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LABORATORY OF BIOTECHNOLOGY II
LABORATORIO DI BIOTECNOLOGIE II

Gene cloning strategies and screening techniques
Strategie di clonaggio genico e tecniche di screening

A.Y. Credits
2018/2019 8
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Marzia Bianchi Students can request an appointment by phone or e-mail.
Teaching in foreign languages
Course partially taught in a foreign language English
This course is taught partially in Italian and partially in a foreign language. Study materials can be provided in the foreign language and the final exam can be taken in the foreign language.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Biotechnology (L-2)
Curriculum: PERCORSO COMUNE
Giorno Orario Aula
Giorno Orario Aula

Learning Objectives

The goal of this course is to give the basic theoretical notions and practical skills of the most popular DNA cloning techniques used to investigate the structure and function of genes (from DNA to protein). Lectures will provide an overview of the different cloning vectors, host cells and of the principal screening strategies usually employed in the recombinant DNA technology. During the laboratory experiences students will perform an experimental strategy aimed to clone a specific gene and to express the corresponding recombinant protein in E. coli host cells.

Program

Laboratory experiences

1. Defining the goal of the cloning experiment and design of the cloning strategy.

1.1 Selection of gene to be cloned and cloning vector.

1.2 Selection of restriction enzymes to be used and design of degenerate primers.

2. Isolation of total RNA from the selected source.

2.1 Spectrophotometric quantification and electrophoresis of purified RNA.

3. cDNA synthesis from total RNA, by reverse transcription (RT).

4. PCR with degenerate primers specific for the insert to be cloned.

4.1 Analysis of the amplified product by agarose gel electrophoresis.

4.2 Purification of the PCR product.

5. Ligase of the PCR product with a plasmid vector, by the TA cloning strategy.

6. Transformation of competent E. coli cells with the ligase reaction.

7. Screening and identification of recombinant clones.

7.1 PCR from bacterial colonies.

7.2. Extraction of one positive recombinant clone (plasmid miniprep).

8. Transfer of the target gene into a prokaryotic expression vector, by directional cloning, with restriction enzymes.

8.1 Restriction enzyme digestion of both insert and vector.

8.2 Ligase reaction.

9. Transformation of the expression construct into a host strain, suitable for recombinant protein expression.

9.1 Transformation of E. coli BL21(DE3) competent cells.

9.2 Screening of recombinants.

9.3 Propagation and storage of recombinant clones.

10. Basic Bioinformatics Toolkit for cloning.

Lectures (supporting practical experiences)

1. DNA cloning: overview of enzymes, vectors, host cells.

1.1 Enzymes for DNA cloning: nucleases, ligases, polymerases, phosphatases.

1.2 Cloning vectors for E. coli and eukaryotic cells: plasmids, phages, cosmids, BAC, YAC, shuttle vectors.

1.3 Biological systems of molecular biotechnology: bacteria, yeast; higher eukaryotes.

2.DNA introduction into live cells.

2.1 Genetic transformation of prokaryotes.

3. Construction and screening of DNA libraries.

3.1 Preparation of genomic DNA and cDNA for library construction.

3.2 Library screening strategies: colony and plaque hybridization.

3.3. Production of labeled probes.

3.4 Isolation of recombinant vectors.

3.5 Restriction mapping.

3.6 DNA sequencing.

4. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) as an alternative to cell-based DNA cloning.

5. Basic techniques of recombinant DNA technology.

5.1 Isolation of nucleic acids.

5.2 Quantification of nucleic acids: standard spectrophotometric assay and NanoDrop assay (with exercises).

5.3 Agarose gel electrophoresis and sizing.

5.4 Making LB agar plates and streaking of bacteria.

5.5 Inoculation of bacterial cultures and preparation of glycerol stocks for long term storage.

6. Introduction to expression vectors.

Bridging Courses

In order to understand the contents of the course, students should possess a good knowledge of basic Molecular biology.

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

D1 - Knowledge and ability of comprehension.  After completing the course, students will have acquired the theoretical-practical knowledge of the most popular laboratory techniques employed for nucleic acid purification and analysis, of the different types of vectors and host cells used in gene cloning and of the main strategies employed for the screening and characterization of recombinant products.

D2 - Ability to apply knowledge and comprehension. Students will have to demonstrate to be able to understand and apply a laboratory protocol and to have developed skills to design and perform a cloning experiment autonomously.

