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
First Semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (40 hours), Laboratory (16 hours)

Basic knowledge of Zoology, Animal Biology, and Developmental Biology. It is necessary that the student know the English language, to read the lecture slides, and to understand the meaning of scientific videos shown during the lectures.

Final Examination: 

The final examination is carried out to assess the acquisition of expected knowledge and skills by conducting a written test. The test consists of three questions, two questions on the theory and one on the laboratory practices. The question on the part of the laboratory aims to ascertain the full knowledge of what was teached during the lab practices.
The score of the exam will be in thirties and will take account of the accuracy and quality of the responses. To pass the examination a minimum of 18/30 is required.

Voto Finale

This course aims to provide students with knowledge on the numerous applications of biotechnology in the animal science sector, including the necessary basic knowledge related to the breeding and farming of different animal species, with particular attention to the aquatic species.
After completing the course and passing the exam, the student will have knowledge of the main classical and modern biotechnologies that are used in the field of livestock production to improve product quality, and create genetically engineered animals to benefit agri-food sector. Students will gain in-depth knowledge also about the production and quality of food of animal origin and their processed derivatives. Students will know how to plan hormonal protocols for manipulation of the reproductive cycle of the domestic animals; will know techniques of artificial insemination, cryopreservation 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, such as the breeding of sheep, goats, cattle, and pigs by recalling also the basic acquired knowledge on morphology and physiology of these farmed species. The techniques of breeding of aquatic species for both agribusiness production and as laboratory models (zebrafish) will be treated in more detail. The limits to sustainable production and quality of products, potentially overcome by the use of biotechnology, will be examined, too.

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

A) Morphology and physiology of bony fishes with examples of the most commonly grown farmed species. Reproductive system and controlled reproduction in fish, digestive, respiratory, circulation and excretory systems.
B) Sheep, goat, and cattle reproductive system; hormonal regulation of reproduction; reproductive cycles in farmed animals; methods for improving reproductive performance; assisted reproductive technologies: evaluation of semen, artificial insemination, induction of ovulation, production and transfer of embryos, micromanipulation of gametes and embryos (in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer, IVF/ET); pregnancy, delivery, and lactation.
C) Brief notes of description of recombinant DNA technology for the manipulation of domestic animals to obtain useful products for biomedical and agrofood sectors: 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).

- 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.
- Learning material updated by the professor, available in electronic form on the E-learning platform.


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 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 be held at the Biology lab on level -1 of the building situated in Via Dunant, 3. During the laboratory classes, continuous assistance is assured in the classroom by the professor and one or more assistants. Students must wear lab coats during laboratory classes. Students are reminded that attendance of the labs is mandatory.
Students who exhibit allergies or intolerances 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: