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UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
Wednesday, March 5th, 2014
1. Which of the following is TRUE regarding the “Tree of Life”?
a. It is comprised of two domains: the prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
b. The common ancestor cell does not currently exist.
c. In terms of evolutionary origin, eukaryotes diverged much earlier than the prokaryotes.
d. It is based on the type of habitat in which organisms live.
2. What is the minimum number of mutational steps between proline and lysine? (Use the
genetic code at the end of this exam)
3. Which of the following is NOT evidence that mitochondria and/or chloroplasts were originally
a. Mitochondria and chloroplasts have their own ribosomes.
b. Mitochondrial DNA is a linear DNA molecule.
c. Mitochondria contain a double membrane.
d. Single celled, predatory eukaryotes can still be observed.
4. Which of the following is TRUE with respect to prokaryotes and eukaryotes?
a. Prokaryotes and eukaryotes have complex cytoskeletons.
b. Eukaryotes and prokaryotes have an endomembrane system.
c. Eukaryotic cells are typically 1000x larger in volume compared withprokaryotic cells.
d. Prokaryotes and eukaryotes have a nucleolus where ribosomes and snRNAs are
5. Imagine that you have an unlabeled culture of cells. You know they are human cells, but you
don’t know from which tissue they originated (e.g. kidney, brain, etc.). Which of the following
is the least likely to give information that could help determine the originating tissue?
6. Which of the following is TRUE with respect to model organisms?
a. are difficult to grow and have very specialized growth requirements.
b. tend to be rare so that horizontal transfer of genetic information is less likely.
c. tend to be tetraploid so that the genetics is more complex and realistic.
d. can be genetically modified.
7. In comparing the complete genomes of five prokaryotes and one eukaryote (yeast), it was
found that 239 families of protein-coding genes have representatives in both groups. Which
of the following families of genes would you NOT expect to be included here?
Those related to….
a. amino acid metabolism and transport.
b. the production and function of ribosomes.
c. the trafficking of molecules in and out of the nucleus.
d. energy metabolism.
8. Which of the following is TRUE?
a. Pyrimidine bases include adenine and guanine.
b. A nucleotide consists of a nitrogenous base, pentose sugar, and at least one phosphate
c. Uracil has a methyl group attached to the nitrogen ring.
d. Nucleotides are used for synthesizing DNA or RNA only.
9. Which of the following is TRUE regarding the DNA double helix?
a. The strands are parallel.
b. Base-pairing is the result of ionic interactions.
c. AT-rich DNA is more stable at high temperatures.
d. 5’ ends of DNA have at least one phosphate group.
10. Which of the following CORRECTLY describes the DNA content of a typical human cell?
a. The DNA is located entirely within the nucleus.
b. There are approximately 3 billion nucleotides spread across 46 chromosomes.
c. Approximately 3 billion nucleotides are classified as repeated sequences.
d. The DNA codes for more than 150,000 different genes.
11. Which of the following statements regarding amino acids and proteins is FALSE?
a. The free carboxyl group on one amino acid is covalently bound to the amino group on a
second amino acid to form a peptide bond plus one molecule of water.
b. The hydrogen bonds in beta-sheets are formed between the hydrogen atoms of the
carbonyl groups and the oxygen atoms on the side chains of anti-parallel amino acids.
c. An alpha-helix is formed through hydrogen bonds between one amino acid and another
amino acid four peptide bonds away on the same strand.
d. Amino acid side chains play a significant role in the function of the polypeptide.