Veterinary medicine
Study-unit Code
In all curricula
Maurizio Silvestrelli
Course Regulation
Coorte 2019
Type of study-unit
Obbligatorio (Required)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa integrata


Code 85104202
Teacher Katia Cappelli
  • Katia Cappelli
  • 26 ore - Katia Cappelli
Learning activities Caratterizzante
Area Discipline della zootecnica, allevamento e nutrizione animale
Academic discipline AGR/17
Type of study-unit Obbligatorio (Required)
Language of instruction Italian
Contents Introduction to genomics and genomes anatomy.
Genome sequencing, Next Generation Sequencing,
Molecular markers and their applications.
Genes controlling hereditary diseases.
Gene expression and epigenetic regulation. Gene Editing.
Brief overview of Bioinformatics and data management.
Reference texts Genomi 3 "T.A. Brown" Edises.
Introduzione alla Bioinformatica "Arhur M.Lesk" McGraw-Hill.
Sides of the lectures
Educational objectives The course aims to illustrate the molecular genetics theory and the main applications to the breeding and production of animals of veterinary interest.

At the end of the training, the student must:
- know the basics of molecular genetics applied to domestic animals.
- know the origin of genetic variability and the tools to take advantage of it.

At the end of the training, the student must:
- know how to implement all the tools necessary to carry out molecular diagnosis and the prevention of genetic diseases
- to be able to evaluate the characters of interest in animal populations from a genetic-molecular point of view
- choose and evaluate the appropriate genetic / genomic tool for each disease
- interpret the results of any genetic-molecular test carried out by another competent laboratory or facility.

At the end of the training, the student must:
- be able to evaluate the genomic characteristics of the different species and apply them according to the characters / pathologies to be investigated
- to know advanced genetic-molecular research methodologies to be applied for the investigations and more suited to the case in study

At the end of the training, the student must:
- be able to appropriately and completely present the acquired knowledge
- demonstrate language properties through the use of correct genetic terminology.

At the end of the training, the student must:
- be able to consult and understand scientific texts, field web tool, bibliographic updates as well as critically evaluate procedures and technologies;
- be able to present the topics dealt with in a critical and interconnected way demonstrating the ability to use this knowledge to support other disciplines acquired or in acquisition
Teaching methods The course include 18 hours of theoretical lectures on all scheduled topics and 8 hours of practical classes imparted as molecular biology laboratory exercises and as computer room exercises.

The practical lessons in the laboratory will involve a maximum of 15 students at same time that will participate provided of white coat.

The practical classes in a computer room will involve a number of students equal to the stations available and in any case not more than 20.
Other information
Learning verification modality
Extended program The gene and its organization in complex genomes: DNA manipulation, genome mapping, molecular markers. Methods for sequencing the genome: DNA sequencing, NGS technologies, assembly of contiguous DNA sequences, interpretation of genome sequences. Functional genomics: transcription and gene expression, mobile genetic elements, epigenetic signals.
Genes that control hereditary diseases and their possible molecular diagnosis. Bioinformatic elements: nucleic acids and proteins databases, sequence alignments and primer design


Code 85004203
Teacher Maurizio Silvestrelli
  • Maurizio Silvestrelli
  • 30 ore - Maurizio Silvestrelli
Learning activities Affine/integrativa
Area Attività formative affini o integrative
Academic discipline AGR/17
Type of study-unit Obbligatorio (Required)
Language of instruction Italian language
Contents Mutation. Gene and genotype frequencies. Interspecific hybridization. Abnormal karyotypes. Freemartins. Classification of intersex. Genotype and phenotype. Coat colour, pathology and selection in dog, cat and horse. Inherited defects. The Hardy-Weinberg law. Extentions of the Hardy-Weinberg law. Summary and practical implications.
Reference texts The suggested book is "Genetica animale applicata" ("Applied animal genetics") by G. Pagnacco
Educational objectives This teaching is the only test that the student faces about inherited defects within the degree program that is proposed as a main target to provide the basic knowledge of the relation genotype/phenotype for pahtologic and veterinary aspects.

The student must:
- know dog, cat and horse breeds and selection,
- know the abnormal karyotype in animals,
- know the Mendelian genetic diseases in animals.

At the end of the training the student will be able to:

-recognize the of mode of inheritance (dominant/resessive) of Mendelian genetic deseases in animals,

-recognize the phenotype linked to pathology,

At the end of the training the student will be able to:
-use of genotipe in practical animal breeding

At the end of the training the student will be able to:
- organize, prepare and exhibit, to an audience made up of people of
equal level of preparation, a presentation on a Mendelian disease with their own evaluations supported by appropriate
- support an adversarial process with people of equal preparation and
experts in different issues, of a regulatory, scientific, procedural and / or
technological nature,
- demonstrate language properties in both written and oral form, as well
as the ability to use terminology that is sufficiently appropriate for a
correct approach to the profession, which is also important for job
At the end of the training the student will be able to:
- consult and understand scientific texts, even innovative ones,
bibliographic updates, normative dictations, so as to employ them in
contexts not only usual for the profession, including research, but also
- manage a sufficiently broad mastery of the subject to guarantee an
acceptable basis for continuing professional updating through ongoing
lifelong learning.
Teaching methods The course is organized as follows:

-lectures on all subjects of the course;

