First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Human and Social Sciences and Cultural Heritage
Course unit
SUP5073219, A.A. 2018/19

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2014/15

Information on the course unit
Degree course 5 years single cycle degree in
IA1870, Degree course structure A.Y. 2011/12, A.Y. 2018/19
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Degree course track Common track
Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY
Department of reference Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Education and Applied Psychology
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit CANNOT be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit is available ONLY for students enrolled in PRIMARY TEACHER EDUCATION (Ord. 2011)

Teacher in charge LUISA DALLA VALLE BIO/06

Course unit code Course unit name Teacher in charge Degree course code

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Other BIO/06 Comparative Anatomy and Citology 6.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 5th Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Laboratory 1.0 16 9.0 No turn
Lecture 5.0 40 85.0 No turn

Start of activities 01/10/2018
End of activities 18/01/2019
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2017 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
9 BIOLOGIA DELLO SVILUPPO 2019-2020 01/10/2019 27/11/2020 DALLA VALLE LUISA (Presidente)
MANNI LUCIA (Supplente)
8 BIOLOGIA DELLO SVILUPPO 2018-2019 01/10/2018 30/11/2019 DALLA VALLE LUISA (Presidente)
MANNI LUCIA (Supplente)
7 BIOLOGIA DELLO SVILUPPO 2017/2018 01/10/2017 25/11/2018 DALLA VALLE LUISA (Presidente)
MANNI LUCIA (Supplente)

Prerequisites: The course requires knowledge of Cell biology and Comparative anatomy.
Target skills and knowledge: The course is designed to provide students with a broad understanding of the fundamental principles and molecular mechanisms that control and regulate the main aspects of animal development.
Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:
1) describe how a single fertilized egg cell develops gradually into a complex multicellular organism;
2) understand how fundamental molecular and cellular mechanisms (differential gene expression, cell-cell communication and tissues induction) play a role during the developmental process;
3) analyze classical and modern experimental approaches that have been used to unravel mechanisms of development;
4) understand how errors in development lead to developmental disorders and diseases;
5) work in group;
6) develop communication skills;
7) use appropriate scientific terminology.
Examination methods: The acquired knowledge will be verified through a written test, held in a computer room on the platform moodle. The test will include:
1) multiple-choice questions, true/false, completion of texts, matching terms with definition. The questions will cover all topics of Developmental biology course;
2) two short-answer questions and one long essays aimed at highlighting the knowledge, the scientific terminology and the synthesis ability acquired during the course.
Examples of written examination are part of the online activities (self-assessment tests).
Assessment criteria: The evaluation of the exam will consider:
1) ability to describe the processes and mechanisms of development in a clear and comprehensive way;
2) completeness of the acquired knowledge;
3) knowledge of the experimental approaches discussed in class;
4) synthesis capacity;
5) correct use of scientific language.
Course unit contents: The course will cover selected topics of developmental biology:
1) Basic principles of development. Gene expression regulation during development. Cells adhesion and cell signalling in development. Mechanisms of cell specification. Mosaic and regulative development. Induction. Morphogenetic movements. Experimental approaches used to study developmental processes. 1 CFU
2) Fertilization (Sea urchin and mammalian). 0.5 CFU
3) Drosophila development and genetic control of axes patterning. 0.5 CFU
4) Determination of body axes in vertebrate. 0.75 CFU
5) Development of neural tube and neural crest cell migration and differentiation. 0.5 CFU
6) Tetrapod limb development. 0.75 CFU
7) Sex Determination. 0.75 CFU
8) Metamorphosis. 0.25 CFU
Lessons will be followed by laboratory sessions focusing on early invertebrate and vertebrate embryos. Attendance at all laboratory sessions is required.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course is organized with frontal lessons (1), laboratory activities (2) and teamwork (3).
1) The contents of frontal lessons are presented with the help of PowerPoint presentations based on pictures from Developmental biology textbooks or scientific articles as well as short videos of developmental processes. Discussion in the classroom will be promoted through questions by the teacher. Periodic self-assessment tests are made available to students on the e-learning page ( of the course.
2) Laboratory activities (0.5 CFU, for a total of 8 hours) require the direct involvement of students and are organized according to different topics:
Ciona intestinalis and Sea urchin fertilization.
Zebrafish development and experimental approaches to its analysis.
Analysis of Drosophila developmental mutants.
3) The teamwork consists in the analysis of scientific papers dealing with topics related to the developmental biology (0.5 CFU, for a total of 8 hours). Each paper will be analysed by groups of 5-6 students and the results presented to the class and discussed collegially (0.5 CFU).
The starting material for these studies is provided by the teacher who sets and follows the development of the work through:
a) the illustration of the structure of scientific paper, the bibliographic research bases, in particular of the resources available at Padova University;
b) interaction with the students during teamwork.
Additional notes about suggested reading: All course resources presented in lectures and laboratories work (ppt, links to videos, scientific articles) are available to students in the course page of the e-learning platform:
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Scott F. Gilbert, Biologia dello sviluppo. --: Zanichelli, 2012. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Lewis Wolpert, Cheryll Tickle, Alfonso Martinez Arias, Biologia dello sviluppo. --: Zanichelli, 2017. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Working in group
  • Auto correcting quizzes or tests for periodic feedback or exams
  • Active quizzes for Concept Verification Tests and class discussions
  • Use of online videos

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Life Below Water Life on Land