Plant genomics and breeding

A.Y. 2019/2020
Lesson for
12
Max ECTS
112
Overall hours
SSD
AGR/07
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The course will offer the students the main knowledge of genome structure, organization and evolution in model systems and in crops. The course will also provide a detailed description of the main mechanisms of regulation of gene expression and analyze principles and methodologies for forward and reverse genetic analysis. Furthermore the course will offer to the students the Essential of genetics improvement in plant breeding.
At the end of the course the students will have to know the different components and their distribution and organization within the plant genome. They will have acquired a good comprehension of the characteristics of the repetitive DNA sequences and their role in the evolution of single genes and genomes. They will also have acquired the notions regarding the different levels of regulation of gene expression and learned the principles of the use of phenotypic and molecular markers in the construction of genetic maps and in the study of genetic diversity. They will be able to identify the main characters, along with their molecular basis, of the processes of domestication and crop improvement. They will also have acquired some useful tools for the identification of genes and the study of gene function and expression in plants.

Course structure and Syllabus

Active edition
Yes
Responsible
Genetica e genomica vegetale
AGR/07 - AGRICULTURAL GENETICS - University credits: 7
Single bench laboratory practical: 16 hours
Lessons: 48 hours
Professor: Consonni Gabriella
Miglioramento genetico avanzato
AGR/07 - AGRICULTURAL GENETICS - University credits: 5
Laboratories: 16 hours
Lessons: 32 hours
Genetica e genomica vegetale
Syllabus
Genome architecture. Different components of the eukaryotic genome: single DNA sequences, single genes and gene families, repetitive DNA sequences, tandem and intersperse repeats. Genetic maps: visible phenotypic markers, DNA molecular markers and linkage analysis. Transposable elements (TE): class I and II elements, molecular and functional features; main TE families in maize, from their discovery to the study of their role in genome and gene evolution. Comparative analysis of plant genome structure and size, colinearity of genomes in cereal species. Orthologous and paralogous genes, evolution of gene families.
Gene expression. Different levels of regulation of gene expression. Regulation of transcription: cis-regulatory sequences and transcription factors; epigenetic changes, DNA methylation and histone modifications. Role of environmental (light, temperature) and internal (developmental stage, hormones) signals on gene expression. Variants of transcription factors and their role in the domestication process, examples in rice, maize and tomato. Regulation of gene expression and plant development: seed origin and domain differentiation.
Functional genomics. Forward genetics: mutagenesis, detection and characterization of knockout mutants. Genetic dissection of biosynthetic pathways and developmental processes. TE mutagenesis: co-segregation analysis and gene sequence isolation. Reverse genetics: organization of mutant collections, survey for single mutant detection, insertion libraries assembly. Single gene variants in crop improvement: genes of the green revolution.
Miglioramento genetico avanzato
Syllabus
Basics in classical genetics, population and quantitative genetics.
Basics in plant reproduction from a genetic stand point.
Breeding in the major crops types: natural populations, ecotypes, synthetics. Methodologies to produce clones, cultivars, inbred and hybrid lines.
Origin and evolution of crops, and their genetic diversity.
Basics in breeding of allogamous and autogamous species. Inheritance and selection of characters. Breeding for heterosis and hybrid seed.
Generation of genetic variability through mutagenesis and its application to breeding.
Molecular markers and their use in advanced breeding. Basics in molecular quantitative genetics. Production of association maps. Basics in association mapping and use of linkage disequilibrium.
Molecular genetics and principles of genomics (including candidate gene approach and strategies to identify and isolate genes relevant for agronomic traits).
Genetically modified crops (herbicide tolerance, virus resistance, insect resistance). Basics in New Breeding Technologies approaches.
Lesson period
First semester
Lesson period
First semester