The course provides the knowledge of animal products and livestock breeds pinpointing to genomics methods available for their characterization and valorization
Expected learning outcomes
Students will be able to understand the concept of biological diversity of animal breeds and of their products and to evaluate how autochthonous genetic resources can represent a valuable resource for the valorization of territories, local breeds and their products.
Species and animal breeds are the result of hundreds of years of breeding activity in a wide variety of environmental conditions. The processing techniques of products of animal origin are an excellence of Italy, recognized in the world. This makes available to the consumer food labelled as "protected origin" (PDO mark). The variability of animal genetic resources is an important value for the enhancement of products of animal origin. The course will provide students with the basic tools for analyzing the genetic diversity of animal populations and relating it to the one of their products.
1. Frontal teaching a) Introduction - Dissemination of animal genetic resources. Cosmopolitan and local breeds and population b) Molecular data for the characterization of breeds and products of animal origin: structural variability of DNA (e.g. microsatellites, RFLP, SNP, genomic sequences) c) Data analysis tools publicly available for the genetic characterization of the breeds d) Similarity and divergence of species and breeds of zootechnical interest: genetic distances e) Traceability of products, identification of species, breed and individual animal.
2. Practice a) Browsing of national and European product databases. b) Calculation of genotypic and gene frequencies at SNPs molecular markers. Calculation of genetic distances c) Case studies on breeds and products of animal origin - Research information on products of animal origin and their link with breeds and territory. Visit to production farms and processors. d) Case studies (computer room): analysis of an Italian region or a European nation and its peculiarities in relation to breeds and animal products, the area where animals are raised, processing methods and product quality.
Prerequisites for admission
Lectures and practical sessions with visits to production farms and processors
Slides of the lessons together with specific articles will be made available on the ARIEL-UNIMI website of the course, during its development. R software for data analysis during practice
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam will be an oral interview based on the work developed during practice sessions by the candidate on a product of his choice.