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


Search Search    Print Print


Seat Agraria
A.A. A.A. 2016-2017
Credits 9
Hours 81
Period 1^ semestre
Language ENG
U-gov code STA - TA 3A481


Basic knowledge of general biology, chemistry.

Development of the course

The didactic method is based on ppt/pdf lectures (6 ECTS) (provided to the students at the end of the course), projection of thematic videos, recognizing anatomic organs with 3D animal models, guided tours in livestock farms will be organized to put into practice what the students have learned in class (3 ECTS).

Learning outcomes

Knowledge. The course enables students to acquire the fundamental knowledge about the anatomy and physiology of the main apparatus of the animal species producing meat or milk for human consumption; moreover competence on the applicability to animal breeding and managing of artificial insemination and embryo-transfer, advanced biotechnologies, sexing semen, castration, basic and quantitative genetics, breeding value and mating strategies (inbreeding, cross-breeding, selection) will be provided.


Applying knowledge and understanding. The main aim of this course is to provide a fully development ability of the students in recognizing the most important species and breed of interest in animal production systems, their physiology in relation to their main products (meat and milk), the use of the main techniques and biotechiniques for reproduction and the increase of their productive perfomance through the genetic improvement, selection, and mating strategies.


Cross-expertise. (i) making judgements: capability of identify the information needed to manage farmed animals; (ii) communications: capability of clearly and exhaustively communicate notions, ideas, problems and technical solutions to interlocutors, either professional or not, representative of the various and specific competencies in the animal production field (engineers, veterinarians, animal nutritionists, geneticists, breeders, technical assistance, etc.).



1. Course presentation. Specific terms of anatomy and physiology, anatomical planes’.

Tissues: epithelial, secretive and connective tissues; cartilaginous and bony and ossification; muscular tissue (smooth, cardiac, skeletal); blood and lymph (1 ECTS).

2. Anatomy and physiology: Locomotor apparatus (bones, joints, main skeletal muscles of commercial interests -cuts). Meat composition. Respiratory apparatus (respiratory canals, lungs, mechanical respiration, gaseous exchange). Cardio-circulatory apparatus (heart, blood vessels, systemic and pulmonary circulation, lymphatic circulation). Digestive apparatus (prehensile and preparatory organs, stomach of monogastrics, rumen, reticulum, omasum and abomasus of polygastrics, small, large and rectum intestine, liver, pancreas; physiology of digestion and absorption). Urinary apparatus (kidney structure, nephron, urine ultra-filtration and re-absorption). Male reproductive apparatus (testicles, epididymis, deferent duct, penis, urethra, accessory glands, spermatogenesis, semen, structure of sperm). Female reproductive apparatus (ovaries and physiology of reproduction, fecundation, embryo nesting, placentation, embryo-sacs, pregnancy length and delivery phases). Mammary gland (secretory cells, galactophorous ducts, gland cistern, teats; hormonal control of milk synthesis and ejection; lactation and dry period). Chemical composition of colostrum and milk in main animal species. Outlines on endocrine apparatus and main hormones. Projection of thematic videos, recognizing anatomic organs with 3D animal models (4 ECTS).

3. Basic animal science: Animal domestication, species, breeds and sub-groups, habitus and constitution. Main bovine, ovine, caprine, equine and swine breeds. Puberty, sexual dimorphism, sexual traits, fertilization and fertility; natural and artificial insemination, semen production, sexed semen, estrus synchronization, embryo transfer and sexed embryos, cloning. Traits variability related to environment, feeding, functional exercise of apparatus, castration and its effects on animal productivity (1.5 ECTS).

4. Animal Genetics: references to the Mendelian inheritance and basic genetics, livestock examples of chromosomal mutations (rob 1:29 translocation and free-martin mosaicism), epistasis, pleiotropy, (halothane gene), polyallelic genes (polymorphic expression of lacto-protein genes and Marked Assisted Selection). Lethal genes in productive animals, Population genetics and Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. Quantitative traits and their genetic model to establish the breeding value of a parent (pedigree data, sib test, progeny test and performance test), hereditability and repeatability, correlation between two traits. Basic concepts, technical evolution and applications of mating strategies: inbreeding, cross-breeding, selection, to understand animal productions’ progress (2.5 ECTS).

Development of the examination

Learning evaluation methods

Oral discussion on subjects listed in the teaching program and /or on technical aspects observed and discussed during animal farms guided tours.


Learning evaluation criteria

In the oral examination, the student will have to demonstrate: (i) knowledge of the recognition of the main species/breeds suitable for meat and milk production; (ii) knowledge of their anatomical structures and their physiology; (iii) competence on artificial insemination and embryo-transfer, advanced biotechnologies; (iv) basic and quantitative genetics and mating strategies related to genetic improvement of livestock and their productions.

To pass the oral exam, the student must demonstrate an overall understanding of the content using appropriate technical terminology, and to be able to deal with deductive reasoning that enable him to create links within matter, and to have a complete mastery of the subject.


Learning measurement criteria

The final grade is attributed in thirtieths. Successful completion of the examination will lead to grades ranging from 18 to 30 “cum laude”.


Final mark allocation criteria

The oral examination consists of one chosen subject and four questions concerning the subjects; each answer will be quantified in the range 0 - 6. The degree of 30 “cum laude” is attributed when the student demonstrates complete mastery of the subject.

Recommended reading

1. Bortolami R., Callegari E., Clavenzani P., Beghelli V., 2009. “Anatomia e fisiologia degli animali domestici” Edagricole, BO

2. Veggetti A., Falaschini A., 2009. “Anatomia, fisiologia e zoognostica” Calderini Edagricole, BO

3. Veggetti A., Falaschini A., Balasini D., Tesio F., 2015. “Basi tecnico-scientifiche di zootecnica - vol. A” Edagricole Scolastico, BO.

4. Pagnacco G., 2004. “Genetica animale applicata” Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, MI

5. Pagnacco G., 1995. “Genetica applicata alle produzioni animali” Città Studi Edizioni, MI

6. Bourdon M., 1999. “Understanding animal breeding” Ed. Prentice-Hall Inc.


Tutorial session


Wednesday and Friday from 1.00 to 3.00 pm

  • C.L.T. - Scienze e Tecnologie Agrarie Curriculum TECNOLOGIE AGRARIE (STA - TA)

Università Politecnica delle Marche
P.zza Roma 22, 60121 Ancona
Tel (+39) 071.220.1, Fax (+39) 071.220.2324
P.I. 00382520427