ANIMAL BIOTECNOLOGY

Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in BIOTECHNOLOGY
Academyc year when starting the degree: 
2019/2020
Year: 
2
Academyc year when helding the course: 
2020/2021
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
Language: 
Italian
Credits: 
6
Period: 
First Semester
Standard lectures hours: 
56
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (40 hours), Laboratory (16 hours)
Requirements: 

Basic knowledge of Animal Biology, and Developmental Biology. To better follow the course, it is necessary to have passed the exams of Chemistry and Physics.

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 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 shown during the lab practices.
The grades of the exam will be in thirties and will take account of the accuracy and quality of the responses. To pass the exam a minimum of 18/30 should be obtained. To get the maximum grades, the student must answer all 3 questions in a brilliant way, demonstrating that he can connect different aspects of knowledge.

Assessment: 
Voto Finale

Educational aims

Through theoretical and practical activities, this course aims at providing students with knowledge on classical biotechnologies in the animal sector, including the necessary basic aspects related to the rearing of animal species of economical and laboratory interest, with particular reference to aquatic species.
In particular, the teaching activity aims to provide students with knowledge on the anatomy and physiology of some farmed fish species; modern farming technologies that ensure animal welfare; feeding and reproduction in aquaculture; quality of fish and other processed animal products derived from aquaculture; and techniques of artificial fertilization of fish species, with particular reference to those of commercial interest.

Expected learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student will be able to:
- Describe the biotechnologies utilized in the main fields of use of the animals: farms, livestock production, food products of animal origin
- Evaluate whether the degree of comfort of the breeding structures and the environmental characteristics are suitable to guarantee the animal welfare and possibly propose improvement solutions.
- Develop innovative biotechnological approaches for the improvement of products of animal origin.
- Use textbooks and online resources to further insights.
- Employ appropriate terminology for a correct approach to the profession, which is also important for job interviews;
- Understand and comment on a scientific publication related to animal biotechnology and understand protocols described in manuals;
- Update the acquired skills by following scientific and technological progress.

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 ECTF, 40 hours) will address 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 farmed species. Reproductive apparatus and artificial 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; feeding and feedstuffs used in the farming of economically important fish species; innovative raw materials deriving from circular economy, for the formulation of aquaculture feeds; quality of fish products.

LABORATORIES (1 ECTS, 16 hrs)
The 4 laboratory practices will include:
1. The correct housing and care of laboratory animals (mice and rats) and their reproduction and weaning as an essential factor for the outcome of scientific experiments. (0.25 ECTS, 4 hrs) - Video.
2. Dissection of a laboratory mouse, with recognition and removal of various organs and tissues (0.25 ECTS, 4 hrs) – Video.
3. Nucleic acid extraction from animal tissue samples (0.25 ECTS, 4 hrs) - Video
4. Dissection of a farmed fish (sea bass or trout) and recognition and removal of various organs and tissues (0.25 ECTS, 4 hrs) – Activity in the lab.

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

Convenzionale

The course consists of lectures (5 ECTS), and laboratories (1 ECTS).
Slides in ppt with images and text 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. The attendance of the labs is mandatory. During the laboratory classes, continuous assistance will be assured by the professor and one or more scientific technicians. Students should wear lab coats during laboratory classes.
Students who exhibit allergies or intolerances to reagents or other molecules that may be present in the lab must inform the professor before the laboratory activity.

To avoid wait times, it is necessary to arrange an appointment by email (from the domain @ uninsubria.it) for consulting with the professor. Professor receives the students after each lecture, too.

Professors