D3 - Autonomy of judgement. Students will be able to critically analyze results and to publicly discuss them.

D4 - Communication skills. Students must acquire adequate scientific language skills by taking a participatory and critical attitude to the topics of the classroom lectures and laboratory experiences.

D5 - Learning skills. Students will demonstrate to possess the ability to independently increase basic knowledge and practical skills of newly emerging molecular biotechnologies.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Didactics, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment

Didactics

Learning activity will mainly consist of lab experiences. Lectures will be intended to supply the theoretical knowledge of the leading techniques employed in molecular biology.

The schedule will be introduced at the beginning of the course.

Attendance

Students must attend at least 2/3 of lab hours and few compulsory lectures, to be admitted to oral examination.

To attend the laboratory lessons, students must before attend the General Safety training and the Chemical and Biological Safety Course and pass the final examination.

Course books
  • S. Carson, H. Miller, D. S. Witherow. MOLECULAR BIOLOGY TECHNIQUES. A Classroom Laboratory Manual. Pub date: Dec 16, 2011. Elsevier Science & Technology.
  • T. A. Brown. BIOTECNOLOGIE MOLECOLARI, Principi e tecniche, Zanichelli, 2017.
  • J. W. Dale, M. von Schantz, N. Plant. DAI GENI AI GENOMI, EdiSES, 2013.

Supplementary books:

  • D. P. Clark, N. J. Pazdernik. BIOTECHNOLOGY, Academic Cell, Elsevier Inc, 2015.
  • K. Wilson, J. Walker. BIOCHIMICA E BIOLOGIA MOLECOLARE, Principi e tecniche, Raffaello Cortina Editore, 2006.

Additional educational material or scientific reviews will be made available during the course.

Assessment

Oral examination.

Digital Laboratory notebook evaluation. What to include in the Lab notebook and the criteria of its evaluation will be defined at the beginning of the course; specific instructions to draw up the notebook will be provided during the Laboratory lessons.

The oral final test will comprise four questions on different topics of the syllabus, two of which are related to the laboratory experiences (with specific references to the report provided), and will be aimed at determining the acquired knowledge, the degree of understanding and the ability to connect different aspects and to solve practical problems. The ability to illustrate the concepts using an appropriate scientific language will be also evaluated. The final score will take into account both the oral exam and the digital Lab notebook evaluation.

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students

Didactics

Learning activity will mainly consist of lab experiences. Lectures will be intended to supply the theoretical knowledge of the leading techniques employed in molecular biology.

The schedule will be introduced at the beginning of the course.

Attendance

Students must attend at least 2/3 of lab hours and few compulsory lectures, to be admitted to oral examination.

To attend the laboratory lessons, students must before attend the General Safety training and the Chemical and Biological Safety Course and pass the final examination.

Course books
  • S. Carson, H. Miller, D. S. Witherow. MOLECULAR BIOLOGY TECHNIQUES. A Classroom Laboratory Manual. Pub date: Dec 16, 2011. Elsevier Science & Technology.
  • T. A. Brown. BIOTECNOLOGIE MOLECOLARI, Principi e tecniche, Zanichelli, 2017.
  • J. W. Dale, M. von Schantz, N. Plant. DAI GENI AI GENOMI, EdiSES, 2013.

Supplementary books:

  • D. P. Clark, N. J. Pazdernik. BIOTECHNOLOGY, Academic Cell, Elsevier Inc, 2015.
  • K. Wilson, J. Walker. BIOCHIMICA E BIOLOGIA MOLECOLARE, Principi e tecniche, Raffaello Cortina Editore, 2006.

Additional educational material or scientific reviews will be made available during the course.

Assessment

Oral examination.

Digital Laboratory notebook evaluation. What to include in the Lab notebook and the criteria of its evaluation will be defined at the beginning of the course; specific instructions to draw up the notebook will be provided during the Laboratory lessons.

The oral final test will comprise four questions on different topics of the syllabus, two of which are related to the laboratory experiences (with specific references to the report provided), and will be aimed at determining the acquired knowledge, the degree of understanding and the ability to connect different aspects and to solve practical problems. The ability to illustrate the concepts using an appropriate scientific language will be also evaluated. The final score will take into account both the oral exam and the digital Lab notebook evaluation.

Notes

Part of the course will be taught in English on student request.
The student can request to sit the final exam in English with an alternative bibliography.

« back Last update: 13/04/19

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