DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY

DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY

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Code
65535
ACADEMIC YEAR
2019/2020
CREDITS
6 credits during the 2nd year of 8762 Biological Sciences (L-13) GENOVA

5 credits during the 2nd year of 8756 Biotechnology (L-2) GENOVA

SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR
BIO/06
LANGUAGE
Italian
TEACHING LOCATION
GENOVA (Biological Sciences)
semester
1° Semester
Prerequisites
Teaching materials

OVERVIEW

The course aims to present the fundamental principles and molecular mechanisms that control and regulate the main aspects of animal development: formation of body axes, cell differentiation, morphogenesis and organogenesis. During the course the experimental approaches, both classic and modern, that have been used in the study of development processes will be illustrated.

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

The course will introduce students to the principles and experimental approaches of animal development, from gametogenesis to organ formation. Topics such as the interaction between gametes, the formation of the body plan, the communication between cells, cell differentiation, regulation of gene expression during development, morphogenetic movements and organogenesis will be covered. Furthermore, the student will be provided with the practical theoretical skills that allow the recognition of the main phases of embryonic development of some model organisms such as: sea urchin, amphioxus, Ciona, fish, frog, chicken and mammal.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

The attendance and participation in the planned educational activities (lectures and laboratory activities) will enable the student to acquire the most important aspects of Developmental Biology.

Specifically, the student will be able to:

- know the different phases of the embryonic development in different model organisms

- know and describe the processes of gametogenesis and fertilization, segmentation, gastrulation and neurulation both in invertebrate organisms, with mosaic development, and in vertebrates, with a regulative development.

- know and describe the mechanisms that control the processes of morphogenesis, organogenesis and cell differentiation.

- know and describe the mechanisms underlying regenerative processes and post-embryonic development.

PREREQUISITES

General knowledge of Citology and Histology and Comparative Anatomy is needed to effectively address the teaching content.

 

Teaching methods

The course consists of frontal teaching and practical exercises in the laboratory at the stereomicroscope.
Lectures are carried out with the help of powerpoint presentations.

The laboratory exercises will take place in laboratory equipped with stereomicroscopes.
In particular, the exercises will be carried out individually with a stereomicroscope for the observation of several model embryos at different developmental stages provided by the teacher or prepared by the students themselves.

 

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

Introduction to the course. Development of unicellular and colonial eukaryotes. Evolution of differentiation. Protostomes and Deuterostomes. Primordial Germ cell formation. Meiosis. Spermatogenesis. Oogenesis. Sperm and egg structure. Recognition between sperm and oocyte: attraction of the sperm, acrosome reaction, gamete fusion and the prevention of polyspermy. Early and late activation of oocyte metabolism. Fertilization in mammals: sperm capacitation, acrosome reaction. Fusion of genetic material. Presumptive territories. Determination of cell fate. Mechanisms of cell differentiation. Mosaic and regulative development. Potential and gradients in the oocyte. Progressive determination of embryonic cells. Nieuwkoop Center and Speeman Organizer. Primary embryonic induction. Molecules involved in inductive interactions. Control of regional specificity.

Types of segmentation in Protostomes and Deuterostomes. Mechanisms of segmentation. Karyokinesis and cytokinesis. Types of gastrulation in Protostomes and Deuterostomes. Morphogenetic movements in gastrulation. Implantation processes of blastocysts in mammals including humans. Formation of extra-embryonic membranes in Vertebrates. Embryonic annexes. Types of placenta in mammals including humans. Molecular control of embryonic sheets migration. Neurulation in Vertebrates. Morphogenesis of the central nervous system. Neural crests and their derivatives. Dorsal mesoderm and somites differentiation. Lateral plate mesoderm: myogenesis, angiogenesis and hematopoiesis. Endoderm and its derivatives.

Development of the vertebrate eye.

Primary and secondary sex determination in mammals. Environmental determination of sex. Post-embryonic development in Vertebrates. Metamorphosis and aging.

Embryonic and adult stem cells. Examples of tissue regeneration.

In vivo models for the study of human diseases.

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

All the Power Point presentations of the course and other teaching materials will be available on AulaWeb at the end of each cycle of laboratory lessons / exercises.

The indicated book is suggested as a supporting text, but students can also use other university level texts. The recommended text is available and can be consulted at the M.F.N. School of Science Library and at the teacher office.

S.F. GILBERT e MJF Barresi, Biologia dello Sviluppo. V ed. Zanichelli.

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Ricevimento: The students are able to book an appointment by phone, by mail or by aulaweb

LESSONS

Teaching methods

The course consists of frontal teaching and practical exercises in the laboratory at the stereomicroscope.
Lectures are carried out with the help of powerpoint presentations.

The laboratory exercises will take place in laboratory equipped with stereomicroscopes.
In particular, the exercises will be carried out individually with a stereomicroscope for the observation of several model embryos at different developmental stages provided by the teacher or prepared by the students themselves.

 

LESSONS START

Starting from the first semester. For timetables of the lectures and laboratories please consult the following link: http: //www.distav.unige.it/ccsbio/orario-lezioni-triennale.

ORARI

L'orario di tutti gli insegnamenti è consultabile su EasyAcademy.

Vedi anche:

DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY

EXAMS

Exam description

Details on how to prepare for the exam and the degree of detail required for each topic will be provided during the lectures.

The exam consists of a oral part. The oral exam is related to the topics covered during the course. It is always conducted by the teachers of course for at least 30 minutes (typically 45 minutes).

Three exam dates will be available in the winter session (January-February), and three in the summer session (June, July, September).

Assessment methods

The exam is aimed at assessing the knowledge of the fundamental elements of the subject and the ability to link the various topics.

In particular oral examination will focus on the topics covered during the lectures and will have the purpose of evaluating both the correct understanding of the topics, and the ability of the student to apply what has been acquired. The student must be able to connect and integrate the knowledge learned during the theoretical course and the laboratory exercises.

The commission will also evaluate the ability to present the arguments clearly and with correct terminology.
In this way the commission will be able to verify with high accuracy the knowledge of the fundamental elements of the cell and tissues organization  and  the ability to link the various topics. When these are not achieved, the student is invited to deepen the study and to make use of further explanations by the professors.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Attendance at lessons is strongly recommended while that at laboratories in the measure of 70%.