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University of Rhode Island — Animal & Veterinary Science
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AVS 472 - Physiology of Reproduction
Course Information

Professor: Dr. Becky Sartini
Semester: Spring
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: BIO 101, AVS 331 or permission of instructor.

Catalog Description: Anatomy and physiology of reproduction, with emphasis on domestic animals.

Course Goals & Outcomes

We will use a variety of instructional methods that should develop your ability to:

  • Recall significant facts about reproductive physiology. Hopefully, you will have a complete understanding of the "pathways to pregnancy and parturition. "
  • Formulate and articulate related concepts in the field
  • Solve problems associated with the field by using knowledge gained about reproductive technologies and current areas of research
  • Write and critically evaluate scientific literature
Course Syllabus

Class Topics

  • Female and male anatomy
  • Puberty
  • Regulation of reproduction
  • Estrous cycle
  • Follicular phase
  • Luteal phase
  • Spermatogenesis
  • Reproductive behavior
  • Sperm transport, capacitation and fertilization
  • Embryogenesis and recognition of pregnancy
  • Placentation, gestation and parturition

Grades will be based on the following criteria:

  • Term paper
  • Oral presentation
  • Homework
  • Quizzes
  • Exams
  • Final exam
  • Participation
About The Professor

Becky Sartini, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Animal Science

University of Rhode Island
Woodward Hall
Kingston, RI 02881
Office: (401) 874-2477
Fax: (401) 874-7575

Dr. Sartini is interested in the regulation of gene expression during male germ cell development and the biochemical aspects of infertility in livestock species. She has identified testis-enriched transcripts of mRNA processing proteins and further experiments in the expression regulation of these mRNA processing proteins, using ex situ and in vitro models of spermatogenesis, may reveal important gene regulatory steps of male germ cell differentiation. Also, comparison of cellular targets among populations of more and less fertile males in a variety of livestock species will provide more accurate fertility assays.


  • Ph.D. , University of California, Davis, CA
  • M. S. , University of California, Davis, CA
  • B. A. , Hampshire College, Amherst, MA

Selected Publications

  • Wang, H. , B. L. Sartini, C. F. Millette and D. L. Kilpatrick. 2006. A Developmental Switch in Transcription Factor Isoforms During Spermatogenesis Controlled by Alternative Messenger RNA 3'-End Formation. Biology of Reproduction. (In Press).
  • DuTeaux, S. B. , T. Berger, R. A. Hess, B. L. Sartini and M. G. Miller. 2004. Male Reproductive Toxicity of Trichloroethylene: Sperm Protein Oxidation and Decreased Fertilizing Ability. Biology of Reproduction. 70: 1518-1526.
  • Sartini, B. L. and T. Berger. 2003. Changes in Oocyte Plasma Membrane Binding Sites on Boar Spermatozoa with Capacitation and Acrosome Reactions. Reproduction. 125(6): 865-70.
Reasons To Take This Course

"I would recommend this course to students who wish to learn in depth about reproductive physiology. You learn a great deal about every aspect of reproduction from the male and female anatomy down to the release and effects of hormones. It was my favorite course that URI had to offer and I highly recommend it. " -Steven

"Reproductive Physiology, affectionately known as 'repro', was an intellectually stimulating course. The course was largely involved with the anatomy and physiology of the mammalian reproductive system, but also included ideas about manipulation of reproductive systems by humans. I looked forward to the cool facts I learned each day, and the enthusiasm of the professor was captivating. It was arguably the most enjoyable class I have taken at URI. " -Nick

"Physiology of Reproduction was my all time favorite AVS class. This course covers animal reproductive anatomy, physiology, and regulation as well as management and technology. The material is enhanced by real world examples, allowing you to gain an understanding of just how important reproduction is to animal management. Furthermore, the reproductive technologies covered are applicable in human physiology as well as animal, so it's likely that you will encounter them sometime in your own life. " -Kate

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