Master's degree in Agri-Food Biotechnology

Master's degree in Agri-Food Biotechnology

Plant Molecular Genetics (2019/2020)

Course code
4S00187
Credits
6
Academic sector
AGR/07 - AGRICULTURAL GENETICS
Language of instruction
Italian

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Teaching is organised as follows:
Activity Credits Period Academic staff
Genetica molecolare teoria 2 II semestre Antonella Furini
Miglioramento genetico teoria 3 II semestre Diana Bellin
Genetica molecolare laboratorio 1 II semestre Antonella Furini

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Learning outcomes

This course will provide to students knowledge of the main genetic and molecular strategies for crop breeding. This strategies are either assisted by molecular markers and genomics, or relies on gene expression analysis or on the production and application of transgenic plants. This course will also provide means for studying plant genetic variability, and will describe methodologies currently used for the identification of genes and new sources of variability, to be applied in plant breeding. Most modern plant biotechnologies and new breeding technologies as well as their possible applications to increase food-crop productivity and quality will also be presented.

Syllabus

INTRODUCTION TO MOLECULAR GENETICS.
Molecular genetics for increasing crop yield;
Green revolution, Harvest Index;
GAI and the green revolution genes;
Plant architecture and yield;
Perennialism.

PLANT GENOME
Evolution of plant genomes;
Transposable elements and their role on gene expression;
Genomes of organelles and interaction with nuclear genome.

GENE FUNCTION ANALYSIS.
Mutant collections;
Tilling;
Gene silencing;
RNA interfering.

EPIGENETICS
Histone modifications;
DNA methylation;
Epigenetic regulation in plant responses to the environment.
PLANT GENETIC TRANSFORMATION
Expression of heterologous genes in plants (increase yield/improve quality);
Genome editing in plants.

Discussion on Genome editing and the cultivation of transgenic plants (Prof.ssa Furini).
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HIGH TROUGHPUT GENOTYPING
Molecular markers for genomics:
SNP genotyping: SNPChips, RADSeq, GBS, resequencing;

GENETIC DISTANCE EVALUATION
Genetic distance; Index for genetic distance evaluation;
Biodiversity; Centers of origins and domestication; Evolution studies;
Individual and varietal identification applied to different crops.

METHODS IN MAPPING OF GENES/QTLS FOR INTERESTING TRAITS IN CROPS
New genetic variability sources: mutagenesis, ibridization and poliploidization;
Segregation and production of genetic maps on biparental crosses;
Exploiting maps for genes and QTL mapping; Positional cloning of genes and QTLs
Linkage disequilibrium; Mapping by association (GWAS);
Markers assisted selection (MAS).

Discussion of genomics applied to crop breeding examples (Prof. Bellin)
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LABORATORY (1CFU): mapping of a gene of interest for a trait and functional characterization by expression analysis (Profs. Furini and Bellin)

Assessment methods and criteria

Acquisition of subject cover by the whole course will be verified through oral examination, which will include questions both on the theory and laboratory parts.





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