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 (12 hours)

Basic knowledge of animal biology and developmental biology. In order to follow the course better, it is necessary to have passed the exams in chemistry and physics.

Final Examination: 

The final exam is given to assess the acquisition of the expected knowledge and skills through a ORAL test. The test consists of three questions, two on theory and one on laboratory practices. The question on the laboratory portion aims to determine complete knowledge of what was demonstrated during the laboratory exercises.
The exam is graded in groups of three and takes into account the accuracy and quality of the answers. To pass the exam, a minimum of 18/30 should be achieved. To get the highest score, the student must answer all 3 questions in a brilliant way and show that he/she can combine different aspects of knowledge.

Voto Finale

This course aims to provide students, through theoretical and practical activities, with knowledge of the classical biotechnologies applied in the animal field, including the necessary fundamental aspects related to the breeding of animals for agricultural or biomedical purposes (model animals), with special reference to aquatic species.
In particular, the course provides knowledge of the physiology of some farmed fish species, modern breeding technologies that ensure animal welfare, feeding and reproduction in aquaculture, the quality of fish from aquaculture, and techniques of artificial insemination of various animal species, especially those of commercial interest.

After a brief introduction to the definitions and history of animal biotechnology, the course summarizes the major practices used in the production of livestock, with particular attention to the physiology of some farmed species. The techniques of breeding fish species for both agricultural food production and as laboratory models are covered in more detail. The limitations of animal production in terms of its sustainability and how it can be overcome through the use of biotechnology are also explored.

LESSONS (5 ECTF, 40 hours) will cover the following topics:

Biotechnology in Animal Husbandry.
• Sheep, goats, and cattle: reproductive system; hormonal regulation of reproduction; artificial insemination (evaluation, cryopreservation, and methods of selecting the sex of offspring by separating X and Y sperm).
• Fish species: physiology of osteichthyes with special reference to the most commonly farmed species. Reproductive apparatus and artificial reproduction of fish in aquaculture;
• Brief notes on the farming methods of the most important fish species; fish production in aquaculture; concept of sustainability of aquaculture; feeding and aqua feed in the farming of economically important fish species; innovative raw materials from the circular economy for the formulation of aquaculture feed; quality of fish products.


The 4 laboratory practises will include:
1. Dissection of a farmed fish (European sea bass) and identification and removal of various organs and tissues (0.25 ECTS, 3 hrs.)
2. Morphology (macroscopic and microscopic level) of bovine gonads (testes and ovaries) and male and female gametes; protocol of in vitro fertilisation and culture of gametes (0.25 ECTS, 3 hrs).
3. Cryopreservation of bovine male and female gametes (0.25 ECTS, 3 hours).
4. Nucleic acid extraction from animal tissue samples (0.25 ECTS, 3 hrs.).
One of the laboratories could be replaced by a visit to the animal husbandry unit of the university.


The course consists of lectures (5 ECTS), and laboratories (1 ECTS).
Lectures make extensive use of ppt slides with images and text. Instructional videos will also be used to help students obtain additional information and acquire new knowledge quickly and easily.
Laboratory instruction is designed to create an environment in which students are physically involved through active experimentation. Lab classes are held in the biology lab on floor -1 of the building at Via Dunant, 3. Participation in the labs is mandatory. During laboratory classes, constant supervision is provided by the professor and one or more scientific technicians. Students should wear a lab coat during lab classes.
Students who have allergies or intolerances to reagents or other molecules that may be present in the laboratory must inform the professor prior to laboratory activities.