GATE 2021 Syllabus for Biotechnology (BT) – Download PDF

GATE 2021 Syllabus for Biotechnology: The syllabus for the Biotechnology subject of GATE 2021 can be found by the candidates from this page. The Biotechnology syllabus contains 5 broad sections. These sections further include various topics and subtopics. Note that 55 questions will be coming from this section in the exam and the rest 10 questions will be coming from the General Aptitude section. Candidates must prepare for the exam accordingly. The syllabus for all the 27 subjects in GATE 2021 is available on GATE 2021 website in a Pdf form.

GATE 2021 Syllabus for Biotechnology

The syllabus for the GATE 2021 Biotechnology subject is divided into 7 sections that include Engineering Mathematics, Recombinant DNA Technology, General Biotechnology, Plant and Animal Biotechnology, Bioprocess Engineering, and Process Biotechnology.

Section 1: Engineering Mathematics

Linear Algebra: Matrices and determinants; Systems of linear equations; Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors.
Calculus: Limits, continuity and differentiability; Partial derivatives, maxima and minima; Sequences and series; Test for convergence. Differential Equations: Linear and nonlinear first-order ODEs, higher-order ODEs with constant coefficients; Cauchy’s and Euler’s equations; Laplace transforms. Probability and Statistics: Mean, median, mode and standard deviation; Random variables; Poisson, normal and binomial distributions; Correlation and regression analysis.
Numerical Methods: Solution of linear and nonlinear algebraic equations; Integration by trapezoidal and Simpson’s rule; Single step method for differential equations.

Section 2: General Biology

Biochemistry: Biomolecules – structure and function; Biological membranes – structure, membrane channels and pumps, molecular motors, action potential, and transport processes; Basic concepts and regulation of the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids and nucleic acids; Photosynthesis, respiration and electron transport chain. Enzymes – Classification, catalytic and regulatory strategies; Enzyme kinetics – Michaelis-Menten equation; Enzyme inhibition – competitive, non-competitive, and uncompetitive inhibition. Microbiology: Bacterial classification and diversity; Microbial Ecology – microbes in marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems; Microbial interactions; Viruses – structure and classification; Methods in microbiology; Microbial growth and nutrition; Nitrogen fixation; Microbial diseases and host-pathogen interactions; Antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance. Immunology: Innate and adaptive immunity, humoral and cell-mediated immunity; Antibody structure and function; Molecular basis of antibody diversity; T cell and B cell development; Antigen-antibody reaction; Complement; Primary and secondary lymphoid organs; Major histocompatibility complex (MHC); Antigen processing and presentation; Polyclonal and monoclonal antibody; Regulation of immune response; Immune tolerance; Hypersensitivity; Autoimmunity; Graft versus host reaction; Immunization and vaccines.

Section 3: Genetics, Cellular and Molecular Biology

Genetics and Evolutionary Biology: Mendelian inheritance; Gene interaction; Complementation; Linkage, recombination and chromosome mapping; Extra chromosomal inheritance; Microbial genetics – transformation, transduction and conjugation; Horizontal gene transfer and transposable elements; Chromosomal variation; Genetic disorders; Population genetics; Epigenetics; Selection and inheritance; Adaptive and neutral evolution; Genetic drift; Species
and speciation.
Cell Biology: Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell structure; Cell cycle and cell growth control; Cell cell communication; Cell signaling and signal transduction; Post-translational modifications; Protein trafficking; Cell death and autophagy; Extra-cellular matrix.

Molecular Biology: Molecular structure of genes and chromosomes; Mutations and mutagenesis; Regulation of gene expression; Nucleic acid – replication, transcription, splicing, translation and their regulatory mechanisms; Non-coding and micro RNA; RNA interference; DNA damage and repair.

Section 4: Fundamentals of Biological Engineering

Engineering principles applied to biological systems: Material and energy balances for reactive and non-reactive systems; Recycle, bypass and purge processes; Stoichiometry of growth and product formation; Degree of reduction, electron balance, theoretical oxygen demand.
Classical thermodynamics and Bioenergetics: Laws of thermodynamics; Solution thermodynamics; Phase equilibria, reaction equilibria; Ligand binding; Membrane potential; Energetics of metabolic pathways, oxidation and reduction reactions.
Transport Processes: Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids, fluid flow – laminar and turbulent; Mixing in bioreactors, mixing time; Molecular diffusion and film theory; Oxygen transfer and uptake in a bioreactor, kLa and its measurement; Conductive and convective heat transfer, LMTD, overall heat transfer coefficient; Heat exchangers.

