25241 - Biotechnology and resource conservation
571 - Degree in Environmental Sciences: 3
277 - Degree in Environmental Sciences: 3
571 - Degree in Environmental Sciences: 4
277 - Degree in Environmental Sciences: 4
Block I: Introduction to conservation
Diversity and biodiversity; expression of biodiversity. Why conserve biodiversity? The sixth extinction? Recorded extinctions. Threatened species. What causes extinction? Endogamy and loss of diversity. Spiral of extinction. Centers of origin, of diversity, of diversification and of dispersión. Biogeographical regions. (2 h)
Importance of genetic diversity. What is genetic diversity? Extent of genetic diversity.Polymorphism, allele frequencies, heterozygosis, heterozygosity, genetic diversity, nucleotide diversity. Extent of genetic diversity: exogamy, endogamy. (2 h)
Block II: Characterization of the biodiversity.
What is a molecular marker? Isoenzymes. DNA markers: markers based on hybridization of DNA: RFLP, Minisatellites or VNTR, markers based on DNA amplification: RAPD, Microsatellites or SSRs, mixed markers: AFLP. DNA sequences. (4 h)
Extraction of DNA. Technology of recombinant DNA. Molecular cloning. Tools and processes. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR). DNA sequencing (2 h)
Chromosomes, karyotype. Intra and interspecific variation in the size of the genome: evolution and adaptive significance. Molecular cytogenetics, (GISH, FISH). (1 h)
THE GENES OF THE POPULATIONS: HARDY-WEINBERG EQUILIBRIUM
Description of genetic diversity. Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. Expected heterozygosity. Deviation of the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. Genetic drift. (2 h)
Quantitative variation. Properties of the quantitative characteristics. Quantitative genetic variation. Heritability. Genetic and environmental contribution to a characteristic. Contributions to genetic variation: additive, dominant and from interaction. (2 h)
Block III: Strategies of conservation.
Conservation in situ: natural parks, Natura network. Conservation ex situ: botanical gardens, germoplasma banks and DNA banks. Systems of propogation of plants: sexual reproduction and vegetative multiplication. (3 h)
Techniques of plant conservation. Orthodox and recalcitrant seeds. Material of vegetative propagation: field collections, conservation of clones. Multiplication and regeneration of entries in germoplasma banks. Incident factors in conservation. Physiological and genetic deterioration. Use of natural environments. Use of controlled environments: types of installations. Selection of environment. Effect of sample size. (4 h)
Block IV: Biotechnology applied to the conservation of organisms.
In vitro cultivation: concept and basic requirements. Totipotency: differentiation and development. Phytohormones and phytoregulators. Explant: concept and types. Morphogenesis: somatic embryogenesis and organogenesis. Techniques of micropropagation: cultivation of apices and adventitious regeneration. Rooting and acclimatization. (4 h)
Techniques of in vitro preservation: short- and medium-term storage. Encapsulation in calcium alginate: artificial seeds. Long-term preservation: cryopreservation. Techniques of cryopreservation: dehydration and vitrification, cryoprotectants. (3 h).
Off-type plants and somaclonal variants. Methods of analysis of material regenerated in vitro: flow cytometry, molcular markers. (1 h)
2 Seminars given by persons in charge of centres devoted to the conservation of natural resources, 4 hours of attendance. In fact there will be two seminars, one concerning strategies of in situ conservation in natural parks and another about the characterization and use of phitogenetic resources of agronomic interest.
3 Laboratory/library practicals. 20 hours of attendance.
Laboratory experiments: exercises in the characterization of plants through molecular markers, in the reproduction of plants with seeds and multiplication by cuttings, in micropropagation and in cryopreservation (16 h)
Library practicals on the application of bioinformatic tools to the characterization of phitogenetic resources (4 h).
4 Visit to the Horticultural Germoplasma bank in Zaragoza (6 hours of attendance).
5 Study for the written test and the preparation of reports on the practicals, a total of 87 hours of independent work by the student. For better progress in the learning process it will be beneficial for the students to use the tutorial hours, especially for the production of the laboratory/practical reports.
6 Written test 3 hours of attendance.