UPSC Mains Exam Syllabus - Zoology Optional
PAPER – I:
1. Non-chordata and Chordata:
(a) Classification and relationship of various
phyla up to subclasses: Acoelomate
and Coelomate, Protostomes
and Deuterostomes, Bilateria and Radiata;
Status of Protista, Parazoa,
Onychophora and Hemichordata;
(b) Protozoa: Locomotion, nutrition, reproduction,
sex; General features and life
history of Paramaecium, Monocystis,
Plasmodium and Leishmania.
(c) Porifera: Skeleton, canal system and
(d) Cnidaria: Polymorphism, defensive
structures and their mechanism; coral
reefs and their formation; metagenesis;
general features and life history
of Obelia and Aurelia.
(e) Platyhelminthes: Parasitic adaptation;
general features and life history of
Fasciola and Taenia and their pathogenic
(f) Nemathelminthes: General features,
life history, parasitic adaptation of Ascaris
(g) Annelida: Coelom and metamerism;
modes of life in polychaetes; general
features and life history of Nereis,
earthworm and leach.
(h) 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 insect and its hormonal
regulation, social behaviour of
Apis and termites.
(i) Mollusca: Feeding, respiration, locomotion,
general features and life history
of Lamellidens, Pila and Sepia,
torsion and detorsion in gastropods.
(j) Echinodermata: Feeding, respiration,
locomotion, larval forms, general features
and life history of Asterias.
(k) Protochordata: Origin of chordates;
general features and life history of
Branchiostoma and Herdmania.
(l) Pisces: Respiration, locomotion and
(m) Amphibia: Origin of tetrapods, parental
(n) Reptilia: Origin of reptiles, skull types,
status of Sphenodon and crocodiles.
(o) Aves: Origin of birds, flight adaptation, igration.
(p) Mammalia: Origin of mammals, dentition,
general features of egg laying
aquatic mammals and primates, endocrine
glands (pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid,
adrenal, pancreas, gonads)
and their interrelationships.
(q) 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).
(a) Biosphere: Concept of biosphere;
biomes, Biogeochemical cycles, Human
induced changes in atmosphere
including green house effect, ecological
succession, biomes and ecotones,
(b) Concept of ecosystem; structure and
function of ecosystem, types of ecosystem,
ecological succession, ecological adaptation.
(c) Population; characteristics, population
dynamics, population stabilization.
(d) Biodiversity and diversity conservation
of natural resources.
(e) Wildlife of India.
(f) Remote sensing for sustainable development.
(g) Environmental biodegradation, pollution
and its impact on biosphere and
(a) Behaviour: Sensory filtering,
reponsive-ness, sign stimuli, learning
and memory, instinct, habituation,
(b) Role of hormones in drive; role of
pheromones in alarm spreading;
crypsis, predator detection, predator
tactics, social hierarchies in primates,
social organization in insects.
(c) Orientation, navigation, homing, biological
rhythms, biological clock, tidal,
seasonal and circadian rhythms.
(d) Methods of studying animal behaviour
including sexual conflict, selfishness,
kinship and altruism.
4. Economic Zoology:
(a) Apiculture, sericulture, lac culture, carp
culture, pearl culture, prawn culture,
(b) Major infectious and communicable
diseases (malaria, filaria, tuberculosis,
cholera and AIDS) their vectors, pathogens and prevention.
(c) Cattle and livestock diseases, their
pathogen (helminthes) and vectors
(ticks, mites, Tabanus, Stomoxys).
(d) Pests of sugar cane (Pyrilla
perpusiella) oil seed (Achaea janata)
and rice (Sitophilus oryzae).
(e) Transgenic animals.
(f) Medical biotechnology, human genetic
disease and genetic counselling,
(g) Forensic biotechnology.
Designing of experiments; null hypothesis;
correlation, regression, distribution and
measure of central tendency, chi square,
student-test, F-test (one-way & two-way Ftest).
6. Instrumentation Methods:
(a) Spectrophotometer, phase contrast
and fluorescence microscopy, radioactive
tracer, ultra centrifuge, gel electrophoresis,
PCR, ELISA, FISH and
(b) Electron microscopy (TEM, SEM).
PAPER - II:
1. Cell Biology:
(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 type polytene and
lambrush, organization of chromatin,
heterochromatin, Cell cycle regulation.
(b) Nucleic acid topology, DNA motif, DNA
replication, transcription, RNA processing,
translation, protein foldings
(a) Modern concept of gene, split gene,
genetic regulation, genetic code.
(b) Sex chromosomes and their evolution,
sex determination in Drosophila and
(c) Mendel’s laws of inheritance, recombination,
linkage, multiple alleles, genetics
of blood groups, pedigree
analysis, hereditary diseases in man.
(d) Mutations and mutagenesis.
(e) Recombinant DNA technology; plasmid,
cosmid, artificial chromosomes as
vectors, transgenic, DNA cloning and
whole animal cloning (principles and
(f) Gene regulation and expression in
prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
(g) Signal molecules, cell death, defects
in signaling pathway and consequences.
(h) RFLP, RAPD and AFLP and application
of RFLP in DNA finger printing,
ribozyme technologies, human genome
project, genomics and
(a) Theories of origin of life.
(b) Theories of evolution; Natural selection,
role of mutations in evolution, evolutionary
patterns, molecular drive,
mimicry, variation, isolation and speciation.
(c) Evolution of horse, elephant and man
using fossil data.
(d) Hardy-Weinberg Law.
(e) Continental drift and distribution of animals.
Zoological nomenclature, international
code, cladistics, molecular taxonomy and
(a) Structure and role of carbohydrates,
fats, fatty acids and cholesterol, proteins
and amino-acids, nucleic acids.
b) Glycolysis and Kreb cycle, oxidation
and reduction, oxidative phosphorylation,
energy conservation and release,
ATP cycle, cyclic AMP – its structure
(c) Hormone classification (steroid and
peptide hormones), biosynthesis and
(d) Enzymes: types and mechanisms of
(e) Vitamins and co-enzymes
(f) Immunoglobulin and immunity.
6. Physiology (with special reference to
(a) Composition and constituents of
blood; blood groups and Rh factor in
man, factors and mechanism of coagulation,
iron metabolism, acid-base balance,
(b) Haemoglobin: Composition, types
and role in transport of oxygen and
(c) Digestion and absorption: Role of salivary
glands, liver, pancreas and intestinal
(d) Excretion: nephron and regulation of
urine formation; osmo-regulation and
(e) Muscles: Types, mechanism of contraction
of skeletal muscles, effects of
exercise on muscles.
(f) Neuron: nerve impulse – its conduction
and synaptic transmission, neurotransmitters.
(g) Vision, hearing and olfaction in man.
(h) Physiology of reproduction, puberty
and menopause in human.
7. Developmental Biology:
(a) 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, gestulation in frog
and chick; genes in development in
chick, homeotic genes, development of
eye and heart, placenta in mammals.
(b) 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.
(c) Developmental genes in man, in vitro
fertilization and embryo transfer, cloning.
(d) Stem cells: Sources, types and their
use in human welfare.
(e) Biogenetic law.