-exercise at the microscope lab to see chromosome aberrations in cattle. Students will be divided into groups (maximum 20 students per group) and there will be 1 tutorial of 2 hours
Other information
Extended program Introduction. Dog, cat and horse breeds. Single genes in population, genetics and animal breeding. Mutation. Gene and genotype frequencies. Evolution of karyotypes. Interspecific hybridization. Abnormal karyotypes: abnormal autosomal chromosome number (translocation, monosomy and trisomy). Abnormal chromosome structure: deletion, duplication and inversion. Abnormal sex chromosome number. Freemartins. Classification of intersex. Genotype and phenotype. Coat colour and pathology in dog, cat and horse. Inherited defects: autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive, X-linked dominant, X-linked recessive. The Hardy-Weinberg law. Extentions of the Hardy-Weinberg law. Summary and practical implications


Code 85004302
Teacher Camillo Pieramati
  • Camillo Pieramati
  • 26 ore - Camillo Pieramati
Learning activities Caratterizzante
Area Discipline della zootecnica, allevamento e nutrizione animale
Academic discipline AGR/17
Type of study-unit Obbligatorio (Required)
Language of instruction Italian
Contents Selection against genetic diseases. The animal merit: the genetic index, the marker assisted selection, and the genomic evaluation.
Reference texts R.M. Bourdon: 'Understanding Animal Breeding ', Pearson ed.
Lecturer's notes, presentations, spreadsheets and datasets are available from the UniStudium website.
Educational objectives D1 - The student must acquire a solid knowledge of the theoretical foundations of animal genetic improvement: in particular, he/she will have understood the principles of a plan for the prophylaxis of Mendelian diseases and genetic liability to diseases, the practical importance of the additive infinitesimal model, fundamentals of methods for estimating genetic value and the practical use of molecular information in genetic selection.

D2 - The student must be able to apply the acquired knowledge to the solution of small problems: calculate the risks deriving from different types of matings, calculate (additive) relationship and inbreeding coefficients, estimate environmental effects and individual genetic values, critically analyze the available information on sire catalogues.

D3- The student must be able to independently judge the advantages and disadvantages of the various strategies to solve the problems that may arise at the different levels of a livestock genetic selection plan.

D4- The student must be able to communicate efficiently and effectively with the other operators (veterinarians, breeders, zootechnics) of the supply chain, using the technical-scientific vocabulary of the sector in an appropirate manner.

D5- The student must be able to learn the insights that may prove necessary for his/her subsequent professional activity.

EAEVE Day One Competences: 2.3 (The structure, function and behaviour of animals and their physiological and welfare needs, including healthy common domestic animals, captive Wildlife and laboratory-housed animals) and 2.4 (A knowledge of the businesses related to animal breeding, production and keeping).

LOGBOOK, 3rd paragraph "Animal production": Information technology and statistics - Use of a spreadsheet (students could already receive this certification during their 1st year)
Teaching methods Lectures will deal with all the main topics of the course. Practical training will be in a PC lab, and the students divided into 4 rotating groups. The practical and supervised activities are organized in order to help the student in understanding the toughest topics (e.g. the statistical and mathematical aspects).
Extended program LECTURES.

- Introduction to the course. The aim, the programme, the schedule, the text and the other didactic stuff, the final exam. [0,5 h]

- Genetic diseases. Positive and negative mutations, dominant and recessive mutations; chance of mutation's loss. [1,5]

- Genetic disease: differences between pets and livestock; positive and negative lists. Recessive disease: understanding a genetic tree. Recessive disease in pets: calculating the risk and the use of the Bayes' theorem (practical examples); sensibility and specificity of a diagnostic test (practical examples with genetic tests); the genetic prophylaxis in dogs. [4 h]

- The test mating: mating to females with different genotypes; mating to more than one kind of genotype; the allele frequency in the population: lethal recessive allele in natural selection and a comparison between natural selection and the discovery of carriers. [5 h]

- Genetic prophylaxis in the Italian Holstein, Brown and Italian beef breeds. The Hal gene in swine. Scrapie and resistant haplotypes. The persistence of lethal genes: the selection-mutation equilibrium and the balanced polymorphism. [4 h]

- Liability to diseases: heritability; multiple thresholds. [3 h]


- Marker Assisted Selection. Semi-quantitative genetics: the major gene. Pleiotropy and genetic linkage. MAS. Sax's experiment. Marker and QTL. The Daughter Design: the bases; finding the alleles origin; the effect of the frequency; the Gran-Daughter Design. PIC and effective alleles. [1 h]

- Simulating a Daughter Design: minor genes, major gene and marker; pleiotropy and genetic linkage; the frequency of haplotypes and the recombination frequency; the effect of environment; genetic variance. Phenotypic variance component and the heritability: performance test and progeny test; repeatability: effect on culling and effect on generation interval; correlated traits: direct and indirect response, selecting for more than one trait; the covariance between loci and assortative mating; the covariance between genotype and environment and the preferential treatment. The linkage disequilibrium: cis and trans haplotypes; the effect of crossing over on "double cis" and "double trans"; population disequilibrium and family disequilibrium. ANOVA of a DD: the meaning of the interaction. Understanding the simulation of a DD: effect of the additive variance, the heritability, linkage disequilibrium and recombination frequency. [3 h]

- The genetic index. The meaning of index. BLP selection index, BLUP index and Genomic index. GEBV (Genome Enhanced Breeding Value). A practical example of calculating a BLP selection index: estimating environmental effects by least squares method, correcting phonotypes for factors and covariates. [2 h]

- The pedigree file; calculating additive relationships; inbreeding; genomic relationships; the properties of the index; calculating the weights, the index, the accuracies, the genetic progress; optimizing the response. [2 h]
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