First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine
Course unit
AVP7077485, A.A. 2018/19

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

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
AV2378, Degree course structure A.Y. 2017/18, 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 GENERAL BIOLOGY (MOD. A)
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Comparative Biomedicine and Food Science
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction English


Integrated course for this unit
Course unit code Course unit name Teacher in charge

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Basic courses BIO/05 Zoology 6.0

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
Lecture 5.0 40 85.0 No turn

Start of activities 25/02/2019
End of activities 14/06/2019
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2017 course timetable

Examination board
Examination board not defined


Common characteristics of the Integrated Course unit

Prerequisites: Students are required to have a basic understanding of cell biology, genetics, molecular biology and evolution. Required foundation courses: none.
Target skills and knowledge: Learn the concepts of general biology and genetics necessary for the understanding of topics related to the management of animal genetic resources.
Acquire the capability to recognize the major animal groups, and understand the evolutionary processes that generated the current diversity of phyla. Acquire knowledge on control of inbreeding and preservation of genetic variability in small groups of animals.
Examination methods: Written examination with multiple choice questions. If required, students must have previously passed the additional learning obligations.
Assessment criteria: The student will be evaluated on the basis of the acquired knowledge in relation to its ability to use and present the concepts and topics learned during the course.

Specific characteristics of the Module

Course unit contents: DNA structure: the DNA as material containing the genetic information, the double helix model, mechanisms of replication. Genes, chromosomes and Genomes.
Cell cycle: chromosomic theory of heredity, cell division, mitosis, meiosis, genetic recombination, crossing-over.
Mendelian genetics: definition of relation between genotype and phenotype, homozygosis/heterozygosis. Mendel (balanced segregation and independent assortment of characters). Extensions of Mendelian analysis: reaction norm, phenotypic plasticity, penetrance and expressivity, multiple allelism, epistasis and pleiotropy. Genetic association: deviations from Mendelian segregation, physic association between two (or more) characters (genes), distance between character located on the same chromosome, recombinant phenotypes and calculation of map distance between associated genes. Genealogical trees: symbols of genealogical trees and their creation, analysis of a genealogical tree to evaluate the mode of transmission of a character (dominant or recessive), mode of transmission of sex-linked characters (X-linked).
Evolutionary forces: mutation, migration, natural selection and genetic drift, balanced polymorphism.
Evolution and Systematic. Speciation: species concepts, models of speciation (sympatric, parapatric, allopatric). Reproductive strategies.
Phylogenetic reconstruction and biological classification: concept of homology and analogy, phylogenetic analysis to identify the relationships among taxa on morphological and molecular bases. Molecular identification of species.
Body plan, morphology, anatomy, life cycle, reproduction, systematic and evolution of animal phyla with particular focus on: Porifera, Cnidaria, Platyhelminthes, Nematoda, Rotifera (Acanthocephala), Annelida, Mollusca, Arthropoda, Echinodermata, Chordata.

Laboratory: Dissection of animals. Identification of animal species by the use of dichotomous keys.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course includes 40 hours of lecturing and 8 hour of laboratory activities. During the practical activities, the students will learn how to identify animal species (particularly invertebrate) using taxonomic keys. They will improve their morphological/anatomical knowledge of invertebrate species through dissection of specimens.
Additional notes about suggested reading: A list of optional supplementary readings is made available on Moodle platform (

Office hours: daily by appointment with the teacher.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Solomon, et al., Biology, 10th edition.. --: CENGAGE LEARNING, 2014. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Hickman et al., Integrated Principles of Zoology. 16th edition. --: Mcgraw-Hill, 2015. Cerca nel catalogo