Plant physiology and biochemistry

A.Y. 2018/2019
Overall hours
Learning objectives
Aims of the course are to fornish tool for understanding the basic biochemical and physiological processes involved in the life cycle of plants with particular regards for the aspects establishing crop yield and adaptation to biotic stress and/or resources scarcity.
Expected learning outcomes
The student other than to known both the biochemical and physiological basis of plant function and crop yield will be able to understand how genetic and environmental factors can affect these factors. Mainly, he/she will be able to identify biochemical and physiological bottle-necks of quali- and quantitative yield traits in a view of sustainable and low-input agriculture.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
LIFE MOLECULES Amino acids, peptides, and proteins; the three-dimensional structure of proteins, carbohydrates and glycobiology; lipids; nucleotides. BIOENERGETICS Bioenergetics and thermodynamics; phosphoryl group transfers and ATP; biological oxidation-reduction reactions; electrochemical potential. ENZYMES Catalysis; an Introduction to Enzymes; how enzymes work; enzyme kinetics; regulatory enzymes METABOLISM Glycolysis; the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway; the citric acid cycle; mitochondrial electron transport and ATP synthesis (oxidative Phosphorylation); respiration in intact plants and tissues; lipid Metabolism; fatty acid catabolism. WATER IN PLANT LIFE The structure and properties of water; diffusion and osmosis; water potential; water potential of plant cells; water in soil, water absorption by roots; water transport through the xylem; water movement from the leaf to the atmosphere (driving force for transpiration, stomatal movement, stomatal control); the soil plant atmosphere continuum; water balance of plants. PHOTOSYNTHESIS The light reactions: photosynthetic pigments; organization of the photosynthetic apparatus; organization of light-absorbing antenna systems; mechanisms of electron transport; proton transport and ATP synthesis in the chloroplast The carbon reactions: the Calvin-Benson cycle; regulation of the Calvin-Benson cycle; the C2 oxidative photosynthetic carbon cycle (photorespiration); the inorganic carbon concentrations mechanisms: the C-4 carbon cycle and the crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM); accumulation and portioning of photosynthates starch and sucrose. PHOTOSYNTHESIS: PHYSIOLOGICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS Photosynthetic responses to light by the intact leaf; photosynthetic responses to temperature, photosynthetic responses to carbon dioxide. TRANSLOCATION IN THE PHLOEM Pathways of translocation; patterns of translocation: source to sink; materials translocated in the phloem; the pressure-flow model, a passive mechanism for phloem transport; phloem loading; phloem unloading; sink-to-source transition. MINERAL NUTRITION AND SOLUTE TRANSPORT Essential nutrients, deficiencies and plant disorders; passive and active transport; transport of ions across membrane; membrane transport processes; membrane transport proteins. ASSIMILATION OF MINERAL NUTRIENTS Nitrate assimilation; ammonium assimilation; sulfur assimilation; phosphate assimilation; cation assimilation; oxygen assimilation. PLANT DEVELOPMENT Photomorphogenesis: the photochemical and biochemical properties of phytochrome; characteristics of phytochrome-induced response Plant hormones: Effects and mode of action.
Teaching methods
David L Nelson, Michael M Cox "Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry" L. Taiz and E. Zeiger "Plant Physiology"
AGR/13 - AGRICULTURAL CHEMISTRY - University credits: 8
Lessons: 64 hours
Every day (phone or e-mail appointment)
Office at Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences