D3a - Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Ambientali - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)
The following topics are propaedeutic to the teaching: basic knowledge of plant genetics, chemistry and plant biology.
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 (2 ECTS, 18 hours, in all).
Knowledge and understanding:
(a) adequate knowledge and understanding about application of plant genetics to plant breeding; (b) knowledge of population genetic structure and most important selection and genetic plant improvement methods; (c) application of advanced plant breeding approaches based on molecular markers; (d) applications of genetic engineering to plant breeding (e) advantages and disadvantages of monogenotypic varieties in agriculture (f) Characterization and valorization of plant genetic resources.
Applying knowledge and understanding:
(a) Plan plant breeding programs for the most important crops (b) Use the evaluation of genotype and genotype x environment interaction in selection programs (c) ability to critically evaluate plant breeding approaches involving genetic engineering (d) Application of plant breeding schemes tuned for organic agriculture (e) carry out statistical data analysis of selection programs.
(a) making judgements: capability of identify the expertise needed to improve the efficiency of plant breeding programs; (b) being able to interact with experts in environmental sustainability of conventional and organic agricultural systems (c) communications: capability of clearly and exhaustively communicate important genetic aspects related to feed and food production systems.
The Plant Breeding course consists of three main sections:
Section 1. Classical Plant Breeding (2 ECTS)
Plant Reproductive systems. Genetic structure of plant populations. Genetic resources. Ploidy level manipulation. Mutagenesis. In vitro culture. Genetic bases of selection. Decomposition of phenotypic and genetic variance. Breeding Methods for autogamous, allogamous and with vegetative propagation species. Modern, old and ancient varieties/species with particular reference to cereal crops.
Section 2. Advanced plant breeding methods (2 ECTS)
Most important molecular markers. Use of molecular markers in selection programs for monogenic, oligogenic and quantitative traits. Fingerprinting in monogenotypic or genetically variable varieties. Legislation (basic information).
Section 3. Genetic engineering (2 ECTS)
Genetic engineering and plant breeding. Methods for plant genetic transformation. Most diffused transgenic plants: strategies, traits, advantages and disadvantages. Debate on GM crops. GM crops and organic farming.
Learning evaluation methods
Learning evaluation criteria
The student will have to demonstrate: (a) sound knowledge of definitions and aspects related to population genetic structure and main categories of varieties produced by plant breeding programs; (b) knowledge of the main breeding methods applied to autogamous, allogamous and with vegetative propagation crops; (c) ability to statistically evaluate data of evaluation and selection programs; (d) knowledge of the main classes of molecular markers used in plant breeding; (e) Knowledge of critical aspects related to genetics of food production and in particular to genetic uniformity, gluten proteins and GMOs.
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 three questions concerning the subjects listed in 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 about selection and evaluation methods in crop breeding.
Lorenzetti F., Ceccarelli S., Veronesi F., Genetica Agraria (III edizione), Patron, 1996.
Lorenzetti F., Falcinelli M., Veronesi F., Il miglioramento genetico delle piante agrarie, Edagricole, 1994.
Teaching material or scientific publications provided by the teacher.
Monday from 11 to 12 am.