Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in BIOTECHNOLOGY
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (40 hours), Laboratory (16 hours)

Basic knowledge of Zoology, Animal Biology, Molecular Biology, and Developmental Biology. It is necessary that the student know the English language, to read the lecture slides, to understand scientific publications provided by the professor and scientific videos shown during the teaching course

Final Examination: 

The final exam is carried out to assess the acquisition of expected knowledge and skills by conducting a written test. The test consists of four questions, three questions on the theory and one on the laboratory practices. Each of the three theoretical questions corresponds to a chapter chosen among those exposed during lectures: one on each of the parts A, B and C. The question on the part of the laboratory aim to ascertain the full knowledge of what was carried out during the lab practices.
The score of the exam will be in thirtieths and will take account of the accuracy and quality of the responses. To pass the examination a minimum score (grade) of 18/30 is required.

Voto Finale

This course aims to provide students with knowledge on the several applications of biotechnology in the animal sector, including the necessary basic knowledge related to the breeding and farming of different animal species, with particular reference to the aquatic species.
After completing the course and passing the exam, the student is expected to have knowledge of the main traditional and modern biotechnologies that are used in the field of livestock production to improve product quality, extract bioactive substances, and create genetically engineered animals for medical, pharmacological and environmental protection uses. Students will gain in-depth knowledge also about the production and quality of food of animal origin and their processed derivatives. Students will know and will be able to plan hormonal protocols for manipulation of the reproductive cycle and the programmed animal insemination; will know techniques of artificial insemination, storage of gametes and embryos, procedures of assisted reproduction in domestic animals, with particular reference to those used in livestock farming.

After a brief introduction on the definitions and history of animal biotechnologies, the course will summarize the main practices used in the production of livestock, by recalling also the basic acquired knowledge on morphology and physiology of farmed species. The techniques of breeding of aquatic species for both agribusiness production and as laboratory models will be treated in more detail.

LECTURES (5CFU, 40 hours) will treat the following topics:

A) Morphology and physiology of bony fishes with examples of the most commonly farmed species. Reproductive system and controlled reproduction in fish.
B) Sheep, goats, and cattle reproductive system; hormonal regulation of reproduction; reproductive cycles in farmed animals; methods for improving reproductive performance; artificial insemination, induction of ovulation, production and transfer of embryos, micromanipulation of gametes (in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer, IVF / ET); pregnancy, delivery, and lactation.
C) Modern techniques of animal bioengineering: DNA recombination; gene transfer and gene expression; methodologies for targeted manipulation of genomes. The application of recombinant DNA technology for the manipulation of complex living organisms (animals) in order to obtain useful products for therapy, diagnostic and research swine, cattle and teleost animal models.

The laboratory practices will include:
1. Dissection of a farmed fish (sea bass or trout) already slaughtered, with recognition and removal of various organs and tissues (0, 25 credits, 4 hours).
2. Total RNA extraction from one of the fish sampled tissues by using automatic systems for homogenization of the sample and for the nucleic acid extraction; quantification and integrity assessment of RNA extracted through the use of microfluidic capillary electrophoresis; reverse transcription and PCR amplification of cDNA product (0.25 CFU, 4 hours).
3. Gonadal morphology (macro and microscopic level) of bovine (ovaries and testicles); male and female gametes. Protocols of maturation, fertilization and in vitro culture of animal gametes (0.25 CFU, 4 hours).
4. Techniques of criopreservation of male and female animal gametes (0.25 CFU, 4 hours).

-Learning material updated by the professor, available in electronic form on the E-learning platform.
-Domestic Animal Reproduction. Authors: B. Hafez and E. S. E. Hafez. Published by
-Anatomy and physiology of domestic animals. Authors: Bortolami R, Callegari E, Beghelli V. Published by: Il Sole 24 Ore Edagricole.
-Animal Biotechnology, National Research Council of The National Academy press, Washington, 2002.
-Brown Terry A. Molecular Biotechnology. Published by Zanichelli.


The course consists of lectures (5 CFU), and laboratories (1 CFU).
PowerPoint presentations that use images to improve comprehension will be used extensively during lectures. Educational videos will also be used to help students to enhance understanding, attain additional information, and acquire new knowledge quickly and easily.Laboratory classes are designed to create an environment in which students are physically engaged through active experimentation. Laboratory classes will take place at the Biology lab on level -1 of the building situated in Via Dunant, 3. During the laboratory classes, continuous assistance is assured to the students by the professor and one or more assistants. Students must wear lab coats during laboratory classes. The attendance of the labs is mandatory. Students who are allergic or intollerant to reagents or other molecules that may be present in the laboratory must absolutely inform the professor before the start of the laboratory module.

To avoid long wait times, it is necessary to arrange an appointment by email (from the domain @ E-mail:

Hyperlink to the webpage "orari e sedi del CdS"

Hyperlink to the webpage "bacheca appelli"