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Facoltā di Scienze Agrarie e Alimentari Universitā degli Studi di Milano
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Molecular methods of breeding
Code: G0009-
Teacher:  Filippo Geuna
CFU subdivision: Lectures: 5
Practices in classroom: 0,5
Practices in laboratory:  0,5
Basic aims:  The purpose of this course is to provide students with an
overview of the state of the art in the field of advanced
genetic improvement, with particular reference to
molecular and genomic methods.
Acquired skills:  Mapping of genomes and marker-assisted improvement.
Molecular fingerprinting techniques. Bioinformatics and
analysis techniques for access to information held in the
main database of genomic interest with applications to
plants. Practical experience of some laboratory methods.
Course contents:  - Mapping with molecular markers of genes to control
simple and complex (QTL) traits.
- Methods of molecular fingerprinting.
- Sequencing and analysis of genomes.
- Large-scale gene expression analysis (transcriptomics).
Program:  The course provides in-depth elements of plant breeding,
referring to the use of techniques of biometrics, molecular
biology, genomics, functional genomics and genetic
engineering. The first part of the course provides a review
of the concepts of Mendelian genetics aimed to understand
the application of molecular markers in mapping studies of
genomes and identification and cloning of the chromosomal
regions responsible for simple and quantitative characters
(QTL). The concept of marker-assisted selection (MAS) is
developed accordingly. In parallel the theme of molecular
markers is addressed with their applications to both
mapping and fingerprinting of genomes.
The second part will deal with the theme of sequencing and
analysis of genomes, starting from traditional technologies
up to the next-generation ones.
The third part of the course is devoted to the study of gene
expression, starting with the simplest cases up to large-
scale applications, which are addressed by the most recent
technologies and microarray chip (like Affymetrix ,
Illumina, RNA-seq etc.). Bioinformatics methods of data
analysis and access to major genetics databases with
simulations in the classroom are also addressed. The fourth
part of the course will outline the production and use of
transgenic plants for applications aimed at the
improvement of agronomic and technological traits.
Important and integral elements of the course consist of
exercises in the classroom and in the laboratory that allow
the student to practice some advanced operational
concepts for the better understanding of the concepts
exposed in the lectures.
Prerequisites:  The student should already be acquainted with the basic
concepts of genetics, breeding, biochemistry, molecular
Preparatory instructions:  The student should have at least taken exams of
biochemistry and genetics.
Learning materials:  The reference textbook of the course is: GENETICA E
Volume III - Gianni Barcaccia and
Mario Falcinelli (Edited in Italian by Liguori Editore).
During the course a set of extra learning sources will be
including reference books, research articles, multimedia
and the
PDF files containing the slides shown in the classroom
object of classroom and lab activities updated every year
that can be downloaded from the teacher personal page:

Other info:  The examination consists of a written test that can
the solution of practical exercises taken from those
in the classroom and the discussion of concepts treated
the course.
It is also possible a colloquium on the subjects in the
as integration of the written test.
Program of Molecular methods of breeding (pdf version)
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