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Facoltà di Scienze Agrarie e Alimentari Università degli Studi di Milano
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Plant genetics
Code: G271I-
Teacher:  Laura Rossini
Year: 
Term: 
CFU: 
CFU subdivision: Lectures: 7,5
Practices in classroom: 0,5
Basic aims:  The course is aimed at providing bases in the three major areas of genetics – transmission genetics, molecular genetics and population genetics – as a starting point to understand classical and biotechnological breeding approaches, which will be briefly introduced.
Acquired skills:  Students will acquire: 1) tools for genetic data analysis and interpretation; 2) basic statistical approaches for formulation and validation of genetic models; 3) ability to understand the relationship between genotype and phenotype as a basis for breeding programmes.
Course contents:  MOLECULAR GENETICS replication, transcription, translation. Gene mutations. Regulation. TRANSMISSION GENETICS Mendel. Sex linked genes. Linkage. Interactions. Genetics of viruses. Genomic and chromosomal mutations. QUANTITATIVE GENETICS Normal distribution, heritability, artificial selection. POPULATION GENETICS Hardy and Weinberg equilibrium. Mutation, genetic drift, gene flow, selection. Non random mating. Brief introduction to breeding.
Program:  Introduction to the course, review of mitosis, meiosis and life cicles of prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
Central dogma. DNA and RNA structure. DNA REPLICATION. Prokaryotic and eukaryotic chromosomes. Gene expression. TRANSCRIPTION. Structure of the gene in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. mRNA structure. Coupled transcription and translation in prokaryotes. RNA maturation in eukaryotes. Translation. Genetic code. Reading frame. Ribosomes and tRNAs. tRNA charging. TRANSLATION. MENDEL: experimental design and traits. First law. Genotype/phenotype. Dominant/recessive. Test-cross. X2 test. II law. Pedigree analysis. Chromosome theory of inheritance. SEX LINKAGE. Sex determination. Aneuploidy of sex chromosomes. X-chromosome inactivation. Sex linked traits in humans. GENETIC LINKAGE. Parentals/recombinants, cis/trans. Recombination frequency. Crossing-over. Construction of genetic maps: two-point testcrosses. Double corssovers. Three-point testcrosses. Interference and coincidence. GENE FUNCTION: Garrod’s hypothesis of inborn errors of metabolism. Beadle and Tatum experiments. Complementation. Gene interactions. Pleiotropy. Incomplete dominance, codominance. Penetrance and expressivity. Effects of the environment on phenotype. Fundamental concepts of QUANTITATIVE GENETICS: normal distribution, mean, variance, heritability. GENETICS OF VIRUSES AND PHAGES. Lytic/lysogenic cycle. Transduction. RNA viruses. Retroviruses. Plant ssRNA viruses. MUTATION: somatic/germ-line mutation. Cytogenetics: methods. Chromosomal mutations. Deletions, duplications, inversions, translocations. Genomic mutations. Aneuploidy. Euploidy: autopoliploidy; allopoliploidy. Gene mutations. Base-pair substitution. Insertion/deletion (indel). Intragenic/intergenic suppressors. Spontaneous mutations. Mutation rate, mutation frequency. Effects of radiations and chemical mutagens. DNA repair mechanisms. REGULATION OF GENE EXPRESSION in prokaryotes: lac operon. Catabolite repression. Repression of the trp operon. RECOMBINANT DNA TECHNOLOGY. Basic concepts of gene cloning. Biotechnological applications. Production of transgenic plants. POPULATION GENETICS. Mendelian population. Genetic structure: allelic and genotypic frequencies. Hardy-Weinberg law. Changes in genetic structure of populations: mutation, genetic drift, migration, natural selection. Fitness. Non-random mating.
Brief introduction to breeding.
Prerequisites:  Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell. Eukaryotic life cycles. Cell cycle. Mitosis. Structure of proteins and nucleic acids.
Preparatory instructions:  Info not available
Learning materials:  Recommended textbook:
Russell et al. GENETICA AGRARIA, Edizione Integrata a cura di Busconi, Comino, Consonni, Marocco, Porceddu, Portis, Rao. EDISES 2016

Other textbooks for consultation:
ITALIAN ONLY: BARCACCIA - FALCINELLI - Genetica e genomica (VOL 1 E 2), LIGUORI EDITORE
Other useful textbooks (also available in English Version):
SNUSTAD D.P & SIMMONS M.J. – PRINCIPI DI GENETICA, EdiSES
HARTL & JONES - GENETICA: ANALISI DI GENI E GENOMI, Edises
BROOKER R. J. – GENETICA analisi e principi, Zanichelli PIERCE B.A. – GENETICA, Zanichelli

Additional teaching materials – lectures in PDF format, genetics problem sets, glossary, papers and articles, web-links, didactic movies – will be available through the Ariel website (see below) or handed out during the course.
https://lrossiniga.ariel.ctu.unimi.it/v5/home/Default.aspx
Other info:  The exam consists of a written test followed by an oral exam - both compulsory. The written tests includes 7 among genetics exercises (similar to those proposed during the practicals) and questions on different topics of the course programme. Those that pass the written test are admitted to the oral exam.
DOWNLOAD
Program of Plant genetics (pdf version)
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