GENERAL ZOOTECHNICS AND GENETIC IMPROVEMENT
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course aims to enable the student to know and understand the basics of the genetic transmission of traits and genetic improvement, in order to acquire items for the selection of breeding stock (1st Dublin indicator). The student must then be put in a position to apply the knowledge through problem solving (2nd Dublin indicator). The student must come to demonstrate their independence of judgment (3rd Dublin indicator) in the application of knowledge to the genetic improvement of animal populations, making choices for the correct management of animal populations. Participation in the courses should provide students with a good command of the language (4th Dublin indicator). In general, the course has the objective of increasing the student's ability to learn, through discussion of the practical applications of genetic improvement in the main breeds (5th Dublin indicator).
Having attended the course "Fisica applic.,matem.di base applic.scienze biomed.,informat.med.e biologica" and passed the the exam
Course contents summary
The first part of the course covers the topics of discussion of basic genetics (DNA, RNA, genes, chromosomes, Mendel's laws, exceptions to Mendel's laws, sex-linked inheritance, multiple allelism, lethal genes).
The second part concerns the genetic improvement (infinitesimal genetic model, heritability, phases of a breeding program, evaluation of a program of genetic improvement, inbreeding and crossing).
The third part concerns the study of ethnology (breeds of the major livestock species).
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.
The course is based on lectures, during which, alongside the theoretical part, basic genetic problems will be proposed and how to solve them. The discussion during the lectures will provide students with the ability to independently meet other types of problems that may present in future activities.
Assessment methods and criteria
There are no ongoing testing activities. The achievement of the objectives will be assessed through an oral examination at the end of the course. At this moment, in addition to the knowledge of the topics included in the program (1st and 2nd Dublin indicator), the student must demonstrate, through the development and solution of specific problems, to have acquired good reasoning skills and exposure (3rd , 4th and 5th Dublin indicator).