Learning outcomes of the course unit
At the end of the course we expect the student to
- have acquired new instruments and insights into modern Biotechnology principles and applications;
- be able to understand experimental procedures for in vitro and in vivo experiments in biotechnology;
- identify the best experimental procedure according to the case;
- interpret in terms of plant physiology and biochemistry the main genetic improvements
- critically read and understand scientific publications
Plant and animal biology,, genetics, Biochemistry, Physiscs, Maths
Course contents summary
Modern Biotechnologies, “-omics” sciences and “System biology”, networks
Whole genome study and Comparative genomics
Genetic, Molecular and chemical databases
Model organisms for Biotechnology studies - Arabidopsis thaliana L Heynn and Saccharomyces cerevisiae
In vitro colture and sterility
Synthetic growth media and plant hormones
Epigenetic variability and somaclonal variations
Plant Calli colture
Preparation and culture of protoplasts
Haploid plants: androgenesis, ginogenesis
Ploidy: variation and phenotypic consequences, chimeric organisms
Triticaceae: T. aestivum and T. durum, evolution
Proteins of T. durum
Fruits without seeds, commercial fruits
Secondary metabolism in plants
Shikimic acid pathway
Plant alcaloids: characterisation, utilisation
Morphine: biosynthetic pathway, actions on humans
Terpenes and carotenoids, metabolic pathways and examples
Isoprenoids, examples (Gums and terpenoids and essential oils)
Phenolic compounds, examples (Lignin)
Frontal lessons will be either student-engaging within an active learning dialogue on specific topics or heuristics descriptions and explanations by the teacher on broader aspects of biotechnology.
For each topic under study many applicative examples will be provided and interactively discussed during the frontal lessons. When necessary the teacher will utilize computer aids such as programs and databases to show specific points of interest.
Power point slides used by the teacher during the lessons will be provided directly to the students weekly, when possible.
Moreover, scientific papers of relevance that are discussed during the lessons will be provided to the students ad pdf. Files
Students will be subdivided in groups in order to carry on research activities in literature and databases on important topics discussed in previous lessons.
Assessment methods and criteria
The oral examination is divided into three questions: the first is on the basics of modern biotechnologies, the second on the experimental and practical applications, the third section is an individual research produced by the student on a topic regarding the secondary metabolism of plants.