First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine
Course unit
AG01122626, A.A. 2016/17

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2016/17

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
AG0063, Degree course structure A.Y. 2014/15, A.Y. 2016/17
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 8.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination GENETIC IMPROVEMENT
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and the Environment
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge MARGHERITA LUCCHIN AGR/07

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses AGR/07 Agrarian Genetics 8.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Practice 1.0 8 17.0 No turn
Laboratory 1.0 8 17.0 2
Lecture 6.0 48 102.0 No turn

Start of activities 27/02/2017
End of activities 09/06/2017
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2017 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
9 Commissione a.a. 2018/19 01/12/2018 30/11/2019 LUCCHIN MARGHERITA (Presidente)
BARCACCIA GIANNI (Membro Effettivo)
8 Commissione a.a. 2017/18 01/12/2017 30/11/2018 LUCCHIN MARGHERITA (Presidente)
BARCACCIA GIANNI (Membro Effettivo)
7 Commissione a.a. 2016/17 01/12/2016 30/11/2017 LUCCHIN MARGHERITA (Presidente)
BARCACCIA GIANNI (Membro Effettivo)
6 Commissione A.A. 2015/16 01/12/2015 30/11/2016 LUCCHIN MARGHERITA (Presidente)
BARCACCIA GIANNI (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: The students attending this course have to own good knowledge of agricultural genetics, plant biology and biochemistry, statistics and crop production. Such a knowledge is provided by the courses of the previous three-years degree.
Target skills and knowledge: The aim is to give students the knowledge and tools to evaluate and utilize for selection, the natural and induced plant genetic variability. The students acquire competence to plan a breeding work and to select and run the most suitable procedures for the constitution of new crop varieties by matching conventional breeding methods with biotechnological skills. Students gain competence for managing processes of genetic traceability of plant varieties in the productive chain.
Examination methods: Final written test including exercises, several multi-choice questions and some short and open-ended questions.
Assessment criteria: Students have to demonstrate the understanding of the proposed concepts,the capability of critically discussing with the correct use of scientific language.
Course unit contents: 1st credit: Historical perspectives and importance of plant breeding. Aims and present issues of crop breeding. Conventional and biotechnological approach. Plant reproductive systems and their control. Self-incompatibility and male-sterility. Vegetatively propagated crops.
2nd credit: Plant genetic resources. Domestication and crop evolution. Ecotypes and landraces. Plant genetic erosion and gene flow. Sources of germplasm for plant breeding. In situ and ex situ conservation of plant genetic resources.
3rd credit: Genetic structure of self-pollinated species. Methods of breeding for self-pollinated species and variety constitution. Pure line and F1 hybrid varities.
4th credit: Genetic structure of vegetatively propagated populations. Principles of breeding based on hybridization or mutations. Clones. Clonal selecion in fruit species.
5th credit: Genetic structure of cross-pollinated species. Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The genetic bases of selection. Concept of heritability. Inbreeding depression and heterosis. Progeny test. Estimation of GCA and SCA parameters. Recurrent selection. Open-pollinated and synthetic varieties. Inbred lines and F1 hybrids. Cultivar release, commercial seed production, and seed certification.
6th-7th credits: Molecular breeding. Tools for genetic variability analysis. PCR-derived molecular markers. Genetic fingerprinting and Molecular identification of crop cultivars. Genetic similarity and diversity indexes. Construction of genetic maps. QTL analysis and mapping. Marker-assisted breeding (MAS).
8th credit: Genetic engineering and recombinant DNA technology. Genetic transformation and production of genetically modified organisms (OGM). Transgenic varieties. OGM analysis and product traceability.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course includes lectures, practical exercises, practice lab mainly concerning the analysis of genetic variability and variety identification by molecular markers,and a technical visit to field trials of lines/populations, progenies under selection.
Students are recommanded to attend lessons.
Additional notes about suggested reading: To facilitate the understanding of the theoretical concepts and to present some examples and cases of study, the lectures are supported by projected slides that are made available on the link.

The professor meets students at the end of lessons or by appointment.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Barcaccia G., Falcinelli M., Genetica e Genomica, vol. II, III.. Napoli: Liguori, 2008.
  • Sleper DA, Poehlman JM, Breeding Field Crops. Ames, Iowa, USA: Blackwell Publ., 2006. Cerca nel catalogo
  • S. Mohan Jain, DS Brar, Molecular Techniques in Plant Improvement. Dordrecht Heidelberg London Ne: Springer, 2010.