Chemestry and principles of biology

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
AGR/17 BIO/05 CHIM/03 CHIM/06
Learning objectives
The Chemistry course (5 CFU) is aimed to provide the knowledge of general, inorganic, and organic chemistry suitable to learn the topics of later courses at the molecular level. Besides basic concepts about qualitative and quantitative composition of inorganic and organic compounds (including biological macromolecules), the course deals with fundamental aspects of stoichiometry, chemical equilibrium, thermodynamics, stereochemistry, and structure-reactivity relationship, which are essential to understand any biological process. Each topic is presented in theoretical lectures followed by exercise classes, which emphasize the importance of a quantitative approach in the practical application of any theoretical model.
The principles of biology aims to provide the student with the notions of basic principles of cell biology through the dissertation of cellular components at a structural, compositional and functional level and with basic knowledge of animal genetics, preparatory to the course of genetic improvement of livestock. The unit will also provides some elements of molecular genetics for understanding some tools that DNA techniques offer to animal selection and production.
Finally, notions of the conceptual bases of ecology as well as the principles of agroecology, which are preparatory to understanding the issues related to the functioning of ecosystems will be outlined.
Expected learning outcomes
Goals to achieve:

1. Knowledge and understanding The course is aimed at providing information about a) inorganic and organic nomenclature; b) the structure and the function of the most relevant substances in biological systems, including macromolecules; c) the behaviour of solutes in aqueous solutions; d) the stereochemistry of asymmetric organic compounds.
2. Ability to apply knowledge and understanding The students are expected to develop proper skill in a) the use of chemical formulas to represent the structure of inorganic and organic compounds of biological relevance (including macromolecules) and to deduce their function; b) perform stoichiometric calculations; c) predict the pH value from the composition of aqueous solutions; d) establish stereochemistry of asymmetric organic compounds; e) recognise functional groups in organic compounds.
3. Autonomy of judgment All the information given in theoretical lectures and exercise classes is presented to emphasizing the relevance of the quantitative-based experimental methodology needed to support any theoretical model. In addition, advice is provided to critically evaluate information from online sources.


· Knowledge of the morphology and function of the main components of eukaryotic cells and of the basic principles of the methods of interaction between cells in the context of multicellular organisms;

· Knowledge of the theoretical and practical notions of cell division processes (mitosis and meiosis) which ensure growth, reproduction and development of living organisms.

· During the observation of histological preparations, the student will be able to describe the structure and function of the main cellular components in a tissue context; they will be able to recognize diploid and haploid cells in the context of male and female gonads

· Knowledge of the principles of ecology and agroecology relating to the functioning of ecosystems, the mechanisms that regulate the coexistence of species, the factors that influence the numerical and spatial dynamics of populations, with hints on the conservation of biodiversity.


· To be able to calculate the genotype and phenotype distributions of the offspring whose parents' genotypes and phenotypes for one or more monogenic characters are given (and vice versa)

· To be able to formulate a genetic hypothesis on the transmission of a character and calculate the probability starting from the phenotype distribution of one or two traits caused by one or two genes in a population, and vice-versa.

· To be able to calculate the probability of the genotypes and/or phenotypes of the subjects included in a family tree segregating a monogenic trait

· Knowledge of the tissues, methods of collection and storage for genetic and genomic analyzes in different species

· To have an understanding of the abbreviations that identify genetic mutations, and variants.

· To be able to "read" a gel electrophoretic pattern (Molecular weight marker, vertebrate whole genomic DNA, PCR product, restriction pattern, indels-analysis, pattern of fragments)

· To be able to "read" a genetic markers' profile and make a diagnosis of kinship

· To be able to "read" nucleotide sequence alignments and detect SNVs or indels
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for a.y. 2021-22 will be provided over the coming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation.
Prerequisites for admission
No prerequisites are required.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Module 1
The exam consists of a written test aimed at ascertaining the acquisition of fundamental concepts, also based on the resolution of problems that require numerical calculations. The didactic material available on the Ariel platform allows the resolution of questions aimed at verifying the knowledge of the course topics.
The exam is a written test
The test includes open or multiple choice questions for the unit of biology and agroecology, and open questions and/or exercises for the unit of genetics, in all cases questions are only about the topics of the program.
The exam must be taken and passed jointly for all the units of the module.

