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Curriculum Curriculum unico
Learnings UNICO
Academic Year 2018/2019
Scientific Disciplinary Sector AGR/07
Year First year
Time unit Second semester
Class hours 60
Educational activity Basic training activities

Single group

Professor Francesco SUNSERI
Objectives The aim of the course is to provide a background in all areas of classic Mendelian genetics, population and evolutionary genetics, and molecular genetics. The final goal is for the student who successfully completes this course to be conversant in all of the areas of genetics and have sufficient basic knowledge to successfully move on and master advanced topics in genetics. This will be achieved by learning how geneticists solve problems and make new discoveries. In particular, the students will acquire the principles of formal and molecular genetics to well understand the mechanisms of DNA duplication and the heritability of traits. The basis of structure and gene functions, their interactions, and the mechanisms of heritability and variability of simplex and complex genetic traits. The course will furnish to the students the genetics basis and evolution of crop plants.
Knowledge and understanding
Knowledge of the principles of formal and molecular genetics for the understanding of the mechanisms of gene duplication and traits heritability.
Applying knowledge and understanding
- Ability to apply the theoretical knowledge learned for the selection of new genotypes for many areas, with particular reference to the Mediterranean area.
Making judgment
- Be able to evaluate the different solutions and interpretation of formal genetic analyses and molecular biology.
Communication skills
- Ability to relate with specialized technical figures in the sector.
Learning skills
- Ability to document oneself in order to confront genetic problems and to identify innovative technical solutions.
Programme Plant Cell and Organism Reproduction: Students will be able to describe cellular and chromosomal events that occur during the eukaryotic cell cycle and gamete formation; describe chromosome behavior and changes in chromosome structure and number as a cell progresses through a cell cycle, meiosis I and meiosis II; explain how meiosis and random fertilization contribute to genetic variation in sexually reproducing organisms.
Nucleic Acid Structure: Students will be able to describe early studies that led to DNA as the genetic material and/or interpret results from these studies; describe the molecular structure of DNA and RNA and indicate similarities and differences.
DNA Replication: Students will be able to describe the historic experiment that demonstrated DNA replication follows a semi-conservative model; describe the process of DNA replication in prokaryotes at the biochemical level; explain how proofreading and repair is accomplished during DNA synthesis; describe how DNA is replicated in eukaryotes and identify similarities and differences between these and replication in prokaryotes.
Principles of Heredity: Students will be able to explain Mendel’s principles of inheritance and apply these to problems of inheritance; describe the different forms of inheritance patterns and identify these in genetic data; use and interpret probabilities and statistics in the gathering, predicting, and analysis of genetic data; describe different types of genetic crosses and indicate when/why they would be used by a geneticist; explain more complex models of inheritance and how sex influences the inheritance and expression of genes (e.g. sex-influenced traits, cytoplasmic inheritance, genomic imprinting); use this information in predicting genetic outcomes and the analysis of genetic data.
Mendelian Genetics and linkage analysis : Students will be able to predict the outcome of monohybrid, dihybrid, and trihybrid crosses using a Punnett Square; assess how well the results of a cross match the predicted outcomes using chi-square analysis; use a living model to demonstrate patterns of inheritance; analyze pedigrees to determine patterns of inheritance; identify patterns of inheritance that do not follow Mendelian ratios; solve problems involving incomplete dominance, codominance and sex-linkage. Further the students will be able to analyze the deviances from Mendelian ratios related to linkage; to perform crosses to analyze the linkage phenomenon in segregant populations (F2 and BC1; two and three points tests); examine data to produce a genetic map.
Mutations, chromosome variation and structure: Students will be able to define and identify the various types of mutations that occur at the DNA and protein levels and explain and recognize the relationship between mutations and new alleles; describe and recognize a variety of abnormalities in chromosome structure and number and explain how these anomalies arise and are detected; explain the molecular structure of chromosomes as it relates to storage, gene expression, and sequence function.
Quantitative Genetics and heritability: Students will be able to explain the genetic basis of quantitative traits. The significance of plus e minus alleles; define the experiments of Johansson e Nilsson-Ehle that demonstrated the effect of a polygene in the traits expression. The effect of environment in these traits. The students will be able to break up the genetic and phenotypic variability. Further the student will be able to define the main experimental designs to determine broad and narrow sense heritability. The principles of genetic gain with selection in a quantitative trait will be also acquired.
Population Genetics: Students will be able to identify the conditions necessary to maintain Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium; calculate genotype and allele frequencies using the Hardy-Weinberg equation.
Books Barcaccia G. – Falcinelli M. – Genetica e Genomica [volume 1 – Genetica Generale] – Liguori Editore

Lorenzetti F. – Ceccarelli S. – Veronesi F. – Genetica Agraria (Terza Edizione). Patron Editore

Teacher's Note and supplementary files
Traditional teaching method Yes
Distance teaching method No
Mandatory attendance No
Written examination evaluation No
Oral examination evaluation Yes
Aptitude test evaluation No
Project evaluation No
Internship evaluation No
Evaluation in itinere Yes
Practice Test No

Further information

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