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To qualify for admission to various engineering and science postgraduate programs, candidates must pass the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE), an examination conducted by the prestigious Indian Institute of Sciences and the autonomous body of the IITs, under the supervision of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). If you wish to succeed in the GATE Biotech Exam, consider enrolling at GPLUS EDUCATION, a leading coaching institute in Kolkata for biotechnology.

The importance of GATE entrance tests cannot be overstated when it comes to securing admission to engineering postgraduate programs offered by institutes across the entire country. In response to evolving times, numerous public sector companies now rely on GATE scores as the primary criterion for selecting qualified candidates. Additionally, successful GATE candidates have the opportunity to apply for postgraduate scholarships offered by engineering institutes under the Ministry of Human Resource Development. Depending on their performance in the examination, they may also be eligible for teaching assistantships.

Achieving a high percentile in GATE can open doors for aspiring individuals to become Junior Research Fellows in various CSIR institutions and participate in sponsored projects. Numerous public sector organizations utilize GATE scores as a crucial criterion to identify the most qualified candidates for positions as Scientists and Engineers.


Under the guidance of proficient teachers, Gate courses are offered on a full-time basis. In addition to comprehensive test series, students receive valuable suggestions to assist them in gaining admission to GATE.


This article provides candidates planning to appear for the GATE Exams 2023 with the latest GATE 2023 Syllabus for Biotechnology. The official brochure for the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) and the updated GATE Biotechnology Syllabus for the current academic year will be released by the Indian Institute of Technology on the official website. These resources will enable candidates to begin their exam preparations effectively.

Among the 29 subjects available for the GATE Exams, Biotechnology Engineering holds a prominent position with its subject code BT. Candidates can opt for this paper along with a relevant secondary paper for the exam. Following the GATE syllabus, referring to appropriate study materials, and understanding the marking scheme will enhance candidates' performance in the exams.

In this article, we have compiled the key topics from the GATE BT Syllabus 2023. The GATE 2023 Syllabus for Biotechnology consists of seven main sections, covering essential subjects such as Engineering Mathematics, General Biology, Genetics, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Fundamentals of Biological Engineering, Bioprocess Engineering and Process Biotechnology, Plant, Animal, and Microbial Biotechnology, and Recombinant DNA Technology and Other Tools in Biotechnology.

Section 1: Engineering Mathematics

Calculus: Limits, continuity and differentiability; Partial derivatives, maxima and minima; Sequences and series; Test for convergence.

Linear Algebra: Matrices and determinants; Systems of linear equations; Eigen values and Eigen vectors.

Differential Equations: Linear and nonlinear first order ODEs, higher order ODEs with constant coefficients; Cauchy’s and Euler’s equations; Laplace transforms.

Numerical Methods: Solution of linear and nonlinear algebraic equations; Integration by trapezoidal and Simpson’s rule; Single step method for differential equations.

Probability and Statistics: Mean, median, mode and standard deviation; Random variables; Poisson, normal and binomial distributions; Correlation and regression analysis.

Section 2: General Biology

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.

Biochemistry: Biomolecules - structure and function; Biological membranes - structure, membrane channels and pumps, molecular motors, action potential and transport processes; Basic concepts and regulation of 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.

Section 3: Genetics, Cellular and Molecular Biology

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.

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.

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.

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 bioreactor, kLa and its measurement; Conductive and convective heat transfer, LMTD, overall heat transfer coefficient; Heat exchangers.

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.

Section 5: Bioprocess Engineering and Process Biotechnology

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.

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.

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

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.

Plants: 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.

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

Molecular tools: Polymerase chain reaction; DNA/RNA labelling and sequencing; Southern and northern blotting; In-situ hybridization; DNAfingerprinting, 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; Micro-arrays; Enzymatic assays; Immunoassays - ELISA, RIA, immunohistochemistry; immunoblotting; Flow cytometry; Whole genome and ChIP sequencing.

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;

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.

Section 8: General Aptitude

Spatial Aptitude:Transformation of shapes: translation, rotation, scaling, mirroring, assembling, and grouping Paper folding, cutting, and patterns in 2 and 3 dimensions.

Verbal Aptitude: Basic English grammar: tenses, articles, adjectives, prepositions, conjunctions, verb-noun agreement, and other parts of speech Basic vocabulary: words, idioms, and phrases in context Reading and comprehension Narrative sequencing

Analytical Aptitude: Logic: deduction and induction, Analogy, Numerical relations and reasoning

Quantitative Aptitude: Data interpretation: data graphs (bar graphs, pie charts, and other graphs representing data), 2- and 3-dimensional plots, maps, and tables Numerical computation and estimation: ratios, percentages, powers, exponents and logarithms, permutations and combinations, and series Mensuration and geometry Elementary statistics and probability


This GATE BT Exam Pattern 2023 will serve as a valuable resource for candidates aiming to excel in the GATE exams. By combining the GATE Exam Syllabus for Biotechnology Engineering with the GATE Exam Pattern, candidates can effectively plan their studies.

General Aptitude (GA) Marks: 15 Marks

Biotechnology Engineering (BT) Subject Marks: 85 Marks

Total Marks for BT: 100 Marks

Total Time (in Minutes): 180 Minutes


1) The GATE BT Syllabus is divided into how many sections?

The GATE Syllabus 2023 for Biotechnology Engineering is comprised of a total of seven primary sections. These sections encompass topics such as Engineering Mathematics, General Biology, Genetics, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Fundamentals of Biological Engineering, Bioprocess Engineering and Process Biotechnology, Plant, Animal and Microbial Biotechnology, and Recombinant DNA technology and Other Tools in Biotechnology.

2) What is the marking scheme for the GATE BT Paper, as per the syllabus?

The GATE BT Paper consists of the General Aptitude Section, which contributes 15 marks, and the main subject section, which accounts for 85 marks.

3) What are the topics covered in the Section 3 Genetics, Cellular and Molecular Biology of the GATE BT Syllabus 2023?

Genetics and Evolutionary Biology: 

The topics covered in the GATE BT Syllabus include 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.


The GATE BT Syllabus covers topics related to 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, and extracellular matrix.


The GATE BT Syllabus includes topics such as the 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, and DNA damage and repair.


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