cod. 1006220

Academic year 2017/18
2° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Zootecnica generale e miglioramento genetico (AGR/17)
A scelta dello studente
Type of training activity
Student's choice
28 hours
of face-to-face activities
4 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit
in - - -

Learning objectives

At the end of the training activity, the student should have acquired knowledge and skills related to the management of limited size populations of animals. In particular, the student should be able to:
1. Know the situation of our country in relation to the populations concerned; to know the main genetic problems related to the management of these breeds. Being able to use the proper specific language of discipline and appropriate scientific terminology. In addition to the management approach, a molecular approach to biodiversity will be used (knowledge and understanding skills);
2. Understand the characteristics of the main management software (ENDOG, Pedigree Viewer), understand how it works and apply it to specific cases proposed by the teacher (ability to apply knowledge and understanding);
3. Be able to expose clearly the results of simulations made to an inexperienced audience (communicative abilities);
4. Be able to evaluate the conservation strategies best suited to the specific needs of a breed (autonomy of judgment);
5. Link the different topics dealt with each other and with the basic and related disciplines. (learning ability).


There are not limitations, however, useful concepts are provided during the course "General Animal Husbandry, Breeding, Biodiversity" (1st year, 2nd semester)

Course unit content

The course is not mandatory and is of new institution. It is aimed at students who wish to study issues relating to the management of animal populations with limited diffusion, of special interest, in recent years, due to a growing sensitivity towards sustainable production, biodiversity and typical productions. The course aims to address issues of management from a scientific point of view, using first a theoretical approach to the problem and then informatic tools that can operate on real databases.

Full programme

1. Brief references to concepts of quantitative genetics (selection, genetic progress, impact of selection on genetic variability, generation interval, inbreeding and crossing).2. Meaning of "Biodiversity" in domestic animal populations. Local production of typical brands, stud books, genealogical registers and regulations governing animal reproduction in Italy.3. Breeds with limited diffusion in bovine, sheep, goats, swine and equine in Italy.4. The levels of risk of extinction based on the number of breeders in the domestic animal populations.5. Size of populations and inbreeding.6. The molecular basis of biodiversity; the Genetic drift.7. The effective number of a population.8. Genetic management of small populations and conservation strategies (maximizing the ratio Ne / N; minimization of the relationship between breeders; minimization relationship at coupling; modification of the interval of generation, selection).9. Examples of management of animal populations with limited diffusion.10. Use of software for the management of animal populations with limited diffusion.


Pagnacco G. (2016): GENETICA ANIMALE Applicazioni zootecniche e veterinarie, Casa editrice Ambrosiana, MI.
Bordonaro, S. (2011) Le filiere zootecniche e la valorizzazione delle risorse genetiche zootecniche. In
Students can download pdf files of the lessons from Elly Platform (

Teaching methods

Frontal lessons, in-depth seminars and laboratory lessons on PCs for the use of specific programs. The programs used are of public domain and the students will be encouraged to use their own devices so that they can run independently after the course is completed.

Assessment methods and criteria

The final evaluation involves a written test and the submission of a report.The written exam provides both general questions on lecture topics and a practical application of the use of a management software by operating on data provided by the teacher. The duration of the written test is two hours.In addition, the student is required to present, at the time of examination, a short report on a project of safeguard of an animal breed at his choice. To the students with diagnosis of specific learning disability (DSA) certified under law n. 170/2010, proper specific support will be provided.

Other information

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