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GATE Syllabus for Life Sciences 2022, Exam Pattern, Preparation Books, Question Papers

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Sonal Vaid

Content Curator | Updated On - Sep 6, 2021

IIT Kharagpur has released GATE Syllabus for Life Sciences 2022. All the questions in GATE Syllabus for Life Sciences 2022 are of the graduation level. 85% of the GATE XL Syllabus is from the core subject while the rest of the 15% is from the General Aptitude section. GATE Life Sciences paper is divided into three sections- General Aptitude, XL- P (Chemistry) and XL- Q to U (Biochemistry, Botany, Microbiology, Zoology, Food Technology). General Aptitude and XL- P (Chemistry) sections are mandatory for all the candidates. While out of the sections XL- Q to U candidates need to choose any two subjects of their preference. Check GATE Exam Pattern 2022

The candidates who opted for Life Sciences (XL) as their first paper in GATE 2022 can only choose one among Biomedical Engineering (BM), Biotechnology (BT), or Chemistry (CY) as their second paper. The candidates need at least six months for completing every topic mentioned in GATE Syllabus for Life Sciences 2022. Also Check GATE Preparation Tips

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GATE XL Syllabus

GATE Syllabus for Life Sciences (XL) 2022

GATE 2022 XL-P Chemistry Syllabus 2022

Section 1: Atomic Structure and Periodicity – Planck’s quantum theory, wave particle duality, uncertainty principle, quantum mechanical model of hydrogen atom, electronic configuration of atoms and ions. Periodic table and periodic properties: ionization energy, electron affinity, electronegativity and atomic size.

Section 2: Structure and Bonding – Ionic and covalent bonding, MO and VB approaches for diatomic molecules, VSEPR theory and shape of molecules, hybridization, resonance, dipole moment, structure parameters such as bond length, bond angle and bond energy, hydrogen bonding and van der Waals interactions. Ionic solids, ionic radii and lattice energy (Born‐Haber cycle). HSABprinciple.

Section 3: s, p & d Block Elements – Oxides, halides and hydrides of alkali, alkaline earth metals, B, Al, Si, N, P, and S. General characteristics of 3d elements. Coordination complexes: valence bond and crystal field theory, color, geometry, magnetic properties and isomerism.

Section 4: Chemical Equilibria – Colligative properties of solutions, ionic equilibria in solution, solubility product, common ion effect, hydrolysis of salts, pH, buffer and their applications. Equilibrium constants (Kc, Kp and Kx) for homogeneous reactions

Section 5: Electrochemistry – Conductance, Kohlrausch law, cell potentials, emf, Nernst equation, Galvanic cells, thermodynamic aspects and their applications

Section 6: Reaction Kinetics – Rate constant, order of reaction, molecularity, activation energy, zero, first and second order kinetics, catalysis and elementary enzyme reactions.

Section 7: Thermodynamics – First law, reversible and irreversible processes, internal energy, enthalpy, Kirchoff equation, heat of reaction, Hess’s law, heat of formation. Second law, entropy, free energy and work function. Gibbs‐Helmholtz equation, Clausius‐Clapeyron equation, free energy change, equilibrium constant and Trouton’s rule. Third law of thermodynamics.

Section 8: Structure Reactivity Correlations and Organic Reaction Mechanisms – Acids and bases, electronic and steric effects, optical and geometrical isomerism, tautomerism, conformers and concept of aromaticity. Elementary treatment of SN1, SN2, E1 and E2 reactions, Hoffmann and Saytzeff rules, addition reactions, Markownikoff rule and Kharash effect. Aromatic electrophilic substitutions, orientation effect as exemplified by various functional groups. Diels‐Alder, Wittig and hydroboration reactions. Identification of functional groups by chemical tests.

Section 9: Chemistry of Biomolecules – Amino acids, proteins, nucleic acids and nucleotides. Peptide sequencing by chemical and enzymatic proteolytic methods. DNA sequencing by chemical and enzymatic methods. Carbohydrates (upto hexoses only). Lipids (triglycerides only). Principles of biomolecule purification-Ion exchange and gel filtration chromatography. Identification of these biomolecules and Beer-Lambert’s law.

Direct Link to Download GATE XL-P Chemistry Syllabus PDF

GATE 2022 XL-Q Biochemistry Syllabus 2022

Section 1 – Organization of life; Importance of water; Structure and function of biomolecules: Amino acids, Carbohydrates, Lipids, Proteins and Nucleic acids; Protein structure, folding and function: Myoglobin, Hemoglobin, Lysozyme, Ribonuclease A, Carboxypeptidase and Chymotrypsin.

