Agricultural biochemistry and physiology of medicinal plants

A.Y. 2019/2020
Lesson for
6
Max ECTS
48
Overall hours
SSD
AGR/13
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The teaching aims to provide students with basic knowledge of the main biochemical and physiological processes in higher plants, addressing aspects related to plant primary and secondary metabolism, to plant physiology and to plant-environment interactions. These topics are discussed in relation to the productivity and quality of medicinal plants.
At the end of the teaching, students will have to know the fundamental biochemical processes related to plant physiology and to adaptation of plant to the environment. Students will have to be able to recognize the main agro-environmental factors that determine plant productivity, and to understand how these factors can influence the content of metabolites of interest in medicinal plants. Students will have to acquire basic criteria for evaluating the sustainability of production and the quality of medicinal plants.

Course structure and Syllabus

Active edition
Yes
Responsible
AGR/13 - AGRICULTURAL CHEMISTRY - University credits: 6
Lessons: 48 hours
Professor: Prinsi Bhakti
ATTENDING STUDENTS
Syllabus
WATER STATUS AND SOLUTE TRANSPORT IN PLANT (1 CFU) - The structure and properties of water. The concept of water potential and cell-water relations in plant. The water balance of plants. Water absorption by roots. Water transport through the xylem. Leaf transpiration and stomatal control. Mineral nutrition. Macro- and micro- nutrients. The concept of rhizosphere and soil-plant-microbe interactions. Solute transport. Chemical potential. Passive and active transport and membrane transport processes. Kinetic properties of transport proteins.
PHOTOSYNTHESIS IN HIGHER PLANTS (1 CFU) - Chemical-physical properties of light. Photosynthetic pigments. Organization of the photosynthetic apparatus. The photosynthetic light reactions. Roles of photosystems I and I, cytochrome membrane complexes, electron and proton transfer systems. The photophosphorylation mechanism. Repair and regulation of the photosynthetic machinery. The Calvin cycle. Photorespiration. C4 carbon cycle. Crassulacean acid metabolism. Physiological and ecological considerations about photosynthesis.
PLANT NUTRITIONAL STATUS: PHOTOSYNTHATE DISTRIBUTION AND MINERAL NUTRITION (1 CFU) - Synthesis of starch and sucrose. Translocation in the phloem. Photosynthate allocation and partitioning. Nitrate and ammonium assimilation. Biological nitrogen fixation. Sulfur assimilation. Summary of amino acid metabolism. The shikimate pathway. Acquisition and roles of phosphate and cation macronutrients. Roles of micronutrients. Acquisition of iron.
INSIGHTS ON THE PLANT PRIMARY METABOLISM AND RESPONSE TO LIGHT (1 CFU) - Seed germination. Lipid metabolism in plants. The glyoxylate cycle. Gluconeogenesis in plant. Plant respiration: systems involved in the transfer of reducing equivalents and the alternative respiratory pathway. Signal transduction. The photo-physiology of blue-light responses. Phytochrome and light control of plant development.
PLANT GROWTH REGULATORS AND STRESS PHYSIOLOGY (1 CFU) - Physiological aspects and actions of plant growth regulators. Auxins. Cytokinins. Gibberellins. Ethylene. Abscisic acid. Stress physiology: water deficit and salt stress, heat stress and chilling injury, oxygen deficiency.
PLANT SECONDARY METABOLISM (1 CFU): Eco-physiological aspects of secondary metabolism: defence and communication. Biosynthetic pathways and physiological functions of terpenes. Biosynthesis and physiological roles of phenolic compounds (lignin, coumarins, flavonoids, phytoalexins and tannins). Biosynthesis and physiological roles of nitrogen-containing compounds (alkaloids, cyanogenic glycosides, and nonprotein amino acids). Experimental strategies to improve secondary metabolite production.
NON-ATTENDING STUDENTS
Syllabus
WATER STATUS AND SOLUTE TRANSPORT IN PLANT (1 CFU) - The structure and properties of water. The concept of water potential and cell-water relations in plant. The water balance of plants. Water absorption by roots. Water transport through the xylem. Leaf transpiration and stomatal control. Mineral nutrition. Macro- and micro- nutrients. The concept of rhizosphere and soil-plant-microbe interactions. Solute transport. Chemical potential. Passive and active transport and membrane transport processes. Kinetic properties of transport proteins.
PHOTOSYNTHESIS IN HIGHER PLANTS (1 CFU) - Chemical-physical properties of light. Photosynthetic pigments. Organization of the photosynthetic apparatus. The photosynthetic light reactions. Roles of photosystems I and I, cytochrome membrane complexes, electron and proton transfer systems. The photophosphorylation mechanism. Repair and regulation of the photosynthetic machinery. The Calvin cycle. Photorespiration. C4 carbon cycle. Crassulacean acid metabolism. Physiological and ecological considerations about photosynthesis.
PLANT NUTRITIONAL STATUS: PHOTOSYNTHATE DISTRIBUTION AND MINERAL NUTRITION (1 CFU) - Synthesis of starch and sucrose. Translocation in the phloem. Photosynthate allocation and partitioning. Nitrate and ammonium assimilation. Biological nitrogen fixation. Sulfur assimilation. Summary of amino acid metabolism. The shikimate pathway. Acquisition and roles of phosphate and cation macronutrients. Roles of micronutrients. Acquisition of iron.
INSIGHTS ON THE PLANT PRIMARY METABOLISM AND RESPONSE TO LIGHT (1 CFU) - Seed germination. Lipid metabolism in plants. The glyoxylate cycle. Gluconeogenesis in plant. Plant respiration: systems involved in the transfer of reducing equivalents and the alternative respiratory pathway. Signal transduction. The photo-physiology of blue-light responses. Phytochrome and light control of plant development.
PLANT GROWTH REGULATORS AND STRESS PHYSIOLOGY (1 CFU) - Physiological aspects and actions of plant growth regulators. Auxins. Cytokinins. Gibberellins. Ethylene. Abscisic acid. Stress physiology: water deficit and salt stress, heat stress and chilling injury, oxygen deficiency.
PLANT SECONDARY METABOLISM (1 CFU): Eco-physiological aspects of secondary metabolism: defence and communication. Biosynthetic pathways and physiological functions of terpenes. Biosynthesis and physiological roles of phenolic compounds (lignin, coumarins, flavonoids, phytoalexins and tannins). Biosynthesis and physiological roles of nitrogen-containing compounds (alkaloids, cyanogenic glycosides, and nonprotein amino acids). Experimental strategies to improve secondary metabolite production.
Lesson period
Second semester
Lesson period
Second semester
Assessment methods
Esame
Assessment result
voto verbalizzato in trentesimi
Professor(s)
Reception:
Tuesday 14:00 - 17:00. Friday 14:00 - 16:00. Other days by appointment.
Office - Building 9 (Floor 1)