Agricultural and environmental biotechnology
Study-unit Code
In all curricula
Lorenzo Raggi
  • Lorenzo Raggi
  • 54 ore - Lorenzo Raggi
Course Regulation
Coorte 2023
Learning activities
Discipline biotecnologiche generali
Academic discipline
Type of study-unit
Obbligatorio (Required)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa monodisciplinare
Language of instruction
Evolution, biodiversity and adaptation. The origin of diversity and the role of mutations in the evolution of the living beings. Genomic and chromosome mutation and their role in plant evolution. Speciation mechanisms.
Different concepts of species. Origins of agriculture, domestication and genes controlling domestication syndromes traits. Plant genetic resources, use and conservation approaches elements. Insight on domestication and evolution of a collection of key crop species for human nutrition.
Reference texts
Hancock, James. (2012). Plant evolution and the origin of crop species: Third edition. CABI, Nosworthy Way, Wallingford (UK). 10.1079/9781845938017.0000.
Papers and other materials provided by the teacher.
Educational objectives
To provide the fundamental information and concepts needed to understand the mechanisms underlying diversity and the consequences of changes at the chromosomal and genomic levels. To make students understand the importance of evolutionary processes especially those of cultivated species. To acquire the different concepts of species and how species can originate. Understanding the process of domestication of cultivated plants and evolution of their diversity.

To introduce students to the concepts of agro-biodiversity, gene pool, agricultural genetic resources, and their conservation. Knowing how to rationally use genetic resources in plant breeding and research.
The student is required to have basic knowledge on Botany and developed knowledge of Plant Genetics.
Teaching methods
Frontal lessons supported by a PowerPoint presentation.
Other information
Knowledge of English.
Learning verification modality
The exam consists of a written and/or oral test which normally lats about 30/40 minutes in which the student's level of knowledge and his ability to connect the different topics covered in the course will be assessed. Course attendance is kindly recommended.

Information on support services for students with disabilities and/or LDs are available at http://www.unipg.it/disabilita-e-dsa
Extended program
Diversity, the result of evolutionary process and adaptation. The basis of evolution: chromosomal and genomic mutations. The repetitive component of the genome; type of DNA repeats, their molecular organization and chromosomal localization. Chromosome number alterations. Origin and evolution of polyploids. Speciation: sympatric, allopatric, and intermediate forms. The concept of species according to the different schools. Hybridization and extinction.
Origin of agriculture and domestication of plants. The centers of origin of cultivated plants, primary and secondary centers. The domestication syndrome; genes controlling domestication syndrome traits. Agrobiodiversity and gene pool concept. Agricultural genetic resources, foundaments of evaluation, use and conservation.
Origin, domestication, and evolution of some of the main cultivated species belonging to cereals and legumes; other species will be possibly included.
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