Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e dell'Ambiente - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)


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Seat Scienze
A.A. 2016/2017
Credits 7
Hours 56
Period 1^ semestre
Language ENG
U-gov code SM02 W000015


Basic Knowledge of Developmental Biology, Cell biology, Molecular Biology, Comparative anatomy and Zoology.

Development of the course

Lectures (6 credits, 48 hours) and practical laboratory work with small groups of students are planned (1 credit, 8 hours). Lectures and practical activities are supported in e-learning mode that contains teaching materials, instructions for laboratory practice, reservation for laboratory exercises

Learning outcomes

The course aims at providing a complete and updated overview on the basic knowledge and application of the most recent reproductive biology achievements together with the reproductive biotechnologies for the aquaculture industry. The student will acquire in-depth knowledge on the topic of neuro-endocrine and molecular mechanisms that regulate maturation of gametes, as well as the of the hypothalamic-pituitary gonadal axis function. The course would also increase the knowledge of the molecular and cellular basis of the quality of gametes and on the functional and morphological alterations induced by stress, pollution, climate change,   photoperiod or hormonal treatments. The course is also intended that students acquire in-depth knowledge of the necessary methodologies for the study of life cycles and to assess the state of the populations that inhabit our seas. The contents presented during the lectures will be tested in the laboratory practices during which the students can test the knowledge acquired in class by applying an interdisciplinary approach.

Ability to apply the knowledge:
The acquisition of concepts on reproductive toxicology and molecular toxicology techniques will provide the student with a set of tools for assessing the presence of endocrine disruptors in the field of environmental monitoring and their impact on biodiversity.
The student will be able to apply their knowledge in the aquaculture sector as a possible solution to the over-exploitation of natural resources.
The contents presented in the class will be tested in a series of practical laboratory in which students will test the acquired knowledge regarding gamete quality 

Soft skills:
The execution of laboratory observations of the student contributes to: improve the overall vision of the process, sharpen communication skills that comes from teamwork, and enhance learning ability in autonomy and to improve the ability to draw conclusions.


Content (lectures, 6 credits, 48 hours):
Introduction to Biology of Reproduction of  aquatic organisms
Endocrinology of reproduction: hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis
Hormones, receptors and molecular mechanisms involved in the control of reproduction
Pineal gland and reproduction
Energy reserves and reproduction
Reproduction and stress: the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis
Sexual determination and puberty
Cell cycle germline.
Vitellogenesis: hormonal control of vitellogenin synthesis.
Reproductive Toxicology: a new tool for environmental monitoring.
Captive breeding: Biotechnology of reproduction of farmed organisms

Development of the examination

Methods for assessing learning outcomes:
The final grade is given asking at least three questions of the above program.

Criteria for assessing learning outcomes: 
In the oral exam, the student must demonstrate knowledge regarding the basis of the endocrine control of reproduction, and the molecular mechanisms at the basis of the quality of gametes and embryos. In the exam, students must demonstrate the acquirement of specialized knowledge on the general aspects of the reproduction of aquatic organisms

Criteria for measuring learning outcomes:
The final mark is awarded out of thirty. The exam is passed when the grade is greater than or equal to 18. It is expected to be awarded the highest marks with honors (30 cum laude).

Criteria for conferring final mark:
The rating is made up of the sum of the score reported in the individual questions that will take into account the understanding of the subjects (40%), the ability to link the different processes that occur during reproduction (40%) and the appropriateness of the technical language (20%). Praise is attributed when the score exceeds the value 30, and at the same time, the student has demonstrated full mastery of the subject.

Recommended reading

Reading articles from the following journals: Aquaculture, Fish Physiology Biochemistry, Fish and shell fish immunology, Aquatic Toxicology, Biology of reproduction
Slides of the lectures available on the Moodle platform


  • Biologia marina

Università Politecnica delle Marche
P.zza Roma 22, 60121 Ancona
Tel (+39) 071.220.1, Fax (+39) 071.220.2324
P.I. 00382520427