Learning outcomes of the course unit
The purpose of this course is to provide some information, relevant to plant genetics, that have not been dealt with by elementary genetics courses.
1 - The process by which plant species have been domesticated and its implication for the evolution of plants and humans and for future modification of agricultural species; the possible role of new technologies (biotechnology) in resolving environmental problems involving agriculture and biodiversity; understanding the science base of our food, land, people and environmental systems and their interface with the social, economic, and political systems.
2 - Extrachromosomal genetic systems of plants (chloroplasts and mitochondria) will be analysed and their contribution to evolution in terms of plasticity and horizontal gene transmission discussed.
3 - the common denominators in the developmental proces of organisms will be emphasized. In this course will be dealt with the development of flower on the molecular and genetic level.
Course contents summary
Plants and Humans - Agriculture and development. Production and sustainability. Crop improvement: breeding, selection and loss of genetic diversity.
Plant Biotechnology - Historical survey. In vitro cell, organ and tissue cultures. Selection of mutants; somaclonal variation: Plant transformation: methods, advantages and risks; examples and perspectives.
Extra-nuclear genetic systems -The chloroplast: structure and function; chloroplast DNA, gene organisation and regulation of their expression. Origin and endosymbiotic evolution. The mitochondria of plants: structure and function. Mitochondrial DNA, gene organisation and regulation of their expression. Origin and endosymbiotic evolution. Interactions among the three genetic systems (nucleus ,chloroplast, mitochondria).
Genetic regulation of plant development, an example - Plant reproduction and flower development: control of meristems identity, the ABC model, homeotic genes and MADS box genes.
Biochimica e Biologia Molecolare delle Piante Zanichelli B.B. Buchanan et al
Biologia Vegetale applicata Piccin M.J. Chrispeels et al
DNA Ricombinante Zanichelli J.D.Watson et al
Biotecnologia Molecolare Zanichelli B.R. Glick et al