Section 2 – Enzyme kinetics including its regulation and inhibition, Vitamins and Coenzymes; Metabolism and bioenergetics; Generation and utilization of ATP; Metabolic pathways and their regulation: glycolysis, TCA cycle, pentose phosphate pathway, oxidative phosphorylation, gluconeogenesis, glycogen and fatty acid metabolism; Metabolism of Nitrogen containing compounds: nitrogen fixation, amino acids and nucleotides. Photosynthesis: Calvin cycle.

Section 3 – Biochemical separation techniques: ion exchange, size exclusion and affinity chromatography, Characterization of biomolecules by electrophoresis, UV-visible and fluorescence spectroscopy and Mass spectrometry.

Section 4 – Cell structure and organelles; Biological membranes; Transport across membranes; Signal transduction; Hormones and neurotransmitters.

Section 5 – DNA replication, transcription and translation; Biochemical regulation of gene expression; Recombinant DNA technology and applications: PCR, site directed mutagenesis and DNA-microarray.

Section 6 – Immune system: Active and passive immunity; Complement system; Antibody structure, function and diversity; Cells of the immune system: T, B and macrophages; T and B cell activation; Major histocompatibility complex; T cell receptor; Immunological techniques: Immunodiffusion, immunoelectrophoresis, RIA and ELISA.

Direct Link to Download GATE XL-Q Biochemistry Syllabus PDF

GATE 2022 XL-R Botany Syllabus 2022

Section 1: Plant Systematics – Major systems of classification, plant groups, phylogenetic relationships and molecular systematics.

Section 2: Plant Anatomy – Plant cell structure and its components; cell wall and membranes; organization, organelles, cytoskeleton, anatomy of root, stem and leaves, floral parts, embryo and young seedlings, meristems, vascular system, their ontogeny, structure and functions, secondary growth in plants and stellar organization.

Section 3: Plant development – cell and tissue morphogenesis Life cycle of an angiosperm, development of male and female gametophyte; cell fate determination and tissue patterning; spacing mechanisms in trichomes and stomata. Embryogenesis, organization and function of shoot and root apical meristems. Transition to flowering: photoperiodism and vernalization, ABC model of floral organ patterning, pollen germination, double fertilization, seed development; Xylem and phloem cell differentiation, photomorphogenesis; phytochrome, cryptochrome, phototropin. Role of auxin, cytokinin, gibberellins, and brassinosteroids on plant development.

Section 4: Physiology and Biochemistry – Plant water relations, transport of minerals and solutes, stress physiology, stomatal physiology, signal transduction, N2 metabolism, photosynthesis, photorespiration; respiration, Flowering: photoperiodism and vernalization, biochemical mechanisms involved in flowering; molecular mechanism of senescence and aging, biosynthesis, mechanism of action and physiological effects of plant growth regulators, structure and function of biomolecules, (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acid), enzyme kinetics.

Section 5: Genetics and genomics – Cell cycle and cell division. Principles of Mendelian inheritance, linkage, recombination, genetic mapping; extra chromosomal inheritance; Introduction to epigenetics; gene silencing- transgene silencing, post transcriptional gene silencing, miRNA and siRNA; evolution and organization of eukaryotic genome structure, gene expression, gene mutation and repair, chromosomal aberrations (numerical: euploidy and aneuploidy and structural: deletion, duplication, inversion, translocation), transposons. Model organisms for functional genetics and genomics; Introduction to transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics.

Section 6: Plant Breeding, Genetic Modification, Genome Editing Principles, methods – selection, hybridization, heterosis; male sterility, genetic maps and molecular markers, embryo rescue, haploid and doubled haploids, plant tissue culture: micropropagation, embryo culture and in vitro regeneration, somatic embryogenesis, artificial seed, cryopreservation, somaclonal variation, somatic cell hybridization, marker-assisted selection, gene transfer methods viz. direct and vector-mediated, generation of transgenic plants; Introduction to genome editing: CRISPR/Cas9, Cre-Lox system to generate chimeras; plastid transformation; chemical mutagenesis.

Section 7: Economic and applied Botany – A general account of economically and medicinally important plants- cereals, pulses, plants yielding fibers, timber, sugar, beverages, oils, rubber, pigments, dyes, gums, drugs and narcotics. Economic importance of algae, fungi, lichen and bacteria. Major Indian cash crops. Effect of industrialization on agricultural botany such as plastic on the fiber economy. Genetically modified crops and its regulation eg. Bt cotton, Bt brinjal golden rice etc.

