Molecular Genetics and Genomic Tools for Plant Breeding (2020/2021)



Course code
4S008241
Credits
6
Coordinator
Antonella Furini
Academic sector
AGR/07 - AGRICULTURAL GENETICS
Language of instruction
Italian
Teaching is organised as follows:
Activity Credits Period Academic staff Timetable
Genetica molecolare teoria 2 II semestre Antonella Furini

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Miglioramento genetico teoria 3 II semestre Diana Bellin

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Genetica molecolare laboratorio 1 II semestre Antonella Furini

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Learning outcomes

This course will provide to students knowledge of the main genetic and molecular strategies for crop breeding. This strategies are either assisted by molecular markers and genomics, or relies on gene expression analysis or on the production and application of transgenic plants. This course will also provide means for studying plant genetic variability, and will describe methodologies currently used for the identification of genes and new sources of variability, to be applied in plant breeding. Most modern plant biotechnologies and new breeding technologies as well as their possible applications to increase food-crop productivity and quality will also be presented.

Syllabus

INTRODUCTION TO MOLECULAR GENETICS.
Molecular genetics for increasing crop yield;
Green revolution, Harvest Index;
GAI and the green revolution genes;
Plant architecture and yield;
Perennialism.

PLANT GENOME
Evolution of plant genomes;
Transposable elements and their role on gene expression;
Genomes of organelles and interaction with nuclear genome.

GENE FUNCTION ANALYSIS.
Mutant collections;
Tilling;
Gene silencing;
RNA interfering.

EPIGENETICS
Histone modifications;
DNA methylation;
Epigenetic regulation in plant responses to the environment.

PLANT GENETIC TRANSFORMATION
Expression of heterologous genes in plants (increase yield/improve quality);
Genome editing in plants.

Discussion on Genome editing and the cultivation of transgenic plants (Prof.ssa Furini).
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INTRODUCTION TO GENOMIC ASSISTED BREEDING
MOLECULAR MARKERS:
Phenotypic, biochemical or DNA based genetic markers
History of classical DNA based markers, SSR
SNP identification and analysis (single SNP, middle throughput, high throughput: SNPChips, RADSeq, GBS, resequencing)

GENETIC DIVERSITY ANALYSIS
Genetic distance measures; Index for genetic distance evaluation among individuals and population; grouping
Crop variety definition and molecular analysis; fingerprinting and varietal identification

METHODS IN MAPPING OF GENES/QTLS FOR INTERESTING TRAITS IN CROPS
Segregation and production of genetic maps on biparental crosses; strategies for genes and QTL mapping, fine mapping and cloning of genes and QTLs; BSA; mapping by sequencing; QTL-Seq
Linkage disequilibrium; Mapping by association, GWAS;
Markers assisted selection (MAS)
Genomic selection

Discussion of genomics applied to crop breeding examples (Prof. Bellin)


Assessment methods and criteria

Learning outcomes will be tested by oral examination on whole program of theory and laboratory parts by each of the two teachers of the two modules. Final mark will be derived by averaging marks for each module.