Learning outcomes of the course unit
The aim is to give to students the knowledge and tools to evaluate and use for selection the natural and induced genetic variability. Additionally, the students will acquire competences in genome analyses and in genetic and molecular technologies for the improvement of agricultural species; this will include the ability to select and run the most suitable procedures for developing new varieties by matching conventional breeding methods with biotechnological skills.
Course contents summary
Perspectives and importance of genetic improvement of agricultural species. An overview of the basic principles of inheritance and of Quantitative and Population Genetics. Plant reproductive systems and their control. Self-incompatibility and male-sterility. Genetic variation in natural and breeding populations. Basic genetic structure and methods for improving self-pollinated and cross-pollinated species. Inbreeding depression and heterosis. Genetic bases of selection. Selection for monogenic and quantitative trait loci (QTLs). Concept of heritability. Response to selection. Mutagenesis and polyploidy. Molecular breeding. Molecular markers based on DNA restriction and hybridization techniques and on PCR amplification. Genetic fingerprinting. QTL analysis and mapping. Association mapping and linkage disequilibrium. Marker-assisted selection (MAS). Genomics: an overview. Map position-based cloning of genes. Gene tagging. TILLING and ECOTILLING. Genetic and molecular biotechnologies supporting plant and animal breeding. Principles and techniques of plant cell and in vitro tissue cultures. Genetic engineering and recombinant DNA technologies. Transgenic varieties for the improvement of biotic and abiotic stresses and for increasing quality related traits. Molecular farming.
Barcaccia, Falcinelli - Genetica e genomica: Miglioramneto Genetico, volume II - Liguori Editore .
Barcaccia G., Falcinelli M. Genetica e genomica:, Vol. III – Genomica e Biotecnologie genetiche, vol. III - . Liguori Editore.
Kang M.S., Quantitative Genetics, Genomics and Plant Breeding. CABI Publ.,
Chrispeels M.J., D.E. Sadawa Genetica, Biotecnologie e Agricoltura sostenibile. Casa Editrice Idelson- Gnocchi srl.
Snustad, D.P., M.J. Simmons, Principi di Genetica, Edizione Edises./D.P.Snustad. M.J. Simmons, Principle of Genetics, 6th Edition. J. Wiley & Son, Inc., 2011.
Other indications will be provided by the lecturer
Frontal lectures in the classroom 38 hours.
Exercises and seminars 4 hours.
Total hours 42.
Assessment methods and criteria
The exam is performed as a written test with quiz, open questions, exercises. Tests are also performed during the course period.
The test verifies the knowledge acquired by the student and the capacity to apply them to the exercises.