Photobiology and bioenergetics

A.Y. 2017/2018
Overall hours
Learning objectives
To provide the students the principles of the light dependent biological mechanisms
Expected learning outcomes
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
Brief introduction about light and its electromagnetic nature.
Outline of physical mechanisms underlying the absorption of light.
Light signal transduction.
Plant photoreceptors, cryptochrome and phototropins.
Stomatal biology and mechanisms involved in the light mediated regulation of their aperture.
Shade avoidance
Plant photomorphogenesis: the role of light and its interaction with photoreceptors in plant development.
Circadian rhythm, photoperiodism and chloroplast to nucleus communication.
Photosynthesis, photorespiration and adaptation of the CO2 fixation mechanisms.
Series of seminars aimed at presenting how others non-plant organisms perceive and interact with natural light.

Teaching materials
Taiz, Zeiger, Moller, Murphy. Plant Physiology and Development.

Specific requests and examination modalities
Basic knowledge of organic chemistry, biochemistry, molecular and cell biology of animals and plants.

Exam modality
Oral. For each Unit of the course, students will have to critically analyse, in the form of an oral presentation, a scientific paper chosen among the ones made available by the teachers. The presentation, consisting in a short introduction of the biological problem, and the critical analysis of the experiments reported in the paper, will be followed by discussion with the teacher on the signaling mechanisms analysed in the research article and during the course. The students will be also evaluated based on the theoretical knowledge of the different topics presented during the course. Teachers will raise specific questions at a dedicated test session, or at the time of the article presentation.

Recommended Prerequisites

Teaching methods
Course attendance is highly recommended. Traditional classes, supported by powerpoint slides.


Program information
Powerpoint slides and original papers will be available of the dedicated Ariel website.

WEB page
BIO/04 - PLANT PHYSIOLOGY - University credits: 6
Lessons: 48 hours
Thursday 14:00-16:00
Department of Biosciences 3rd Floor Tower C
Upon appointment
V floor Tower A, Via Celoria 26