First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine
Course unit
AVP9086179, A.A. 2019/20

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

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
IF0362, Degree course structure A.Y. 2017/18, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 8.0
Type of assessment Mark
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Comparative Biomedicine and Food Science
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 MARIA ELENA MARTINO BIO/13
Other lecturers LUCA BARGELLONI BIO/13

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines AGR/17 General Techniques for Zoology and Genetic Improvement 4.0
Core courses BIO/13 Applied Biology 4.0

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

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 8.0 64 136.0 No turn

Start of activities 30/09/2019
End of activities 18/01/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2017 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
1 Commissione a.a. 2019/20 01/12/2019 30/11/2020 MARTINO MARIA ELENA (Presidente)
BARGELLONI LUCA (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: Students attending this course have to own the basic knowledge of plant biology, mathematics, and biochemistry.
Target skills and knowledge: Aim of the course is to provide students with knowledge of formal, quantitative and population genetics to understand the inheritance of traits and analyse biological processes as polymorphism, evolution of plant populations and their adaptive responses. Students also acquire principles to analyse the genetic variability and the genetic structure of plant populations. They learn the molecular mechanisms regulating the main biological processes underlying the maintenance of the genetic information and of its expression and acquire theoretical/practical knowledge of the basic biomolecular techniques useful to address practical issues of genetic engineering and biotechnology.
Examination methods: At the end of the “Principles of genetics” course the learning is verified by a final written test including several multi-choice questions, exercises on formal and population genetics, and some short and open-ended questions. In subsequent sessions, the exam will be oral; the oral exam, which is expected to last about 45 minutes, includes solving of some exercises and three or four questions concerning formal, quantitative and population genetics.
The examination of "Principles of molecular biology" is oral. During the examination, lasting about one hour, questions regarding the basic concepts of the discipline will be asked and the students' ability to use the basic biomolecular techniques for applications related to genetic engineering and biotechnology will be tested.
Assessment criteria: Student's knowledge is assessed on the basis of the understanding of the topics and concepts proposed, of the capability of their critically linking and clearly presenting.
Course unit contents: PRINCIPLES OF GENETICS:
1st credit. Sexual reproduction and importance of mating system for genetic variability and plant evolution. Principles of Mendelian genetics. Multiple alleles and genetic polymorphism. Cytoplasmic heredity. Principles of statistics applied to genetic analysis.
2nd credit. Chromosomes, recombination and linkage. Genetic mapping. Two- and three-point testcross.
3rd credit. Polygenic traits. Genetic and environmental variation. Heritability. Response to selection. Genotype x environment interaction.
4th credit. Population genetics and genetic structure of self- and cross-pollinated polulations. Allele frequencies and genotype frequencies. Random mating and the Hardy-Weinberg principle. The forces of evolution. Fitness and natural selection.

1st CFU: Biological macromolecules (DNA, RNA). Structure and replication of DNA. Transcription of prokaryotes and eukaryotes: RNA polymerases, promoters, transcription factors, transcription initiation, elongation and termination, maturation of the primary eukaryotic transcript.
2nd CFU: Translation: the genetic code, t-RNA, ribosomes, translation initiation, elongation and termination, aminoacyl t-RNA synthetase and peptidyl transferase.
3rd CFU: Control of gene expression in prokaryotes (sigma factors, operons and regulatory proteins, repressors, inducers) and eukaryotes (transcription factors, regulatory proteins, role of chromatin structure, DNA methylation). RNA as regulator: antisense RNA, interfering RNA.
4th CFU: Purification of DNA/RNA. Basic analytical techniques: gel electrophoresis, Southern-, Northern- and Western-blotting. PCR and RT-PCR. Recombinant DNA: cloning of DNA sequences, restriction and modification enzymes, vectors, bacterial transformation.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course includes frontal lectures and practical exercises concerning the mendelian inheritance of traits, the construction of simple genetic maps, the estimate of gene and genotype frequencies of populations, the analysis of nucleotide sequences, primers design and cloning. The students have the opportunity to experience the method of genetic investigation and to apply statistical test for hypothesis verification. Before dealing with new topics, the main concepts previously learned will be reviewed with questions to students and practical exercises. Class attendance is therefore recommended.
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 slides that can be made available on the link.
The professor meets students at the end of lessons or by appointment in the teacher’s office.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Barcaccia G., Falcinelli M., Genetica e Genomica, vol. I, II. --: Liguori Editore, 2008. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Lorenzetti F. Ceccarelli S., Rosellini D., Veronesi F., Genetica Agraria. Bologna: Patron Editore, 2011. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Hartl D., Jones E., Genetica, Analisi di geni e genomi. --: Edises, 2010. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Lewin B., Krebs J.E., Goldstein E.S., Kilpatrick S.T., Il Gene X. Bologna: Zanichelli Editore, 2012. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Alberts B., Johnson A., Lewis J., Raff M., Roberts K., Walter P., Biologia. Bologna: Zanichelli Editore, 2009. Cerca nel catalogo