression analysis
Numerical MethodsSolution of linear and nonlinear algebraic equations, Integration of trapezoidal and Simpson's rule, Single and multi-step methods for differential equation

Section. 2 Biotechnology

MicrobiologyProkaryotic and eukaryotic cell structure; Microbial nutrition, growth, and control; Microbial metabolism (aerobic and anaerobic respiration, photosynthesis); Nitrogen fixation; the Chemical basis of mutations and mutagens; Microbial genetics (plasmids, transformation, transduction, conjugation); Microbial diversity and characteristic features; Viruses.
BiochemistryBiomolecules and their conformation; Weak inter-molecular interactions in biomacromolecules; Chemical and functional nature of enzymes; Kinetics of a single substrate and bi-substrateenzyme-catalyzedd reactions; Bioenergetics; Metabolism (Glycolysis, TCA, and Oxidative phosphorylation); Membrane transport and pumps; Cell cycle and cell growth control; Cell signaling and signal transduction.
Molecular Biology and GeneticsMolecular structure of genes and chromosomes; DNA replication and control; Transcription and its control; Translational processes; Regulatory controls in prokaryotes and eukaryotes; Mendelian inheritance; Gene interaction; Complementation; Linkage, recombination and chromosome mapping; Extrachromosomal inheritance; Chromosomal variation; Population genetics; Transposable elements, Molecular basis of genetic diseases and applications.
Analytical TechniquesPrinciples of microscopy-light, electron, fluorescent and confocal; Centrifugation- high-speed and ultra; Principles of spectroscopy-UV, visible, CD, IR, FTIR, Raman, MS, NMR; Principles of chromatography- ion exchange, gel filtration, hydrophobic interaction, affinity, GC, HPLC, FPLC; Electrophoresis; Microarray
ImmunologyThe origin of Immunology; Inherent immunity; Humoral and cell-mediated immunity; Primary and secondary lymphoid organ; Antigen; B and T cells and Macrophages; Major histocompatibility complex (MHC); Antigen processing and presentation; Synthesis of antibody and secretion; Molecular basis of antibody diversity; Polyclonal and monoclonal antibody; Complement; Antigen-antibody reaction; Regulation of immune response; Immune tolerance; Hypersensitivity; Autoimmunity; Graft versus host reaction.
BioinformaticsMajor Bioinformatics resources (NCBI, EBI, ExPASy); Sequence and structure databases; Sequence analysis (Bio-molecular sequence file formats, scoring matrices, sequence alignment, phylogeny); Genomics and Proteomics (Large-scale genome sequencing strategies; Comparative genomics; Understanding DNA microarrays and protein arrays); Molecular modeling and simulations (basic concepts including concept of force fields)

Section. 3 Recombinant DNA Technology

Restriction and modification enzymes; Vectors: plasmid, bacteriophage and other viral vectors, cosmids, Ti plasmid, yeast artificial chromosome; cDNA and genomic DNA library; Gene isolation; Gene cloning; Expression of cloned gene; Transposons and gene targeting; DNA labeling; DNA sequencing; Polymerase chain reactions; DNA fingerprinting; Southern and northern blotting; In- situ hybridization; RAPD; RFLP; Site-directed mutagenesis; Gene transfer technologies; Gene therapy.

Section. 4 Plant and Animal Biotechnology

  • Totipotency Regeneration of plants; Plant growth regulators and elicitors; Tissue culture and Cell suspension culture system: methodology, kinetics of growth and, nutrient optimization; Production of secondary metabolites by plant suspension cultures; Hairy root culture; transgenic plants; Plant products of industrial importance Animal cell culture; media composition and growth conditions;
  • Animal cell and tissue preservation; Anchorage and non-anchorage dependent cell culture; Kinetics of cell growth; Micro & macro-carrier culture; Hybridoma technology; Stem cell technology; Animal cloning; Transgenic animals

Section. 5 Bioprocess Engineering and Process Biotechnology

  • Chemical engineering principles applied to biological system, Principle of reactor design, ideal and non-ideal multiphase bioreactors, mass and heat transfer
  • Rheology of fermentation fluids, Aeration and agitation; Media formulation and optimization; Kinetics of microbial growth, substrate utilization and product formation; Sterilization of air and media; Batch, fed-batch and continuous processes; various types of microbial and enzyme reactors; Instrumentation control and optimization; Unit operations in solid-liquid separation and liquid-liquid extraction; Process scale-up, economics and feasibility analysis
  • Engineering principle of bioprocessing- Upstream production and downstream; Bioprocess design and development from lab to industrial scale; Microbial, animal and plant cell culture platforms; Production of biomass and primary/secondary metabolites; Biofuels, Bio-plastics, industrial enzymes, antibiotics; Large scale production and purification of recombinant proteins; Industrial application of chromatographic and membrane based bio-separation methods; Immobilization of biocatalysts (enzymes and cells) for bioconversion processes; Bioremediation-Aerobic and anaerobic processes for stabilization of solid / liquid wastes

As there will be different papers for various disciplines, so candidates must solve GATE Practice Papers to focus on understanding for a comprehensive the aspirants to score well in the exam. 

GATE 2020 Previous Year Papers for Biotechnology

It is very important for a candidate to solve previous year papers for Biotechnologyso that they can idea regarding the type of questions asked in the exam. It also helps in improving the speed of the candidate. The candidate must practice using a stop watch to improve the speed. Take a note of the mistakes done and try not to repeat them again.

Sample Paper 1 for Biotechnology (BT)Sample Paper 2 for Biotechnology (BT)

Recommended Books for GATE 2020

Candidates can practice from some of the best books recommended for GATE 2020 mentioned below:

  • GATE Guide Biotechnology (Author-G.K.P; Publisher- G.K. Publisher)
  • Biotechnology GATE (Author-B.M. Agarwal, Akanksha Singhal, Vidhika Goel; Publisher-Arihant Publications)
  • Biotechnology for CSIR- NET, SET, GATE, JNU, AIIMS, JAM (Author-Vinita Thakur; Publisher- Himalaya Publication House)

GATE 2020 exam will have Virtual Calculator for the candidates for making calculation during the exam. Apart from practicing previous years’ papers, candidates must also learn to use GATE 2019 Virtual Calculator. It was first introduced last year for the candidates as they brought a physical calculator for making calculations during the exam and also to reduce the chances of cheating through unfair means. 

Syllabus Of Other Papers

 GATE judges a candidate’s expertise in specific fields. Candidates can go through the syllabus of other papers as well from the table below:  

Aerospace EngineeringAEMechanical EngineeringME
Agricultural EngineeringAGMetallurgical EngineeringMT
Civil EngineeringCEMining EngineeringMN
Chemical EngineeringCHPetroleum EngineeringPE
Computer Science and Information TechnologyCSProduction and Industrial EngineeringPI
Electronics and CommunicationECTextile Engineering and Fibre ScienceTF
Electrical EngineeringEEEngineering SciencesXE
Instrumentation EngineeringIN



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