The purpose of this course is to provide students with an overview of the state of the art in the field of advanced genetic improvement, with particular reference to molecular and genomic methods.
Expected learning outcomes
Mapping of genomes and marker-assisted improvement. Molecular fingerprinting techniques. Bioinformatics and analysis techniques for access to information held in the main database of genomic interest with applications to plants. Practical experience of some laboratory methods.
Lesson period: Second semester
(In case of multiple editions, please check the period, as it may vary)
The course provides in-depth elements of plant breeding, referring to the use of techniques of biometrics, molecular biology, genomics, functional genomics and genetic engineering. The first part of the course provides a review of the concepts of Mendelian genetics aimed to understand the application of molecular markers in mapping studies of genomes and identification and cloning of the chromosomal regions responsible for simple and quantitative characters (QTL). The concept of marker-assisted selection (MAS) is developed accordingly. In parallel the theme of molecular markers is addressed with their applications to both mapping and fingerprinting of genomes. The second part will deal with the theme of sequencing and analysis of genomes, starting from traditional technologies up to the next-generation ones. The third part of the course is devoted to the study of gene expression, starting with the simplest cases up to large-scale applications, which are addressed by the most recent technologies and microarray chip (like Affymetrix , Illumina, RNA-seq etc.). Bioinformatics methods of data analysis and access to major genetics databases with simulations in the classroom are also addressed. The fourth part of the course will outline the production and use of transgenic plants for applications aimed at the improvement of agronomic and technological traits. Important and integral elements of the course consist of exercises in the classroom and in the laboratory that allow the student to practice some advanced operational concepts for the better understanding of the concepts exposed in the lectures.
Prerequisites for admission
The student should already have knowledge of genetics, basic genetic breeding, biochemistry, molecular biology together with notions of statistics.
The reference textbook of the course is: GENETICA E GENOMICA Volume III - Gianni Barcaccia andMario Falcinelli (Edited in Italian by Liguori Editore).During the course a set of extra learning sources will be suggested including reference books, research articles, multimedia and thePDF files containing the slides shown in the classroom andobject of classroom and lab activities updated every yearthat can be downloaded from the teacher personal page:http://sites.unimi.it/geuna/genetica/genetica.html
The reference textbook of the course is: GENETICA E GENOMICA Volume III - Gianni Barcaccia andMario Falcinelli (Edited in Italian by Liguori Editore).During the course a set of extra learning sources will be suggested including reference books, research articles, multimedia and thePDF files containing the slides shown in the classroom andobject of classroom and lab activities updated every year that can be downloaded from the course page on the Ariel platform or the teacher personal page: http://sites.unimi.it/geuna/genetica/genetica.html
Assessement methods and criteria
The exam is divided into a compulsory written test which may include the solution of application-type exercises, similar to those faced in classroom exercises and the discussion of concepts covered in the course.