Section 8: Plant Pathology – Nature and classification of plant diseases, diseases of important crops caused by fungi, bacteria, nematodes and viruses, and their control measures (chemical and biological) mechanism(s) of pathogenesis, resistance: basal, systemic, induced systemic resistance, gene for gene concept. Molecular detection of pathogens; plant-microbe interactions: symbionts and mycorrhiza, pathogens and pests. Signaling pathways in plant defence response; salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA) in plant-pathogen and plant-herbivore interaction, necrosis; host- parasitic plant interaction (such as Cuscuta).

Section 9: Ecology and Environment – Ecosystems – types, dynamics, degradation, biogeochemical cycles, ecological succession; food webs and energy flow through ecosystem; vegetation types of the world, Indian vegetation types and biogeographical zones, climate and flora endemism; pollution and global climate change, speciation and extinction, biodiversity and conservation strategies, ecological hotspots, afforestation, habitat restoration; plant interactions with other organisms; epiphytes, parasites and endophytes.

Direct Link to Download GATE XL-R Botany Syllabus PDF

GATE 2022 XL-S Microbiology Syllabus 2022

Section 1: Historical Perspective – Discovery of microbial world; Landmark discoveries relevant to the field of microbiology; Controversy over spontaneous generation; Role of microorganisms in transformation of organic matter and in the causation of diseases.

Section 2: Methods in Microbiology – Pure culture techniques; Theory and practice of sterilization; Principles of microbial nutrition; Enrichment culture techniques for isolation of microorganisms; Light-, phase contrast- and electron microscopy.

Section 3: Microbial Taxonomy and Diversity – Bacteria, Archaea and their broad classification; Eukaryotic microbes: Yeasts, molds and protozoa; Viruses and their classification; Molecular approaches to microbial taxonomy.

Section 4: Prokaryotic Cells: Structure and Function – Prokaryotic Cells: cell walls, cell membranes and their biosynthesis, mechanisms of solute transport across membranes, Flagella and Pili, Capsules, Cell inclusions like endospores and gas vesicles; Bacterial locomotion, including positive and negative chemotaxis.

Section 5: Microbial Growth – Definition of growth; Growth curve; Mathematical expression of exponential growth phase; Measurement of growth and growth yields; Synchronous growth; Continuous culture; Effect of environmental factors on growth.

Section 6: Control of Microorganisms – Effect of physical and chemical agents; Evaluation of effectiveness of antimicrobial agents.

Section 7: Microbial Metabolism – Energetics: redox reactions and electron carriers; An overview of metabolism; Glycolysis; Pentosephosphate pathway; Entner-Doudoroff pathway; Glyoxylate pathway; The citric acid cycle; Fermentation; Aerobic and anaerobic respiration; Chemolithotrophy; Photosynthesis; Calvin cycle; Biosynthetic pathway for fatty acids synthesis; Common regulatory mechanisms in synthesis of amino acids; Regulation of major metabolic pathways.

Section 8: Microbial Diseases and Host Pathogen – Interaction Normal microbiota; Classification of infectious diseases; Reservoirs of infection; Nosocomial infection; Emerging infectious diseases; Mechanism of microbial pathogenicity; Nonspecific defense of host; Antigens and antibodies; Humoral and cell mediated immunity; Vaccines; Immune deficiency; Human diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, and pathogenic fungi.

Section 9: Chemotherapy/Antibiotics – General characteristics of antimicrobial drugs; Antibiotics: Classification, mode of action and resistance; Antifungal and antiviral drugs.

Section 10: Microbial Genetics – Types of mutation; UV and chemical mutagens; Selection of mutants; Ames test for mutagenesis; Bacterial genetic system: transformation, conjugation, transduction, recombination, plasmids, transposons; DNA repair; Regulation of gene expression: repression and induction; Operon model; Bacterial genome with special reference to E.coli; Phage λ and its life cycle; RNA phages; RNA viruses; Retroviruses; Basic concept of microbial genomics.

Section 11: Microbial Ecology – Microbial interactions; Carbon, sulphur and nitrogen cycles; Soil microorganisms associated with vascular plants.

Direct Link to Download GATE XL-S Microbiology Syllabus PDF

GATE 2022 XL-T Syllabus 2022

Section 1: Animal world – Animal diversity, distribution, systematics and classification of animals, phylogenetic relationships.

Section 2: Evolution – Origin and history of life on earth, theories of evolution, natural selection, adaptation, speciation.

Section 3: Genetics Basic – Principles of inheritance, molecular basis of heredity, sex determination and sex-linked characteristics, cytoplasmic inheritance, linkage, recombination and mapping of genes in eukaryotes, population genetics.

