Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Basic compulsory subjects
First Semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (64 hours)

It is recommended to begin the course provided with a strong background in Cell Biology, Cytology and Organic Chemistry.

At the end of the course, the student will undergo an oral examination. S/he will also be presented with a simple problem aimed at assessing his/her preparation in Mendelian Genetics. Other questions will verify the general knowledge and the logical and methodological tools acquired in the fields of Molecular Genetics, Genetics of the Microorganisms and Population Genetics. The use of correct scientific language will also be evaluated. The time for the exam is about 0.5 hours and the exam will be considered passed equal or over the 18/30 mark.

Voto Finale

In the Course of Genetics, the student will learn the genetic mechanisms at the bases of Mendelian genetics, the main molecular aspects of the Central Dogma, how genes work, with emphasis on the relationship between the type of mutation and the resulting phenotype, and last the models for the study of evolutionary processes.
In particular, at the end of the course, the student will be able to identify the most common models for the transmission of characters, to make educated guesses about the outcome of a given cross, to use basic models concerning the study of population genetics. Overall, the student will be able to assess the effect of variations in the genetic material on biochemical, physiological and molecular processes, with a special regard for quantitative traits. Last, the student will be able to critically discuss the relationship between genotype and phenotype and will be receptive to the next courses in molecular genetics and molecular biology.
The learning outcomes, in terms of "Knowledge and know" are: achievement of informed judgment, adequate expertise and communication skills in relation to the genetic mechanisms at the bases of Mendelian genetics, molecular aspects of DNA replication, of transcription and translation, gene function, evolutionary processes and the theoretical and practical bases of recombinant DNA technology.
As for the "Skills and know how", the course foresees the achievement of the ability to apply and communicate the acquired knowledge, at both theoretical and practical levels, in relation to the scientific method for experimental planning. Besides, the achievement of the skills required to develop and maintain issues related to the acquired knowledge, by means of critical reasoning and problem-solving attitudes.

Mendelian Genetics - 3 CFUs
• Cell structure in Plants and Animals; chromosomes, mitosis and meiosis, the genetic meaning of meiosis.
• The Mendelian approach. Inbred lines, F1 and F2. Independent assortment and segregation. Genes and alleles, phenotype and genotype. Monohybrid crosses and backcross. Dihybrids and trihybrid crosses. Multiple alleles. Basics of Mendelian analysis in Man, the use of pedigrees. Interaction between different genes.
• The chromosomal theory of heredity. Morgan’s experiments, sex-linked heredity. Linkage and recombination. The use of backcross in mapping experiments. Analysis of three-point test cross data.
Population Genetics - 2 CFUs
• Mendelian population, the concept of gene pool. Allelic and genotypic frequencies. The Hardy-Weinberg law.
• Genetic variation. The effects of mutation, gene flow, selection and genetic drift on the gene pool.
• Inbreeding, “F statistics” and differentiation among populations.

Variations in the genomic structure - 1 CFUs
• Chromosomal mutations: deletions, duplications, inversions and translocations and their effects on the phenotype.
• Variations in the organisation of the genome: changes of chromosome number and the effects of polyploidy.

The nature of genetic material – 1 CFUs
• Identification of the genetic material. DNA structure. Basics of DNA replication and transcription.
• Mechanisms for sexual exchanges in bacteria: transformation, conjugation and transduction.

Gene structure and function - 1 CFUs
• The one gene – one protein hypothesis. Co-linearity between gene and codified protein.
• The genetic code: characteristics and decryption. The universality of the genetic code.
• Gene mutations: their rate and their molecular basis. Different mutations give different phenotypic effects. Reversion and suppression. The fine structure of the gene in eukaryotes, processing of pre-mRNAs.

Regulation of gene expression - 1 CFUs
• Regulation: general aspects.
• Regulation in prokaryotes: the lac and trp operons in E. coli.
• Basics of gene regulation in eukaryotes.
• Micro RNAs.

At the beginning of the course, the teacher will provide the students with a list of updated textbooks. No other material is needed. Presence to classes is strongly recommended.


Normal classes will be held. In a few occasions, exercises will be done under the teacher’s guidance.