Learning outcomes of the course unit
The objectives of this course are aimed at providing the basics of Mendelian and molecular genetics necessary for understanding the mechanisms of transmission of hereditary characteristics and variability of traits in plant and animal species of agricultural interest.
Specific topics will regard the applications of genomic analysis and of genetic improvement for sustainable agriculture and the applications of biotechnology for the improvement of the quality of industrial products and the nutritional value of food.
Course contents summary
The course is based on frontal lectures devoted to Mendelian genetics, quantitative genetics, and genetics of populations.Genetic studies in species of agricultural interest will illustrate how to use molecular approaches to accelerate genetic improvement processes for quality-related and productivity-related characters.Through the discussion of case studies will be provided examples of the main methods of genetic improvement both with classical methods and through "Marker-assisted selection" and "association mapping".The use of transgenic and cisgenic approaches for genetic improvement and the use of biotechnological approaches to the production of molecules of industrial interest will be illustrated through case studies.
Agricultural genetics, breeding, and biotechnology for sustainable agriculture in a changing world.Elements of Classical Genetics, Quantitative Genetics and Population Genetics.Genetic recombination in plants, genetic maps, physical maps and integrated maps. Reproductive systems of cultivated plants. Genetic variability: how to find and exploit new alleles / genes.Genetic structure of populations. Heritability. Selection methods: selection theory, response to selection, selection methods and criteria. Heterosis and constitution of hybrid varieties. Mutagenesis and polyploidy.Genomics: an overview. Molecular markers and their use: mapping, genotyping, identification of QTL (Quantitative Trait Loci) and marker assisted selection (MAS). Positional cloning and gene tagging. TILLING and ECOTILLING.Genetic and molecular technologies supporting breeding. Genetic transformation and production of genetically modified organisms: tolerance to biotic and abiotic stress, improving the quality of agricultural production and the nutritional value of food. Molecular farming. Biofuels production.
Barcaccia, Falcinelli - Genetica e genomica: Miglioramento 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.
Russell, Wolfe, Hertz, Starr, McMillan - Genetica Agraria – Edises
The slides utilized during lectures will be available on Elly platform. The access is restricted to registered students. Other bibliographic materials will be provided on the same platform.
The course will be conducted through frontal lessons on the specific topics of the program, with the help of slides. The projected teaching material will be available on the Elly platform. However, it is highly recommended to use a text for individual study.
Assessment methods and criteria
The exam is performed as an oral examination. Specific questions will be useful to assess the knowledge of the main topics. This part will constitute the 80% of the final score. Specific cases, among those treated during the lectures, will be discussed in order to evaluate the ability to transfer theoric knowledge to real situations. This part will constitute the 20% of the final score.