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 Animal Biology, and Developmental Biology. To better follow the course, it is recommended to have passed the Chemistry and Physics exams.

Final Examination: 

The final examination is carried out to assess the acquisition of expected knowledge and skills by conducting an ORAL 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 showed during the lab practices.
The mark 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 at providing students with knowledge on classical biotechnologies in the animal sector, through theoretical and practical activities, including the necessary basic aspects related to the rearing of animal species of zoo technical and laboratory interest, with particular reference to aquatic species.
At the end of the course and after passing the exam, the student will have knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of fish species of zoo technical interest; modern farming technologies that ensure animal welfare; feeding and reproduction in aquaculture; quality of fish and other processed products derived from aquaculture. Students will know techniques of controlled fecundation of fish species, with particular reference to those of commercial interest.

Knowledge and understanding
- Acquisition of the basic notions concerning the use of biotechnologies in the animal field for the improvement of productions;
- Knowledge of biomolecular techniques applied to animal production;
- Understanding of the terminology related to the discipline.

Ability to apply knowledge and understanding
- Apply biotechnology in the main fields of use of animals: livestock, livestock production, food products of animal origin;
- Evaluate if the degree of comfort of the breeding structures and the environmental characteristics are suitable to guarantee the welfare of animals and eventually propose improving solutions;
- Identify and evaluate the most innovative breeding systems to assure a final product of optimal quality;
- Develop innovative biotechnological approaches for the improvement of products of animal origin.

Autonomy of judgment
- Use of textbooks and virtual resources to develop self-study teaching insights;
- Be able to identify the key concepts of the discipline, summarize them and exemplify them;
- Ability to integrate information from different sources and to relate it to the knowledge acquired so far;
- Ability to elaborate what has been learned, in order to interpret and critically discuss the results of published scientific experiments, obtained with techniques described during the course.

Communication skills
- Demonstrate the ability to communicate the basics of the discipline in a clear and understandable way;
- Demonstrate ability to extract and summarize the relevant information, to know how to communicate effectively and with the correct terminology both orally and in writing, and to summarize the information;
- Ability to expose one's own assessments supported by appropriate arguments to an audience of equal level of preparation;
- Ability to support an adversarial process with people of equal preparation and experts in different scientific and/or technological subjects;
- Demonstrate language properties, as well as the ability to employ terminology that is sufficiently appropriate for a correct approach to the profession, which could be important for job interviews.

Learning ability
- Ability to combine the knowledge acquired with what will be learned in the subsequent courses of the study plan;
- Ability to understand and comment on a scientific text on animal biotechnology and to learn written methodologies on manuals;
- Ability to update the acquired knowledge by following scientific and technological progress;
- Ability to apply the acquired study method to other scientific fields.

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 agro-food production and as laboratory models 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 (5 CFU, 40 hours) will cover the following topics:

A) Biotechnology in the field of animal agriculture.
- Sheep, goat, and cattle: reproductive system; hormonal regulation of reproduction; methods for improving reproductive performance; artificial insemination.
- Fish species: physiology of osteichts with examples related to the most commonly bred species. Reproductive apparatus and programmed reproduction in farmed fish; respiratory, digestive, circulatory and excretory apparatus.
- Brief notes on the types of farming of the most important fish species; world fishing and aquaculture fish production; concept of aquaculture sustainability; food and main feedstuff formulations used in the breeding of the most economically important fish species; search for innovative raw materials deriving from circular economies, for the formulation of aquaculture feeds; quality of fish products.


The course includes 16 hours (1 CFU) of laboratory activity. During the labs, students are organized into groups of up to three students. Each group will have access to technical data sheets together with copies of manuals of the various kits and tools that will be used during the exercise. 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. Histological analysis of intestinal tissue samples taken during dissection: paraffin inclusion, staining and observation under an optical microscope (0.25 CFU, 4 hours).
3. Extraction of nucleic acids from animal tissue samples (0.25 CFU, 4 hours).
4. Analysis of skin microbiota in fish species of commercial interest (0.25 CFU, 4 hours).

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

- Fisiologia degli animali marini. Alessandro Poli, Elena Fabbri. II edizione 2018 EdiSES s.r.l, Napoli.
- Encyclopedia of Fish Physiology. From Genome to Environment. Editor-in-Chief: Anthony P. Farrell; Elsevier 2011
- Acquacoltura responsabile, S. Cataudella e P. Bonzi, 683p, Roma, 2002
- The laboratory fish. Edited by Gary K. Ostrander. Academic press, San Diego (CA) 2000.

Articles published on scientific journals indicated during the course.
Autonomous and guided searches on websites.


The course consists of lectures (5 CFU), and laboratories (1 CFU).
PowerPoint slides 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 will be 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 wait times, it is necessary to arrange an appointment by email (from the domain @ for consulting hours with the professor.