Developmental biology

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
BIO/01 BIO/06
Learning objectives
The course will cover aspects of genetics, cell biology and imaging related to our current understanding of how model animal important for fundamental research develop.
Expected learning outcomes
Students will acquire notions related to developmental biology and gain an understanding of the genetic basis of the development of tissues and organs during embryogenesis
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
The lectures will be given on ZOOm or Microsoft TEAMS platform. The lectures will be recordered and available on Ariel.
On Ariel will be available all the material needed to prepare the examination.
Course syllabus
Animal developmental biology:
- From fertilized egg to the individual: developmental genetic and epigenetic program.
- Tissue differentiation and stem cells.
- Animal models used in developmental biology.
- Fertilization.
- Developmental phases: segmentation, gastrulation, organogenesis, morphogenesis.
- Body axis formation: antero-posterior and dorso-ventral development.
- Induction: insights on embryonic cell-cell communication.
- Vertebrate limb development.
- Experimental embryology: normal and abnormal development.
Plant developmental biology:
- Differences and similarities between plant and animal development
- Plant model systems
- Developmental drivers: asymmetric cell division, morphogenic gradients and transcriptional regulation
- Embryo development
- Development and maintenance of the shoot apical meristem
- Development of the root apical meristem
- Positioning of lateral organs on the main stem and acquisition of leaf identity and polarity
- Floral transition in response to seasonal cues (cold and photoperiod)
- Flower development
Prerequisites for admission
A basic knowledge of plant and animal biology is suggested as well as genetics.
Teaching methods
All the subjects will be presented by power point and will be discussed in the classroom with the students. One or two researchers working in the field of developmental biology will be invited to present their research.
Teaching Resources
Slides and videos used during the lessons will be available in Ariel.
Suggested text books. S.F. Gilbert, Biologia dello sviluppo. Zanichelli; J. M. W. Slack, Fondamenti di Biologia dello sviluppo, Zanichelli; Le Moigne-Foucrier, M.M. Altamura, S. Biondi, L. Colombo, F. Guzzo. Elementi di Biologia dello sviluppo delle piante Ed. Edises.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Written exam with open questions related to both Animal and Plant Developmental Biology. The questions will be on the subject presented and discussed in the frame of the course. Both sections need to be completed.
BIO/01 - GENERAL BOTANY - University credits: 0
Lessons: 48 hours