Section 4: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology – Nucleic acids, proteins, lipids and carbohydrates; replication, transcription and translation; regulation of gene expression, organization of genome, Kreb’s cycle, glycolysis, enzyme catalysis, hormones and their actions, vitamins.

Section 5: Cell Biology – Structure of cell, cellular organelles and their structure and function, cell cycle, cell division, chromosomes and chromatin structure. Section 6: Gene expression in Eukaryotes Eukaryotic gene organization and expression (Basic principles of signal transduction).

Section 6: Gene expression in Eukaryotes – Eukaryotic genome organization and regulation of gene expression, transposable elements.

Section 7: Animal Anatomy and Physiology – Comparative physiology, the respiratory system, circulatory system, digestive system, the nervous system, the excretory system, the endocrine system, the reproductive system, the skeletal system, osmoregulation.

Section 8: Parasitology and Immunology – Nature of parasite, host-parasite relation, protozoan and helminthic parasites, the immune response, cellular and humoral immune response, evolution of the immune system.

Section 9: Development Biology – Embryonic development, cellular differentiation, organogenesis, metamorphosis, genetic basis of development, stem cells.

Section 10: Ecology – The ecosystem, habitats, the food chain, population dynamics, species diversity, zoogeography, biogeochemical cycles, conservation biology.

Section 11: Animal Behaviour – Types of behaviours, courtship, mating and territoriality, instinct, learning and memory, social behaviour across the animal taxa, communication, pheromones, evolution of animal behaviour.

Direct Link to Download GATE XL-T Zoology Syllabus PDF

GATE XL Exam Pattern

GATE Life Sciences Exam Pattern 2022

  • Exam Mode: Online
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Types of questions: MCQs, MSQs, and NAT
  • Sections: 3 sections – General Aptitude, chemistry and Subject-based
  • Total questions: 65 questions
Section  Distribution of Marks Total Marks Types of questions
GA 5 questions of 1-mark each 5 questions of 2-marks each 15 marks  MCQs
Section P – Chemistry (compulsory) 5 questions of 1-mark each 10 questions of 2-marks each 25 marks  MCQs and NATs
Sections Q to U (Any two) 10 questions of 1-mark each 10 questions of 2-marks each 30 marks  MCQs and NATs

GATE Life Sciences Marking Scheme 2022

Type of question Negative marking for wrong answers.
MCQ 1/3 for 1 mark questions 2/3 for 2 marks questions
MSQs/ NAT No negative marking 

Check Detailed GATE 2022 Exam Pattern 

GATE XL Preparation

GATE Life Sciences Preparation 2022

To assist the students in the GATE Life Science Preparation 2022, the following sections have been curated. The students are advised to check out the following and avail the benefits of the same.

GATE Life Sciences (XL) Important Books 2022

Important Books for Zoology

Books Name Author/Publication
Animal Cell Culture Methods Jennie P Mather, David Barnes
Modern Text Book Of Zoology Vertebrates R.L.Kotpal
Zoology Stephen A Miller and John P Harley

Important Books for Chemistry

Books Name Author/Publication
Gate Guide Life Science Chemistry & General Aptitude G K Publications
A Logical Approach to Chemistry Pragati Publications
3,000 Solved Problems In Chemistry (Schaum’s Outline Series) David E Goldberg

Important Books for Food Technology

Books Name Author/Publication
Food Technology Neil Morris
Food Technology and Nutrition Sunetra Roday
Textbook of Food Science and Technology Avantina Sharma

Important Books for Biochemistry

Books Name Author/Publication
Biochemistry  Satyanarayana
Principles and Techniques of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Wilson/Walker
Practical Biochemistry Damodaran Geetha K

Important Books for Botany

Books Name Author/Publication
A Text Book Of Botany Singh Pande Jain
A Textbook Of Botany Vol-3 S.N Pandey
Principles Of Genetics Gardner

Important Books for Microbiology

Books Name Author/Publication
Microbiology(fifth edition) Micheal Pelczar, E.C.S Chan, Noel R. Krieg
Prescott’s Microbiology Joanne M. Willey, Christopher J. Woolverton, Linda M. Sherwood
Smart Study Series Microbiology Ankit Gupta, Prafulla Songara
GATE XL Question Papers

Previous Year GATE Life Sciences Question Paper

Given below are the links for GATE XL Previous Year Question Papers along with their answer keys. 

