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CODE 104209
ACADEMIC YEAR 2024/2025
CREDITS
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR BIO/11
TEACHING LOCATION
  • GENOVA
SEMESTER 2° Semester
TEACHING MATERIALS AULAWEB

OVERVIEW

The course focuses on the main biotechnological processes aimed at food production, with particular attention to plant and animal GMOs, the use of biomolecular technologies for food quality control, innovative packaging and the use of stem cells for production of cultured meat, with reference to related regulations.

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

The course aims to provide the students with specific knowledge focused to acquire specialized skills in the field of agri-food biotechnology. The main biomolecular techniques used in the production of plant and animal GMOs aimed at the production of food raw materials, as well as the methods used for their control related to food safety, will be examined in depth. The main molecular and cellular techniques used for the optimization of strains of microorganisms of industrial interest in agri-food production will also be discussed with some examples of industrial scale-up. The course will also provide some basic regulatory concepts related to the industrial property protection in the agri-food biotechnology field

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

In particular, in this teaching the following will be explored in depth: i) issues relating to the biomolecular techniques used in the production of plant and animal GMOs aimed at the production of food raw materials, ii) methodologies adopted for the management and control of the same; iii) cellular technologies for the production of cultured meat; iv) biotechnological approaches for the production of innovative packaging; v) basic concepts of protection of the invention and legislation related to the topics covered by the teaching.
At the end of the course the student must be able to:
know and critically describe the biotechnological processes of the food sector that are the basis of food production, with particular attention paid to GMOs and modern cellular technologies;
have knowledge of the main biomolecular methods used to control food quality, both for safety and customs purposes;
have knowledge of the main methods of creating innovative packaging on a biotechnological basis;
possess basic notions of the legislation that regulates the areas covered in teaching.

 

PREREQUISITES

Students must have basic knowledge of organic chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology and molecular biology.

TEACHING METHODS

The course consists of 24 frontal lessons which are carried out in the classroom with the aid of presentations, for a total of 48 hours (6 CFU). Testimonials may be involved to explore specific topics together with the teacher and/or carry out educational visits to the company.

Students who have valid certification of physical or learning disabilities on file with the University and who wish to discuss possible accommodations or other circumstances regarding lectures, coursework and exams, should speak both with the instructor and with Professor Sara Ferrando (sara.ferrando@unige.it), the Department’s disability liaison.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

General framework for biotechnology: traditional and innovative biotechnologies. Areas of use of biotechnology
Plant biotechnology:
Agrobacterium tumefaciens. 
Notes on molecular biology and plant genetics. Model plants. Micropropagation techniques.
Notes on plant cell cultures. The callus. Use of plant hormones for the management of differentiation.
Study of the function of genes in plants. Use of transposons, transcriptomics.
Promoters, terminators, design of a construct. 
Genetically modified plants. Transformation methods (Agrobacterium, biolistic system, chloroplat transformation). Gene editing.
The main changes to plants: herbicide resistance, parasite resistance; improvement of nutritional qualities; bioreactor plants
The markers. Removing markers, selecting. 
The legislation on GMOs. The analysis of GMOs in food
Microalgae. Production and use techniques in human and animal nutrition. Use in nutraceuticals
Genetically modified animals. GM fish, the example of salmon and aquarium fish
Cultured meat. Method of obtaining. 
Alternative products to meat, related biotechnologies (leghemoglobin, transglutaminase, insect meals)
3D printing in food production. 
Notes on the legislation on the topics covered
Sampling techniques for food molecular analyses. Customs analyses
Biotechnological systems for innovative packaging
Biotechnological approaches for the identification of toxins in fish foods.

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

All the material presented during the classroom lessons will be provided to the students and this will be sufficient to prepare for and pass the exam.

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

LESSONS

EXAMS

EXAM DESCRIPTION

Oral examination

ASSESSMENT METHODS

The oral exam involves the presentation and discussion of two topics of the program, proposed by the teacher at the time of the assessment.