The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 47: 123 - 133 (2003)

Vol 47, Issue 2-3

Special Issue: Teaching Developmental Biology

Developmental biology for undergraduate students at the University of Palermo, Italy

Published: 1 January 2003

Giovanni Giudice and Karoly Onorato

Dipartimento di Biologia cellulare e dello sviluppo, Viale delle Scienze, Palermo, Italy.


This article describes a course for undergraduate students required for graduation in the Biological Sciences given by one of us (G. Giudice). The second author (K. Onorato) is responsible for computer graphics. Included in the description is a review of the various topics which are discussed in the lectures, as well as a collection of the graphics which accompany many of the lecture topics. Axis formation is reviewed in various model systems, and organogenesis, as it is understood at the molecular level in several genetic systems, is presented. Sex determination is reviewed in Drosophila and Caenorhabditis, followed by a discussion of developmental phenomena which involve clear-cut cellular interactions. Finally, assorted topics such as urodele limb regeneration, cell division control, aging and left-right asymmetry determination are presented.

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