Section 5: Bioprocess Engineering and Process Biotechnology

Bioreaction engineering:
Rate law, zero and first order kinetics; Ideal reactors – batch, mixed flow and plug flow; Enzyme immobilization, diffusion effects – Thiele modulus, effectiveness factor, Damkoehler number; Kinetics of cell growth, substrate utilization and product formation; Structured and unstructured models; Batch, fed-batch and continuous processes; Microbial and enzyme reactors; Optimization and scale up.
Upstream and Downstream Processing: Media formulation and optimization; Sterilization of air and media; Filtration – membrane filtration, ultrafiltration; Centrifugation – high speed and ultra; Cell disruption; Principles of chromatography – ion exchange, gel filtration, hydrophobic interaction, affinity, GC, HPLC, and FPLC; Extraction, adsorption, and drying.
Instrumentation and Process Control: Pressure, temperature and flow measurement devices; Valves; First order and second order systems; Feedback and feed forward control; Types of controllers – proportional, derivative and integral control, tuning of controllers.

Section 6: Plant, Animal and Microbial 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; Hairy root culture; Plant products of industrial importance; Artificial seeds; Somaclonal variation; Protoplast, protoplast fusion – somatic hybrid and cybrid; Transgenic plants – direct and indirect methods of gene transfer techniques; Selection marker and reporter gene; Plastid transformation.
Animals: 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; Knock-out and knock-in animals.
Microbes: Production of biomass and primary/secondary metabolites – Biofuels, bioplastics, industrial enzymes, antibiotics; Large scale production and purification of recombinant proteins and metabolites; Clinical-, food- and industrial- microbiology; Screening strategies for new products.

Section 7: Recombinant DNA technology and Other Tools in Biotechnology

Recombinant DNA technology:
Restriction and modification enzymes; Vectors – plasmids, bacteriophage and other viral vectors, cosmids, Ti plasmid, bacterial and yeast artificial chromosomes; Expression vectors; cDNA and genomic DNA library; Gene isolation and cloning, strategies for production of recombinant proteins; Transposons and gene targeting;
Molecular tools: Polymerase chain reaction; DNA/RNA labelling and sequencing; Southern and northern blotting; In-situ hybridization; DNA fingerprinting, RAPD, RFLP; Site-directed mutagenesis; Gene transfer technologies; CRISPR-Cas; Biosensing and biosensors.
Analytical tools: Principles of microscopy – light, electron, fluorescent and confocal; Principles of spectroscopy – UV, visible, CD, IR, fluorescence, FT-IR, MS, NMR; Electrophoresis; Microarrays; Enzymatic assays; Immunoassays – ELISA, RIA, immunohistochemistry; immunoblotting; Flow cytometry; Whole genome and ChIP-sequencing.
Computational tools: Bioinformatics resources and search tools; Sequence and structure databases; Sequence analysis – sequence file formats, scoring matrices, alignment, phylogeny; Genomics, proteomics, metabolomics; Gene prediction; Functional annotation; Secondary structure and 3D structure prediction; Knowledge discovery in biochemical databases; Metagenomics; Metabolic engineering and systems biology.

GATE 2021 General Aptitude Syllabus

The General Aptitude section is common in all the subjects and so is the syllabus of the General Aptitude section. There will be 10 questions coming from this section. Among these questions, 5 of them will be carrying 1 mark each. The rest of the 5 questions will be carrying 2 marks each. The total marks for this section are 15 marks. The questions will be asked under two divisions – Verbal Ability and Numerical Ability. 

The syllabus for General Aptitude section is given below. 

Verbal Ability: English grammar, sentence completion, verbal analogies, word groups, instructions, critical reasoning and verbal deduction. 

Numerical Ability: Numerical computation, numerical estimation, numerical reasoning and data interpretation. 

GATE 2021 Biotechnology Mock Tests

During your preparation, one must practice several mock tests. You can find your weak areas through solving mocks and work on them. For this reason, we have made the Biotechnology Mock Tests available for you.

GATE 2021 Biotechnology Exam Pattern

Before starting your preparation, you must go through the exam pattern of the exam and the marking scheme as well. Candidates can look at the exam pattern and the marking scheme of GATE 2021 below. 

