Plant Biology and Pharmaceutical botany

A.Y. 2017/2018
Overall hours
Learning objectives
Obiettivo del corso di Biologia vegetale e Botanica farmaceutica è di fornire nozioni di base agli studenti sulla struttura della cellula vegetale, sui tessuti che compongono le piante vascolari ed inoltre fornire le basi per il riconoscimento e la descrizione delle principali piante medicinali ed officinali.
Expected learning outcomes
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Course syllabus
Plant Biology
Animal and plant organisms, differences
Plant nutrition: autotroph and heterotroph orgamisms.
Plant cell
Plastids: chloroplasts, chromoplasts, amyloplasts
Vacuole: origin, development, functions. Vacuolar content with particular reference to secondary metabolites.
Transport across the plasma membrane. Osmotic phenomena, plasmolysis and deplasmolysis. Osmotic pressure, turgor pressure.

Middle lamella and cell wall. Genesis and development of the cell wall. Cell wall functions.
Chemical components of the cell wall: cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin substances. Secondary modifications of the cell wall: lignification, suberization, mineralization, cutinization.

Tissues in higher plant. Primary and secondary meristematic tissues. Embryonic growth and distension growth. Differentiation. Adult tissues: parenchymatic, tegumental, mechanical, secretory, conductive.

Organography: stem, leaves, root apparatus.
Stem anatomy: vegetative apex, stem primary structure of Dicotyledons and Monocotyledons. Stem secondary structure of Dicotyledons and Gymnosperms. Heteroxylous and homoxylous wood. Functioning of the vascular cambium.

Root anatomy: root apex, root primary structure of Dicotyledons, Monocotyledons and Gymnosperms. Roots secondary structure of Dicotyledons.

Leaves: form, structure and function of the leaves of Dicotyledons, Monocotyledons and Gymnosperms. Gas exchanges between the leaf and the external environment and their regulation mechanisms. Functioning of stomata.


Seed and germination

Pharmaceutical Botany
Introduction to Pharmaceutical Botany: the concept of medicinal plant, drug, active principle, balsamic time.
Algae, Bryophytes, Pteridophytes: reproductive cycle
Algae: general information
Rhodophyta (Chondrus crispus and genus Gelidium cited), Chromophyta (notes: Phaeophyceae, Bacillariophyceae), Chlorophyta (notes: Chlorophyceae, Charophyceae)
Lichens: notes
Mosses: general information (Marchantia polymorpha and genus Mnium cited)
Rhyniophyta (Rhynia gwynne-vaughanii),
Psilophyta (Psilotum nudum),
Lycophyta (Lycopodium clavatum),
Spenophyta (Equisetum arvense),
Filicophyta (ferns)(Adiantum capilus-veneris, Dryopteris filix-max)
cited: Osmunda regalis, Polipodium vulgare, Phyllitis scolopendrium

Spermatophytes: taxonomy, importance and biology and of the seed.
· Gymnosperms:
Cycadophyta, general information (Cycas revoluta)
Ginkgophyta (Ginkgo biloba)
Conoferophyta, Coniferales
1. Pinaceae (Picea abies, Abies alba, genus Pinus, Larix decidua, Cedrus libani)
2. Cupressaceae (Cupressus sempervirens, Juniperus communis)
3. Taxaceae (Taxus baccata)
Gnetophyta, general informations and notes on the genera Ephedra, Gnetum, Welwitschia

· Angiosperms: general information
A detailed knowledge about the discriminating characters and about the main species of the botanical families listed hereafter is firmly required. The species listed in brackets should also be studied in detail.

1. Ranunculaceae (genera Aconitum, Helleborus)
2. Papaveraceae (Papaver rhoeas, P. somniferum, Chelidonium majus)
3. Cannabaceae (Cannabis indica, Humulus lupulus)
4. Fagaceae (Fagus sylvatica, genus Quercus, Castanea sativa)
5. Salicaceae (Salix alba, Populus nigra)
Fabales: common characters
6. Mimosceae (ornamental species, Acacia senegal)
7. Caesalpinaceae (Ceratonia siliqua, Tamarindus indica, Cassia angustifolia)
8. Fabaceae (food, medicinal and fodder species and known species of the Italian flora; in detail Cytisus scoparius and Spartium junceum; Glycyrrhiza glabra cited)
9. Apiaceae (Pimpinella anisum, Conium maculatum)
10. Solanaceae (food species, deadly nightshade, henbane, stramonium)
11. Lamiaceae (Lavandula angustifolia)
12. Oleaceae (ornamental species, Olea europaea, Fraxinus excelsior, Fraxinus ornus)
13. Scrophulariaceae (Digitalis purpurea; genera Verbascum and Veronica cited)
14. Asteraceae (food, medicinal and ornamental species, in detail Artemisia absintium and Chamomilla recutita; Sylibum marianum, Arctium lappa, Taraxacum officinale, Arnica montana cited)
15. Aloaceae (Aloe barbadensis, Aloe ferox)

During the course many plant species of medicinal interest will be cited, for example: Coffea arabica, Myristica fragrans, Ricinus communis, Theobroma cacao.
BIO/15 - PHARMACEUTICAL BIOLOGY - University credits: 12
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 88 hours
Professor: Fico Gelsomina