D3a - Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Ambientali - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)


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Seat Agraria
A.A. A.A. 2016-2017
Credits 9
Hours 81
Period 1^ semestre
Language ENG
U-gov code STAL 3A011


The following topics are propaedeutic to the teaching: basic knowledge of chemistry and plant biology.



Development of the course

The course consists of a balance of theoretical lectures(6 ECTS, 54 hours) and other activities, such as classroom practicals, carried out individually or in small groups, seminars and visits to local and national food plants and factories (3 ECTS, 27 hours, in all). 

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:

(a) adequate knowledge and understanding about plant genetics and its applications to the food sectors; (b) knowledge of genetic structure of raw materials used to obtain foods directly or after industrial processing; (c) Mendelian genetic analysis and its application through new genetic technologies; (d) Molecular genetics applied to the food sector: genome and gene structure, cloning and DNA fragment analysis, gene isolation, molecular markers, genetic engineering.


Applying knowledge and understanding:

(a) developing the capability of identifying and interpreting applications of genetics to the food sector; (b) applying knowledge about the genetic structure of food and understanding of its relationship with agricultural, environmental and sanitary sustainability; (c) apply basic genetic principles to the food industry; (d) understand and critically apply recent knowledge in molecular genetics to biotechnological food industry, food traceability and genetic engineering.



(a) making judgements: capability of identify the information be needed to improve the efficiency of food production system; (b) communications: capability of clearly and exhaustively communicate notions, ideas, problems and technical solutions involving genetics principles in food production.




Section 1. Molecular Basis of Heredity (1 ECTS)

The structure of nucleic acids; DNA replication; Transcription, Traduction, the Genetic Code; Gene Structure; Chromosome Structure; Genic, Chromosomal and Genomic Mutations; Transposable Genetic Elements.

Section 2. Mendelian Analysis (4 ECTS)

Mitosis and Meiosis; Segregation and recombination; Mendelian analysis: single gene, two or three genes; Linkage mapping in autogamous and allogamous species; Chi-square test applied to two point and three point linkage mapping; Multiple allelism; Epistasis, Complementary Gene Action, Lethal Alleles, Pleiotropy, Penetrance and Expressivity; Population Genetics and Quantitative genetics (principles).

Section 3. Molecular Genetics (4 ECTS)

Genome organization; Regulation of gene expression; The extranuclear genome; Cloning vectors; DNA probes; PCR and Real Time PCR; Molecular Markers and their application to Food science; Mendelian Analysis using Molecular Markers; Fingerprinting and Analysis of Genetic Diversity using Molecular Markers; Molecular markers in Food traceability systems; Principles of Quantitative Genetics and QTL mapping. Genetic control of gluten proteins and their relationship with Coeliac and Gluten Sensitivity diseases; Genetic Engineering in agriculture.



Development of the examination

Learning evaluation methods

Oral exam.


Learning evaluation criteria

The student will have to demonstrate: (a) sound knowledge of basic genetics covered in Section 1 of the course; (b) ability to perform genetic linkage analysis based on morphological and molecular markers; (c) knowledge of molecular genetics methods and their application to gene characterization, fingerprinting and traceability systems; (d) knowledge of aspects related to genetic uniformity, gluten proteins and GMO and their consequences on food production system.


Learning measurement criteria

The final mark is attributed in thirtieths. Successful completion of the examination will lead to grades ranging from 18 to 30 with honors.


Final mark allocation criteria

The oral examination consist of at least three questions concerning the subjects listed in the three Sections of the teaching program, each one being quantified in the range 0 - 10.

In order to pass the examination, the student will have to demonstrate: (a) overall understanding of the subjects; (b) appropriate usage of technical terminology. In order to obtain the best evaluation, the student will have to demonstrate: (a) in-depth knowledge and understanding of the subjects; (b) fluency in the usage of the technical lexicon; (c) ability to solve simple problems.


Recommended reading

Lorenzetti F., Ceccarelli S., Veronesi F., 1996. Genetica Agraria. Patron Editore, Bologna.

Barcaccia G., Falcinelli M., 2005. Genetica e Genomica – Volume I Genetica Generale. Liguori Editore.

Barcaccia G., Falcinelli M., 2006. Genetica e Genomica – Volume III Genomica e Biotecnologie Genetiche. Liguori Editore.

Handouts and publicationsprovided by the teacher..





  • C.L.T. - Scienze e Tecnologie Alimentari (STAL)

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