Plant Molecular Genetics (2014/2015)

Course code
Antonella Furini
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Teaching is organised as follows:
Activity Credits Period Academic staff Timetable
teoria 5 I sem. Antonella Furini
laboratorio 1 I sem. Antonella Furini

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

The course examines the main strategies of plant genetics and crop improvement. Molecular markers and tools for gene expression analysis and improvement of crops are addressed. Aspects of plant biotechnology and the use of transgenic crops are included. Objective of the course is also the evolution of crop species, sinteny, plant genome structure and genetic variability useful for crop improvement.


Molecular techniques used to study and to improve crop species. Molecular genetics for increasing crop yield. Impact of green revolution and analysis of green revolution genes. Biodiversity and genetic resources and crop evolution. Functional genomics and comparative genomics. Plant genome size. Plant genome projects. Sinteny and genome evolution. Collinearity across cereals. Transposable elements: impact on genome structure and gene function. Forward and reverse genetics. Gene function and gene expression regulation. Epigenetics. Epigenetics and crop improvement. Insertional mutagenesis in Arabidopsis. T-DNA tagging and Transposon tagging, TILLING. Molecular markers as analysis tool. Marker-assisted selection. QTL analysis. Biotechnological strategies for crop improvement. Engineering complex metabolic pathways in plants. Transgenic plants for insect, virus and herbicide resistance. Transgenic plants tolerant to water stress. Global status of commercialized biotech/GM crops.

Arabidopsis mutant analysis
Gene expression analysis
Use of molecular markers

Assessment methods and criteria

oral exam