Section Distribution of Marks  Total MarksTypes of questions
GA5 questions of 1 mark each
5 questions of 2 marks each

     15 marks 

BT – Subject-Based25 questions of 1 mark each
30 questions of 2 marks each 
    85 marks   MCQs and NATs
  • Exam mode : Online, Computer Based Test
  • Duration : 3 hours
  • Type of questions : MCQs & NATs 
  • No/name of sections : 3 sections, General Aptitude, Mathematics, Subject-based
  • No. of questions : 65
  • No. of marks : 100 marks
  • Negative marking : for MCQs only

Marking scheme

Type of questionNegative marking for wrong answerMarking for correct answer
MCQsfor 1 mark questions
⅔ for 2 marks questions
1 or 2 marks
NATsNo negative marking 1 or 2 marks

How To Prepare For GATE Biotechnology?

Some students might have already started their preparation for GATE 2021, and some might be starting right now. No matter what category you lie under, these tips are for each one of you. But it is recommended that you must stick to tips from only a few sources. As they say, too many cooks spoil the broth. It’s better to stick to one source for both tips and study material. Read below to find out what are these tips. 

Don’t run

You read it right. Don’t run after completing the syllabus or mugging up as much as you can. Take it one at a time. You can start by preparing early so that you get a headstart. Take topics one at a time. Don’t hurry or you won’t learn anything.

Aim for accuracy

Your aim should be set on accuracy. It doesn’t matter if you learn 5 topics in a day or just 1. What matters is how well you have learned it. Your accuracy will influence your performance in the exam along with your speed. Don’t try to cover all the syllabus if you are short on time. Prepare for just 90 marks but prepare in such a way that those 90 marks are guaranteed. And trust yourself in the process. Have confidence in your preparation.

Basic and Standard

Learn basic concepts from standard books. Learning basic concepts is important as it will build your foundation and it should be strong. Approach standard books because the explanation of concepts in these books is simplistic and easy to understand. Your aim should be to gain concept clarity. That is possible when you are preparing from reliable and standard sources.

Follow a timetable

Being disciplined is necessary for everything you do. Especially during your preparation for any exam. Make a timetable in which you have to allot time to the topics according to your level of preparation. Discipline comes when you actually follow that table. Just making the timetable won’t do. Also keep enough leisure time so that it doesn’t get hectic.

Make Notes 

We have learned to make running notes since your highschool tie. Use that talent during your preparation. Make notes while you are doing a topic and go through it once at the end of the day. These notes should be to the point and precise. Keep them secured because they will be useful in our next tip. 

Do Revision

Imagine this, you have prepared the entire syllabus with all your dedication and in the last month you sit to revise all of it. You find out that all you have learned has completely vanished out of your system. That’s a cue to panic. But you can avoid all of this if you just make it a habit to revise at the end of the day, whatever you have studied the entire day. Now you have revised the syllabus daily in small amounts. Now when you will sit in that last 1 month, it will all come back to you immediately. Also, you have revised the syllabus two times which is enough to score good marks. To revise, make sure to use those running notes that you made during your preparation.

GATE Biotechnology Books for Preparation

Your GATE 2021 preparation should be done from trusted sources. The books that you will pick up should be from the best and popular authors and publications. You can also take an online test series and use your coaching study material. If you are self-studying then you will find enough material online. Just keep quality above quantity. We have suggested a few books for you that you can go through. 

Title of the book Name of the Author/ PublicationLink to buy
Biotechnology GATE 2021Prof. BM AgarwalLINK
GATE 2021 – Guide – BiotechnologyGKPLINK
GATE 2021: 20 Years Chapterwise Solved Papers (2000-2019)- Biotechnology Prabhanshu KumarLINK
Solved and Mock Papers for GATE Biotechnology 2021Akansha SinghalLINK

What is Biotechnology? 

Biotechnology is a wide branch of biology that involve living organisms to develop products or any technological application. The modern usage of biotechnology includes genetic engineering and cell & tissue culture technologies. In Biotechnology, bioengineering is the application of principles of both engineering and natural sciences to tissues, cells & molecules. 

GATE 2021 Preparation FAQs

Q1. How many mock tests should I practice?
Ans. There is no specific number as such for solving mock tests. You can solve as many mocks as you can. Though you should practice them throughout your preparation. Try practicing from weekly mocks and topic-wise mocks.

Q2. Is General Aptitude section important? 
Ans. Yes, the section is important as it carries 15 marks. If you prepare well then the section can be very scoring. 

Q3. How should I revise the entire syllabus?
Ans. You can make notes during preparation and then revise the syllabus from them. Also you should revise in small parts so that you remember better. 

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