GENERAL ZOOTECHNICS AND GENETIC IMPROVEMENT
Learning outcomes of the course unit
To provide students with a grounding in genetic transmission of traits, and the requisite notions regarding: the selection of breed animals, the management of animal populations, and the characteristics of the major breeds of domesticated animals.
Applied physics – Basic mathematics for biomedical sciences – Medical and biological computer science
Histology and embryology – Zoology Histology and embryology – Zoology
Course contents summary
Zootechnical systems for the production of meat, milk and other animal-based products.
Structure of animal populations.
GENETIC IMPROVEMENT OF ANIMALS IN ZOOTECHNICAL PRODUCTION
Outline of genetic transmission of characteristics. Mendelian heredity (qualitative characteristics, Mendel’s Laws, gene interaction and deviation from expected Mendelian relationships, sex determination and sex-related heredity, lethal genes, multiple allelism). Principles of population genetics (concept of gene and genotype frequency, Hardy-Weinberg Law). Brief references to statistical concepts (probability, variance, covariance, correlation and regression). Quantitative traits (variability, composition of phenotype 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). Functional controls of animal productions. Relationships. Methods of estimating the genetic value of breed animals (performance test, Sib test, progeny test, BLUP-animal model). Direct and indirect selection, genetic progress, selection using multiple characteristics Reproduction methods: blood relationship and crossbreeding. Application of genetic improvement to the main zootechnical productions (bovine: milk and meat; swine: meat).
ZOOTECHNICAL ETHNOGRAPHY AND ETHNOLOGY
General traits, origin, evolution, diffusion and classification of the main breeds:
- breeds of dairy and beef cattle, dual purpose breeds (beef and dairy or vice versa);
- ovine breeds raised in Italy classified by main purpose;
- foreign ovine breeds of major interest for Italian breeding farms;
- goat breeds;
- pig breeds;
- horse breeds;
- classification of canine breeds.
PIERCE B.A.: Genetica, Zanichelli Ed., Bologna 2005.
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.
In addition: lecture slides and ethnology profiles are available on the faculty’s website (for enrolled students).