GENERAL ZOOTECHNICS AND GENETIC IMPROVEMENT
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Provide students with the basics of genetic transmission of traits. Provide students with the elements for the selection of breeding stock. Provide students with the concepts for the management of animal populations. Provide students with the knowledge about the characteristics of the main breeds of domestic animals.
Having attended the course "Fisica applic.,matem.di base applic.scienze biomed.,informat.med.e biologica" and passed the the exam
Course contents summary
Base genetics. Genetic improvement. Etnology
General zootechics: livestock systems for the production of meat, milk and other animal products.
Structure of animal populations.
Outline of genetic transmission of characters. The Mendelian inheritance (qualitative traits, Mendel's laws, gene interactions and deviations from expected Mendelian relationships, sex determination and sex-linked inheritance, lethal genes, multiple allelism). Principles of population genetics (concept of gene frequency, the Hardy-Weinberg law). Brief mentions on some statistical concepts (probability, variance, covariance, correlation and regression).
Quantitative traits (variability of traits, composition of phenotypic variability, environmental variability, additive and non-additive effect of genes, heritability, repeatability). Genetic improvement of animals in zootechnical production. Organisation of selection in Italy (genealogical books, registers). Animal productions recording. Relativeness. Methods of estimating the genetic merit of breeding animals (performance test, Sib test, progeny test, BLUP-animal model, genomic selection). Direct and indirect selection, genetic progress, selection for multiple traits. Reproduction methods: inbreeding and crossbreeding. Application of genetic improvement to the main zootechnical productions (bovine: milk and meat; swine: meat).
ZOOTECHNICAL ETHNOGRAPHY AND ETHNOLOGY
General characters, origin, evolution, diffusion, classification and selection objectives of the main breeds:
bovine breeds for milk, meat, dual purpose and local breeds in Italy;
ovine breeds bred in Italy depending on their aptitude; foreign ovine breeds of major interest for Italian breeding farms;
BITTANTE G., ANDRIGHETTO L., RAMANZIN M.: Fondamenti di Zootecnica. Liviana Ed., Padova, 1990
CALAMARI L., FAVERZANI S.: Atlante delle razze bovine (CD ROM)
PAGNACCO G.: Genetica applicata alle produzioni animali. Città Studi Ed., Milano, 1997. PIERCE B.A.: Genetica, Zanichelli Ed., 2003.
Assessment methods and criteria
The achievement of the objectives will be assessed through an oral examination. On this occasion, in addition to knowledge of the topics in the program, the student must demonstrate, through the development and the solution of specific problems, to have acquired good reasoning skills and exposure.