First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCP8085061, A.A. 2018/19

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2018/19

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
SC2445, Degree course structure A.Y. 2018/19, A.Y. 2018/19
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Degree course track Common track
Number of ECTS credits allocated 8.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF DEVELOPMENT
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Biology
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction English
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 FRANCESCO ARGENTON BIO/06
Other lecturers MASSIMO SANTORO BIO/13

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses BIO/06 Comparative Anatomy and Citology 4.0
Core courses BIO/11 Molecular Biology 2.0
Core courses BIO/18 Genetics 2.0

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

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Laboratory 1.0 16 9.0 No turn
Lecture 7.0 56 119.0 No turn

Start of activities 25/02/2019
End of activities 14/06/2019
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2018 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
2 MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF DEVELOPMENT 2019-2020 01/10/2019 27/11/2020 ARGENTON FRANCESCO (Presidente)
SANTORO MASSIMO (Membro Effettivo)
1 MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF DEVELOPMENT 2018-2019 01/10/2018 30/11/2019 ARGENTON FRANCESCO (Presidente)
SANTORO MASSIMO (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: The students should have already acquired the fundamentals on eukariotic cellular biology, on control of gene expression, differentiation, histology and developmenta biology..
Target skills and knowledge: The course consists of a study at the molecular, system biology, signal transduction and genomic level of the processes underlying embryonic development and differentiation of multicellular animals. Students will thus acquire a physically and philosophically modern view of the mechanisms that build ontogenetic complexity. The main molecular and physical experimental approaches that led to current knowledge will also be underlined. Students will thus become aware of the value of model systems in molecular biology and developmental genetics.
Examination methods: Three essay on open questions on theoretical, practical and critical topics of the class.
For the laboratory experience, students must prepare a written report of their practicals on whole mount analysis of development.
Students are also asked during the progress of the class to present a developmental genetic topic.
Assessment criteria: The evaluation is based on the weighted averages of the assessments achieved
1) in the laboratory report, assessed evaluating its organization, completeness, synthesis and language properties
2) passing the triple written test in its three parts (knowledge, skills and competences) each evaluated according to organization, completeness, synthesis and language properties
Course unit contents: 1) Presentation of the course, history and principles of developmental genetics (1.5 CFU): cell fate analysis, organizers and transplants, mutagenesis, cellular asymmetry, chemoaffinity hypothesis, sex determination, lateral inhibition, somitogenesis.
2) Cellular Developmental Mechanisms (0.5 CFU): Survival, Apoptosis, Shape, Movement, Differentiation, Gene Expression
3) Morphogenetic theory (0.5 CFU): Diffusion reaction, French flag theory.
4) Genetic pathways controlling development, their function and visualization (1.5 CFU): Wnt, TGFb, BMP, HH, Notch, Hypoxia, Hippo, STAT
5) germ layers induction and regionalization of the main axes (DV, AP, LR) in vertebrates and Drosophila, Examples of organ formation. (1 CFU)

Angiogenesis in model animals (1 CFU): Use of genetic animal models to study angiogenesis. Molecular biology of endothelial cells. Developmental and pathological angiogenesis.
Fluorescent and digital microscopy (1 CFU): Use of genetically encoded fluorophores in molecular genetic development. Different fluorescent techniques and microscopes. Advance microscopic techniques for in vivo studies.
Laboratory (1 CFU): manipulation of the zebrafish embryo: whole mount staining and imaging of fluorescent embryo; Pharmacological treatment of zebrafish embryos with non-specific teratogens (alcohol) and specific agonists or antagonists.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Predicted learning activities and teaching methods: The course is delivered through lectures by the teacher and with a laboratory credit.

The knowledge provided by the program are presented in the lectures using ppt set with images, diagrams and videos. The teaching is interactive, with questions and presentation of case studies (based on articles or reviews), to promote critical reflection and discussion in the classroom. Periodic self-assessment tests are made available daily to students on the e-learning page ( of the teaching and in attendance at the end of the lesson.
Group activities consist of deepening with a multidisciplinary approach
of topics related to the genetics of development. Each theme is developed by groups of 3-4 students and the contents presented to the class and discussed collegially. The starting material for these studies is provided by the teacher who sets and follows the development of the work.
Additional notes about suggested reading: All the didactic material used for the lectures and for the presentation of the laboratory activities (ppt, articles and review) is made available to the students on the course page of the e-learning platform: https: //
On the same platform the material used (articles and reviews) and product (pdf file of the oral presentations) is shared by the study groups
The images shown during the lectures are provided online. For the exercises, students receive written protocols and descriptions before the individual experiences are carried out
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Scott Gilbert,, Developmental Biology. --: --, --. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Laboratory
  • Problem based learning
  • Case study
  • Interactive lecturing
  • Working in group
  • Questioning
  • Story telling
  • Problem solving
  • Concept maps
  • Flipped classroom
  • Auto correcting quizzes or tests for periodic feedback or exams
  • Active quizzes for Concept Verification Tests and class discussions
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)

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

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