38836 - Genetics

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being Life on land

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, the student gains knowledge of the basic principles of heredity, transmission, expression and variability of genetic information.  In particular the student is able to use an appropriate terminology, to analyze genetic variability and to interpret genetic experimental data.

Course contents

Introduction to genetics. The structure of DNA, DNA replication. Gene, allele, genotype, phenotyope  definition. Relation between genes and traits; gene expression.

 Mendelian genetics, monohybrid crosses, dihybrid crosses (independent assortment),  probability and Chi-Square. Mitosis and meiosis, chromosomal basis of inheritance, sex determination and sex-linked characteristics, dosage compensation in mammals. Human pedigree analysis.

Extensions of mendelian genetic analysis, multiple alleles, lethal alleles, types of dominance, penetrance, gene interactions and epistasis, Maternal effect, interaction of genes and environment.

Non-mendelian inheritance: mitochondria and chloroplasts.

Linked genes, recombination, constructing genetic maps with recombination frequencies.

Bacterial and viral genetics.

Genetic variability. Molecular basis of mutations. Point mutations and their consequences. Chromosomal mutations. Transposable elements. 

Recombinant DNA technology: OGM, CRISPR Cas system

Population genetics: allele frequencies; Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, Mutation and selection, genetic drift, migration.


No specific text-book is required. The following textbooks can be used as a reference:

Benjamin A. Pierce, GENETICA Edit. Zanichelli

Russell P. J. “GENETICA Un approccio molecolare” - Edit. Pearson

Teaching methods

Lectures with powerpoint presentations; in class problem solving and exercises

Assessment methods

Written exam (including multiple choice questions, questions with open answers and problem solving) or on-line oral exam depending on COVID-19 spread.


Teaching tools

Ppt presentations and  scientific papers  will be available

Office hours

See the website of Brunella Del Re