Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY
BIOLOGIA DELLO SVILUPPO

developmental biology
Biologia dello Sviluppo

A.Y. Credits
2019/2020 6
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Federica Semprucci Mail appointment
Teaching in foreign languages
Course with optional materials in a foreign language English
This course is entirely taught in Italian. 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

Biological Sciences (L-13)
Curriculum: SANITARIO MOLECOLARE
Giorno Orario Aula
Giorno Orario Aula

Learning Objectives

The Developmental biology course aims to provide the students with the basic knowledge on  the set of morphogenetic processes leading from zygote to a multicellular organism and about the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying these events. At the end of the course, the student will have knowledge about the embryonic development of different invertebrate and vertebrate model organisms as well as a historical and integrated vision of the multiple approaches that have allowed the advances of this discipline and its contributions in the modern biology.

Program

Developmental biology introduction. Historical background of developmental biology. Descriptive embryology, experimental and molecular embryology. Biological aspects of developmental biology. The life cycle of organisms: stages of animal development.

Determination and differentiation. Differentiation potential changes during development. Cellular determination and regulation of gene expression. Cell differentiation: reversibility and irreversibility of the gene activity pattern. Control of tissue-specific gene expression: maintenance of cellular diversity. Modalities of autonomous, conditional and syncytial specification and their examples in the animal world. Construction of presumptive maps. Stem cell concept: definition of embryonic and adult stem cells, their molecular characteristics and maintenance niches.

Morphogenesis and cell adhesion. Differential cell adhesion. Cell surface and cell-cell adhesion molecules: cadherins. Extracellular matrix and cell-matrix adhesion molecules. Cell-matrix adhesion molecules leading role in cell migration during the embryo development. Integrins. Integration of cells into tissues. 

Cell communication in development. Cell communication: signaling molecules and their receptors. Intracellular receptors and cell surface receptors. Intracellular signalling. Signaling pathways depending on regulated proteolysis. Embryonic induction and competence. Paracrine and iuxtacrine factors in the development. 

Apoptosis. Notes of Apoptosis in animal development. Mechanisms and functions of cell death. Apoptosis stages. 

Embryology. Spermatogenesis and oogenesis and molecules involved in their regulation. Fertilization and zygote formation. External and internal fertilization in echinoderms and mammals, respectively. Stages of embryonic development: cleavage, gastrulation, neurulation, organogenesis. Formation of the body axes and molecular processes involved. Embryo development of the main model organisms used in biology. Invertebrates: nematodes (Caenorhabditis elegans), gastropod molluscs, insects (Drosophila melanogaster), echinoderms (Paracentrotus lividus), tunicates (Styela partita). Anamniotic vertebrates such as amphibians (Xenopus laevis) and amniotes such as birds (Gallus domesticus) and mammals (Mus musculus). Definition of embryonic membranes.

Development and environment. Phenotypic plasticity induced by diet, predation and temperature. Environmental aggression in development. Eco-Evo-Devo concept.

Bridging Courses

There are not prerequisites. However, understanding the topics of the course in Developmental Biology requires some basic knowledge of cell biology and genetics.

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

D1- KNOWLEDGE AND CAPACITY OF UNDERSTANDING: In order to pass the exam the student  must prove to  have acquired an advanced level of theoretical knowledge in the field of Developmental biology that will help him understand the mechanisms of reproduction and development

D2-ABILITY TO APPLY KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING: The student must demonstrate that he had acquired the abilities to use the knowledge independently for understand and describe the fundamental concepts of development

D3-AUTONOMY OF JUDGEMENT: The student will have acquired knowledge to enable him to describe the topics covered and to be able to independently evaluate and motivate any different opinions about the problematic aspects of developmental biology

D4-COMMUNICATION SKILLS: After completing the course, the student must have achieved an appropriate organization of their knowledge around to the different themes of the course, to enable him to present the arguments in organic form and with appropriate scientific language

D5-CAPACITY of LEARNING: The student will be able to examine and understand scientific texts.

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

Frontal lessons

Attendance

It should be noted that the course material, made available online on the Moodle platform (lesson slides, scientific papers, movies), is NOT sufficient to prepare the exam that necessarily requires the support of a book.

Course books

Suggested books:

Gilbert S F, Barresi M J. F., 2018. Biologia dello sviluppo, Zanichelli.

Wolpert L. et al., 2017. Biologia dello sviluppo, Zanichelli.

Andreuccetti P. et al., 2010. Biologia dello sviluppo, Mc Graw-Hill.

Assessment

Oral exam. Students are expected to answer a few questions (three or four), and be able to connect different topics together. The exams will assess the knowledge and reasoning skills, the ability to solve problems and interpret data in accordance with what is stated by the Dublin descriptors.

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students

Didactics

Teaching material available on-line in Moodle platform: lessons slides and scientific articles on specific subjects.

Attendance

It should be noted that the course material, made available online on the Moodle platform (lesson slides, scientific papers, movies), is NOT sufficient to prepare the exam that necessarily requires the support of a book.

Course books

Suggested books:

Gilbert S F, Barresi M J. F., 2018. Biologia dello sviluppo, Zanichelli.

Wolpert L. et al., 2017. Biologia dello sviluppo, Zanichelli.

Andreuccetti P. et al., 2010. Biologia dello sviluppo, Mc Graw-Hill.

Assessment

Oral exam. Students are expected to answer a few questions (three or four), and be able to connect different topics together. The exams will assess the knowledge and reasoning skills, the ability to solve problems and interpret data in accordance with what is stated by the Dublin descriptors.

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