First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCP5071899, A.A. 2019/20

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

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
SC1166, Degree course structure A.Y. 2015/16, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 10.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination GENETICS 1 AND GENETIC ENGINEERING
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Biology
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance
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 ANTONELLA RUSSO BIO/18
Other lecturers STEFANO CAGNIN BIO/18

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses BIO/18 Genetics 10.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 2nd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Laboratory 1.0 16 9.0 No turn
Lecture 9.0 72 153.0 No turn

Start of activities 30/09/2019
End of activities 18/01/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2015 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
4 GENETICA 1 E INGEGNERIA GENETICA 2019-2020 01/10/2019 27/11/2020 RUSSO ANTONELLA (Presidente)
CAGNIN STEFANO (Membro Effettivo)
3 GENETICA 1 E INGEGNERIA GENETICA 2018-2019 01/10/2018 30/11/2019 RUSSO ANTONELLA (Presidente)
DE PITTA' CRISTIANO (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: The basic knowledge deriving from the subjects of the first year of the Degree
Target skills and knowledge: The student will learn:
- Principles of Mendelian genetics and the mechanisms of inheritance;
- a set of techniques useful for in vitro and in vivo manipulation of the genetic information of an organism.
Examination methods: Examination will be divided in two phases:
1) A multiple-choice test with 30 questions (20 for Genetics 1 and 10 for Genetic Engineering);
2) an oral examination (students with score lower than 15/30 in the previous multiple-choice test will not admitted to the second phase).
Assessment criteria: Evaluation criteria will consist in: completeness of each answer, critical association among concepts (consequential logic), ability to solve questions and/or problems, use of correct terminology, synthesis and integration of the concepts with the general principles of Biology.
Course unit contents: GENETICS 1 (A. Russo)
Mendelian genetics (20 h) - Overview on: organization and replication of the genomes, structure and function of the gene, mutation as the source of genetic variation. Mendel’s laws of inheritance. Chromosomes accounts for the inheritance of mendelian traits: Chromosome Theory of Inheritance, sex chromosomes and X-linked traits. Extensions of Mendelian inheritance: multiple alleles, lethal alleles, gene interactions, epistasis. Penetrance and expressivity. Norm of reaction. The inheritance of human traits and pedigree analysis. Molecular basis of mechanisms of inheritance (dominance and recessive patterns, epistasis). Complementation and complementation test. Genetic analysis in unicellular eukaryotes and prokaryotes. Growth and resistance phenotypes.
Linkage, recombination, genetic mapping (15 h) - The discovery of gene linkage. Principles of genetic mapping. Two-hybrid cross; three-hybrid cross. Coincidence and interference. The correlation between genetic recombination and chromosome crossing-over. Improving genetic maps by correcting for multiple exchanges: the map function. Mitotic crossing-over. Introduction to molecular markers; genetic and physical maps in comparison. Molecular mechanisms of recombination: break and reunion of DNA molecules. Models of recombination can be defined by genetic analyses. Gene conversion. Homologous recombination is also used by phages and bacteria, and it is adopted by all the cells for DNA damage repair.
Cytogenetics (10 h) – In eukaryotes, genomes are organized in several chromosomes. Karyotype analysis and molecular organization of the chromosome. Chromosome banding and fluorescent in situ hybridization. Structural and numerical chromosome variations and their role in evolution. Frequency and consequences of chromosome aberrations in humans. Cytogenetics and mapping. Variation in chromosome structure. Phenotypic effects of deletions: pseudominance, haploinsufficiency. Duplications: dosage effects; evolutionary and pathological consequences of segmental duplication in genomes. Genetic effects of inversions and translocations: consequences on crossing-over, position effect, evolutionary results. Chromosome number variations. Aneuploidy, polyploidy, allopolyploidy: origin and phenotypic effects. Sex chromosome anomalies and the dosage compensation.
Quantitative genetics (3 h) - Quantitative traits, polygenic inheritance, heritability, genotype-environment interactions in brief.

1. Isolation and purification of genomic DNA and plasmid DNA. handling
and quantification of nucleic acids.
2. Isolation and purification of total RNA and mRNA.
3. Synthesis of cDNA.
4. Restriction enzymes: discovery and description of restriction
systems. Mechanisms of cutting DNA: 5'-ends, 3'-ends and blunt ends.
1. Ligation of DNA: E. coli DNA ligase and T4 DNA ligase, the
mechanism of ligation, optimization of reaction.
2. Cloning strategies: blunt and sticky ends ligation, directional
cloning, advanced cloning strategies.
3. Cloning vectors: host cells, plasmid vectors for use in E. coli.
4. Construction of genomic DNA and cDNA libraries
1. Characteristics of E. coli: cell culture and resistance to antibiotics.
2. Bacterial transformation: natural and artificial competence,
methods of transformation.

In addition, 8 h will be dedicated to problem resolution, and 8 h per student will be spent in laboratory activities in small groups (together with the Laboratory activity of Molecular Biology 1).
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The teaching activity is organized in main lectures (72 h), 8 h dedicated to problem resolution, and 8 h per student spent in laboratory activities in small groups. With this organization the student can experience a self-evaluation of preparation and critical ability. Problems are pre-assigned through the e-learning platform and solved in the teaching room.
The laboratory activity offers the possibility to understand how experimental data are collected and intepreted. The laboratory activity will be based on the "Construction of a genomic library of the phage λ" that will allow the students to apply
many of the theoretical notions learned during the lectures. Students should be able to clearly understand how a DNA cloning experiment has to be designed and performed.
The teachers encourage students to use a forum activated in the e-learning page of the course and to have choral discussion of their doubts and comments. In this way, in the course of the teaching period, teachers closely supervise and participate to the student's discussion.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Students can refer to updated handbooks of Genetics. The major reference texts will be indicated at the beginning of the teaching activities after the editorial news will be evaluated.
Lecture slides amd additional material useful for study will be provided through the e-learning platform.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Binelli, Giorgio; Ghisotti, Daniela; Aceto, Serena, Genetica[coordinatori] Giorgio Binelli, Daniela Ghisottiautori: Serena Aceto ... [et al.]. Napoli: EdiSes, 2018. Consigliato Cerca nel catalogo
  • Brown, Terence Austen; Maga, Giovanni, Biotecnologie molecolariprincipi e tecniche. Bologna: Zanichelli, 2017. Consigliato Cerca nel catalogo
  • Pierce, Benjamin A.; Barbujani, Guido, Genetica Benjamin A. Pierce a cura di Guido Barbujani. Bologna: Zanichelli, 2016. Consigliato Cerca nel catalogo
  • Dale, Jeremy W.; Schantz, Malcolm : von, Dai geni ai genomiprincipi e applicazioni della tecnologia del DNA ricombinanteJeremy W. Dale, Malcom von Schantz e Nick Plant. Napoli: EdiSES, 2013. Consigliato per consultazione parziale Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Laboratory
  • Problem based learning
  • Interactive lecturing
  • Working in group
  • Questioning
  • Problem solving
  • 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, ...)
  • Top Hat (active quiz, quiz)

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