Objective of the course is to provide students with knowledge of multidisciplinary approaches to design and breed new crop ideotypes to improve quantity, quality, efficiency and sustainability of agricultural production for different end-uses. Integrating genetics, genomics and modeling, the course is centered on ideotype breeding with special focus on cereals and other cultivated plants as case studies.
Risultati apprendimento attesi
Knowledge of the principles of ideotype breeding. Understanding of genetic and molecular mechanisms controlling plant architecture and development and how their manipulation can be applied to crop breeding. Connecting understanding of plant gene function and genetic diversity to traits and field performance. Use of biophysical models to design ideotypes targeting current climate and future projections.
Ideotype concept. General principles of plant growth and development. Genetic control of plant height - Green Revolution genes. Developmental plasticity and plant height submergence tolerance in rice. Genetic control of plant architecture - shoot branching and tillering. Genetic and environmental control of flowering in cereals. Genetics of inflorescence architecture and grain yield. Genetic basis of plant organ size. Phenotyping and genetic mapping of morphological traits in barley. Biophysical models to analyze G × E × M interaction. Defining ideotype profiles using biophysical models. Climate change scenarios for mid-term ideotyping strategies.
Students are expected to have a good knowledge of: plant cell biology, morphology and reproduction; genetics, crop physiology and statistics. Basic knowledge of molecular biology and associated techniques including PCR, molecular markers is also desirable.
The course is held entirely in English and consists of a series of lectures and is completed by practical sessions where students will get hands-on experience with handling of phenotypic data from a barley crossing population, analysis and interpretation of trait segregation and formulation of hereditary models, use of appropriate software packages for construction of a molecular linkage map and mapping of genetic loci underpinning both Mendelian and quantitative traits.
Modalità di verifica dell’apprendimento e criteri di valutazione
The exam involves (1) an in depth presentation of an original research paper regarding a topic connected to the course contents and previously defined with the lecturer, (2) an oral exam with two questions on the course contents, one on the genetics/breeding part and one on the modeling part. Regarding (1), interested students can collaborate on the organization of a workshop on a common central topic, in which each student will give a presentation on an original research article (journal club format) and answer questions from the audience including other students, teachers, PhD students and post-docs. Students with SLD certifications are kindly requested to check information at the following web page https://www.unimi.it/en/study/student-services/services-students-specific-learning-disabilities-sld