The score will be out of thirty.
Course syllabus
Lectures (4 CFU)
Atomic structure. Periodic table. Periodical properties. Chemical bonds. Molecular Geometry (2 h)
Stoichiometry (3 h)
Acids and bases (5 h)
Thermodynamics (2 h)
Electrochemistry (2 h)
Osmosis (1 h)
Hydrocarbons (2 h)
Stereochemistry ( 3 h)
Main functional groups (3 h)
Main reaction mechanisms ( 2 h)
Proteins (2 h)
Carbohydrates (2 h)
Lipids (2 h)
Nucleotides (1 h)

Practice (1 CFU)
Inorganic nomenclature (2 h)
pH calculations (4 h)
Calculation examples on thermodynamics, electrochemistry, and osmosis (2 h)
Organic nomenclature (2 h)
Examples of reaction mechanisms(2 h)
Structures of peptides, mono- e disaccharides, lipids (4 h)
Teaching methods
Lectures in the classroom and exercises in the classroom, with simulations of exam exercises.
Teaching Resources
The teaching material is available on the Ariel platform
Genetics, general biology and agro-ecology
Course syllabus
- The organization of living matter: viruses; prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells (2 hours)
- The nucleus of the eukaryotic cell (2 hours)
- The cytoplasmic membranous organelles: biological membranes and cellular compartmentalization (structure-function of the plasma membrane; endoplasmic reticulum; Golgi; vesicular transport; lysosomes; mitochondria) (8 hours)
- The cytoskeleton and related specializations (cilia and flagella) (2 hours)
- Cellular communication (2 hours)
- The study of cell biology through the microscope: recognition of the structure of cellular components in the tissue context (2 hours of practice)
- The cell cycle: cell division, mitosis, and meiosis. Oogenesis and spermatogenesis in mammals of agricultural interest (6 hours of practice)

- Basic Principle of population, ecosystem community (2 hours of seminars)
- The biodiversity of the communities (3 hours of seminars)
- Energy flow and cycles of matter in ecosystems (3 hours of seminars)


- Concepts of euploidia, cell cycle, mitosis, meiosis and cell differentiation. Architecture of genomic and mitochondrial DNA (gene and genome structure), transcription, translation, RNA interfering, the genetic code (2 hours, lectures)

- Karyotype, speciation and genetic variability, homology, chromosomal theory of character transmission. Concepts of locus, gene, gene mutation, allele, SNP and genetic polymorphism, genotype, phenotype, homozygosity, and heterozygosity. (4 hours, lectures)

- Mendelian genetics, exceptions to Mendelian genetics (codominance, intermediate dominance, gender affected and limited characters, X-linked characters, lethal genes (4 hours, lectures)

- Concepts of interaction, epistasis, pleiotropy, expressivity, penetrance, prevalence, heterosis, and a brief overview of epigenetic (genomic imprinting, methylation, acetylation, gene silencing). (4 hours, lectures)

- Quantitative traits and heritability (definition, range, examples). Genotype and allele frequency. Private allele. Concepts of linkage, linkage disequilibrium, and haplotype (2hours, lectures)

- Molecular markers (microsatellites, SNPs) and their application for parentage control, association studies, biodiversity, and genomic selection. (4 hours, lectures)

- Class exercises on lecture topics (10 hours, practicals).

- Practical demonstrations or videos: animal total DNA extraction, PCR, and agarose gel electrophoresis. Fragment analysis and Sanger nucleotide sequencing reading (6 hours, practicals)
Teaching methods
Lectures and classroom seminars and practical activities in the laboratory and microscopy classroom

Lectures supported by Powerpoint presentations.
Classroom practical activities, with simulations of exam exercises under the guidance of the teacher. Group practicals in the didactic Molecular Biology Lab.
Teaching Resources
Text Books:
- Solomon, Martin, Martin, Berg. Elements of EdiSES Biology
- Solomon, Martin, Martin, Berg. EdiSES Ecology

The material used in class will be made available through the Ariel University platform, indicating the page of the site concerning the teaching.

Further information on recommended texts for in-depth studies will be provided during the bear and made available through the University platform, Ariel

G.Pagnacco: Genetica animale. Applicazioni zootecniche e veterinarie. III ed., CEA

All the material used in class and any additional supplementary material will be available through the University Ariel platform.
CHIM/06 - ORGANIC CHEMISTRY - University credits: 0
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 32 hours
Professor: Santagostini Laura
Genetics, general biology and agro-ecology
BIO/05 - ZOOLOGY - University credits: 0
Practicals: 32 hours
Lessons: 32 hours
1 turno per tutti gli studenti
Professor: Longeri Maria Lina
2 turno per tutti gli studenti
Professor: Lodde Valentina
By appointment (email or phone)
Department of Health, Animal Science and Food Safety (Anatomy building)
By appointment sending an e-mail
Dip. Chimica - Corpo A, Floor -1, Room S022 (B08)