72579 - Molecular Genetics of Development with Laboratory

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The major focus of this course is to introduce students to the genetic control of development. The participants will be able to understand and plan experimental strategies to analyze gene function through the use of classical- and molecular-genetic approaches.

Course contents

Basic developmental biology concepts. Principles of forward and reverse genetic analysis. Mutagenesis. Classification of mutations. The major model organisms. Drosophila life cycle and overall development. Large –scale genetic screening for identifying developmental genes. The concept of morphogens in development. Localization of maternal determinants during oogenesis. Maternal gradients of morphogens and axis formation in the early embryo. Molecular genetic approaches to study gene function and gene expression regulation. Transgenic organisms. Genetic mosaics and mitotic recombination. Targeted gene expression and mis-expression. Targeted gene silencing.


Scott Gilbert "Biologia dello sviluppo" 2a edz. - Edit. Zanichelli, 2017 will be the main textbook used for the course. The teacher will provide updated reviews and original papers. Lectures slides in PDF files will be available for students attending the course. Downloading of the PDF files from the AMS Campus web site will be allowed upon registration to a mailing list and the use of a password.

Teaching methods

Lectures and practical work in the lab (1 CFU). 

The lab illustrates the application of some techniques to the study of developmental processes. To evaluate the understanding of the experimental work carried out in the laboratory, each student has to write a short written report.


Assessment methods

Written examination is the form of assessment used to evaluate student acquisition of knowledge and concepts. The exam is developed also to ascertain the capability of the student to synthesize and to integrate acquired knowledge. It consists of three open-ended questions pertaining directly to the course topics. The students will be given two hours to complete the exam.

Teaching tools

PowerPoint presentations.

Office hours

See the website of Valeria Cavaliere