Year Link for GATE CSE Question Paper Link for GATE CSE Answer Key
2021
2020 Check Here  Check Here 
2019 Check Here  Check Here 
2018 Check Here (All Subjects)
2017 Check Here Check Here

GATE 2022 Syllabus of Other Subjects

Candidates who are planning to appear for GATE can check the syllabus their respective subjects from the links provided in the table below:

Frequently Asked Questions

GATE Syllabus for Life Science 2022 FAQs

Ques: What will be options provided to select the subjects in GATE Syllabus for Life Sciences 2022?

Ans: GATE Life sciences 2022 XL section comprises the following subjects/codes:

  • XL-P – Chemistry
  • XL-Q – Biochemistry
  • XL-R – Botany
  • XL-S – Microbiology
  • XL-T – Zoology
  • XL-U – Food Technology

Ques: What will be the marking scheme and weightage of sections in GATE Syllabus for Life Sciences 2022?

Ans: The weightage of General Aptitude will be 15% and the remaining 85% will be reserved for chemistry & sections (two) selected by the candidates. 

Section  Distribution of Marks Total Marks
GA 5 questions of 1-mark each 5 questions of 2-marks each 15 marks 
Section P – Chemistry (compulsory) 5 questions of 1-mark each 10 questions of 2-marks each 25 marks 
Sections Q to U (Any two) 10 questions of 1-mark each 10 questions of 2-marks each 30 marks 

Ques: Can I opt for Food Technology & Zoology sections as my 2 optional sections along with Chemistry in GATE Life sciences 2022?

Ans: Yes. You can opt for any 2 sections from Q to U. The sections P that is chemistry will remain compulsory for all the candidates. The rest of the 2 sections can be selected as per the preference of candidates.

Ques: What will be major topics for GATE Life sciences 2022 microbiology sections that is XL-S section?

Ans: The major topics for these sections are mentioned below:

  • Historical Perspective
  • Methods in Microbiology
  • Microbial Taxonomy and Diversity
  • Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells
  • Microbial Growth
  • Control of Microorganisms
  • Microbial Metabolism
  • Microbial Diseases and Host-Pathogen Interaction
  • Antibiotics
  • Microbial Genetics
  • Microbial Ecology

Ques. What are the sub-topics to prepare for in GATE Life Sciences- Chemistry Syllabus 2022?

Ans. The sub topics in the GATE Life Sciences- Chemistry Syllabus 2022 is as follows: 

  • Atomic Structure and Periodicity
  • Structure and Bonding 
  • s, p & d Block Elements
  • Chemical Equilibria
  • Electrochemistry 
  • Reaction Kinetics
  • Thermodynamics 
  •  Structure Reactivity Correlations and Organic Reaction Mechanisms
  • Chemistry of Biomolecules

Ques. What are some good books for GATE Life Sciences- Biochemistry Syllabus 2022?

Ans. Some good books for GATE Life Sciences- Biochemistry Syllabus are as follows: 

  • Biochemistry by Satyanarayana
  • Principles and Techniques of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology by Wilson/Walker
  • Practical Biochemistry by Damodaran Geetha K

Ques. What are the sub-topics that one needs to prepare for in the GATE Life Sciences- Botany Syllabus 2022?

Ans. The subtopics in the GATE Life Sciences- Botany Syllabus 2022 is as follows:

  • Plant Systematics
  • Plant Anatomy 
  • Plant development
  • Physiology and Biochemistry
  • Genetics and genomics
  • Plant Breeding, Genetic Modification, Genome Editing Principles, methods
  • Economic and applied Botany
  • Plant Pathology
  • Ecology and Environment

Ques. What are the sub-topics that one needs to prepare for in GATE Life Sciences- Microbiology Syllabus 2022?

Ans. The subtopics in the GATE Life Sciences- Microbiology Syllabus 2022 is as follows:

  • Historical Perspective 
  • Methods in Microbiology
  • Microbial Taxonomy and Diversity 
  • Prokaryotic Cells: Structure and Function
  • Microbial Growth
  • Control of Microorganisms 
  • Microbial Metabolism
  • Microbial Diseases and Host Pathogen
  • Chemotherapy/Antibiotics
  • Microbial Genetics
  • Microbial Ecology 

Ques. What is a good score for GATE Life Sciences 2022? 

Ans. A good score for GATE Life Sciences is anywhere from 25 to 35 as the GATE Life Sciences Cut Off is usually in that range. Check GATE Cut Off for the previous year’s trends. 

Ques. Is GATE Life Science hard?

Ans. GATE Life Sciences is usually easy to moderate in terms of difficulty. Check GATE Paper Analysis for setting up realistic targets. 

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College.

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