First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine
Course unit
AVP7081977, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2019/20

Information on the course unit
Degree course 5 years single cycle degree in
MV0991, Degree course structure A.Y. 2017/18, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 12.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination VETERINARY BIOCHEMISTRY
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Animal Medicine, Production and Health
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance
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 VETERINARY MEDICINE (Ord. 2017)

Teacher in charge FABIO VIANELLO BIO/10
Other lecturers CRISTIAN TACCIOLI BIO/11

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Basic courses CHIM/06 Organic Chemistry 3.0
Basic courses BIO/10 Biochemistry 9.0

Course unit organization
Period Annual
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Practice 3.0 24 51.0 No turn
Lecture 9.0 72 153.0 No turn

Start of activities 30/09/2019
End of activities 20/06/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2017 course timetable

Prerequisites: No prerequisites are required to follow lectures and practical laboratory activities.
Target skills and knowledge: The course is divided into two parts: 1) Fundamentals of general and organic chemistry and 2) structural and metabolic biochemistry involving 9 ECTS, 72 hours, in the 1st trimester. Lessons are complemented by a practical part of "Applied Biochemistry" involving 3 ECTS, 24 hours, in the 2nd trimester.
The students at the end of the course will be able to explain the physical and chemical properties of organic compounds and their derivatives. They will recognize the main categories of aliphatic and aromatic compounds and will know how to define the concept of aromaticity. Studdenys will be able to identify a chiral carbon and to describe the optical properties of enantiomers. They will be able to represent structural formula by applying the rules of the IUPAC nomenclature, and to recognize functional groups and different classes of organic compounds. they will understand the energy balance of metabolic reactions and biological transports associated with ATP synthesis and consumption. They will learn the properties of amino acids and proteins, the structures of protein motifs and domains and the functions of some enzymes. They will be able to describe the supramolecular structure of biological membranes and transport mechanisms. They will understant the bases of metabolic processes involved in energy production and consumption: bioenergetic of catabolic pathways, metabolic pathways of anaerobic and aerobic metabolism, the source and fate of pyruvate and acetyl CoA. Oxidative decarboxylation of pyruvate, Krebs cycle, respiratory chain and oxidative phosphorylation will be explained. The structure and function of enzymes, the mechanisms of catalysis, of enzyme inhibition and the influence of temperature and pH on enzyme activity will be discussed. The student will also acquire the fundamentals of animal metabolism and fermentation phenomena.
Applied Biochemistry. The course will provide practical experiences on some arguments of biochemistry and molecular biology. After an initial theoretical description of the experimental design, the course will deal with the main methods applied in a biochemistry and molecular biolology laboratory.
Examination methods: Traditional lessons: written examination with open and multiple choice questions. Practical laboratory experience: the student must provide a report about the practical experience.
Assessment criteria: Examinations will evaluate the knowledge of the concepts and methods acquired during the course and will also rate the degree of depth of the expertise. In addition to the knowledge of the structure of the most important biological molecules, the evaluation will consider the ability of the student to describe the biochemical mechanisms underlying cell life.
For laboratory activities, the student will be evaluated on the ability to critically analyze the results obtained during practical experiences.
Course unit contents: The aim of the course is to provide, in a simplified way, basic knowledge of general and organic chemistry and general biochemistry, necessary for the understanding of the topics addressed in the course. In particular, the course deals with the basic knowledge of the structure of the atom and its constituents, atomic mass units, isotopes, atomic models, electronic configuration and the Periodic table.
The course will also delas with Avogadro's number, mole, the main types of chemical bonds: ionic, covalent, multiple bonds, molecular interactions (hydrogen bonding, London forces, Van der Waals forces), the oxidation states, redox reactions and the most important redox reactions. The concept of chemical reaction: energy and kinetics. The chemical equilibrium and its laws. Solutions: types of solutions, properties, expressions of concentration, colligative properties and osmotic pressure. Theory of acids and bases, ionic dissociation, pH: definition and meaning. Ionic equilibria in aqueous solution (acid and base dissociation, hydrolysis, buffer solutions, physiological buffers, isoelectric pH). The structure and properties of the most common monofunctional compounds: alcohols, thiols, phenols, ethers, thioethers, amines, aldehydes and ketones, carboxylic acids and derivatives (esters, amides). This part of the course involves 4 ECTS (32 hours). The structure of macromolecules is described and of biochemical processes underlying biological systems. Basic knowledge of general biochemistry for the understanding of the properties of the most important classes of macromolecules. Classification, structure and properties of the most important compounds of biological interest. Carbohydrates: classification, stereoisomerism, monosaccharides, intramolecular cyclization, glycosidic bond, disaccharides and polysaccharides. Amino acids and proteins. Structure of proteins: primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary. Forces controlling protein structure and structure-function relationships. Lipids: fatty acids, triglycerides, phospholipids, sphingolipids, glycolipids, cholesterol, steroids. The animal metabolism: glycolysis, the Krebs cycle and the respiratory chain. Fermentation: alcoholic fermentation and lactic fermentation. This part of the course involves 5 ECTS (40 hours)
APPLIED BIOCHEMISTRY: The course will provide practical experiences on some arguments of biochemistry and molecular biology. the measurement of weight and volume by analytical balances, glassware, manual and automatic pipettes.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Traditional lessons are delivered by the use of Powerpoint presentations, which will be available for students. Laboratory activities are also provided to deepen the basic theoretical lessons of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The laboratory activity is organized in three repeated rounds under the supervision of the teacher.
Additional notes about suggested reading: The pdf files of the slides presented during the traditional lessons will be available for the students at the link: (Teaching Moodle platform).
The reference texts represent the basis for cultural needs of students, by allowing, in addition to a top-level learning, many insights.
Students will be received by appointment at the e-mail address:, every day, from 12.00 to 13.00.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Lehninger, Albert L.; Nelson, David L.; Cox, Michael M., Introduzione alla biochimica di LehningerDavid L. Nelson, Michael M. Cox. Bologna: Zanichelli, 2011.
  • Petrucci, Herring, Madura, Bissonnette, Chimica Generale. Padova: Piccin Ed, 2018. testo di approfondimento Cerca nel catalogo
  • Mc Murry, Ballantine, Hoeger, Peterson, Fondamenti di Chimica Generale e Organica. Milano: Pearson, 2019. testo di approfondimento

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Active quizzes for Concept Verification Tests and class discussions
  • Use of online videos
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)

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

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Quality Education