Agricultural chemistry

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
Unit 1: To give the basis for the knowledge of the physiological and biochemical mechanisms of plants with particular attention to metabolism, photosynthesis, mineral nutrition and water relationship.
Unit 2: Soil characteristic to define soil fertility and soil use producing crops. Students wil acquire information about soil fertility in order to define a fertilization plan.
Expected learning outcomes
Unit 1: The course of Biochemistry and Plant Physiology completes the knowledge acquired in the first year. In particular it will give competence on the structure, organization and function of the plant system both at the physiological and biochemical level and on the interaction with the environment.
Unit 2: Knowledge of chemical, physical and biological properties of soil and their relationships. Soil analysis interpretation and predisposition of a fertilizer plan.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Prerequisites for admission
It is very useful that the student has acquired knowledge and understanding of the notions related to the courses of Botany, General and Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The learning shall be carried out by means of a two written test.
Teaching unit: biochemistry and plant physiology
The written test is structured in 5 open questions on different subjects of the course and lasts 1 h.
Each question is evaluated with a score from 0/30 to 6/30. The overall score is given by the sum of each application ones. For the evaluation are considered different aspects, such as the accuracy of the response, the terminology used to define the process and the level of depth of the answer.
Teaching unit: Agricultural chemistry
Written test consisting in the critical discussion of soil chemistry analysis and in the proposal of fertilization plan able to satisfy plant request.
Plant physiology and biochemistry
Course syllabus
Glycolysis and fermentation. Energy yield of glycolysis. The TCA cycle. Electron flux and oxidative phosphorylation. Energy yield of respiration. The pentose-P pathway. The glyoxylate cycle.
Photosynthetic pigments. Photosystems, light-harvesting complexes, reaction centers. The Z scheme. Photophosphorylation. C3 and C4 cycles, CAM metabolism. Photorespiration. Biosynthesis and degradation of starch and polysaccharides. Ecophysiology of photosynthesis. The water potential. Plasmolysis, cell turgor.
Water absorption by roots: the apoplastic and symplastic pathways. Transpiration. The lift of the xylem sap in the xylem. Loss of water through the stomata, regulation of stomata opening.
Transport in plant cells. Chemical and electrochemical potentials. Diffusion, active and passive transport. The Nernst's equation. Carriers and ion channels. Role of the PM H+-ATPase in secondary active transport.
Translocation in the phloem. Osmotically-generated pressure flow. role of active transport of H+ in sucrose loading and unloading. "Sinks" and "sources".
Plant nutrient requirements. Nutrient availability and plant growth.
The responses to light: phytochrome and blue-light photoreceptors.
Plant growth regulators. Description of a few physiological effects of plant growth regulators.
The responses to abiotic stresses.
Teaching methods
Teaching Resources
- Taiz L., Zeiger E. Moller I.M. "Elementi di fisiologia vegetale", a cura di M. Maffei - Ed. Piccin Padova
- Lehninger A.L., Nelson D.L., Cox M.M. "Introduzione alla biochimica", Ed. Zanichelli, Bologna
- Slides available on ARIEL website
Soil chemistry
Course syllabus
The course introduces what soil is and which is its role in plant growth. Course will consider the different soil constituents and their role in defining soil fertility. Soil fertility will be explores by setting soil parameters able to describe both chemical and biological soil fertility. In the last soil, analysis will be considered as tool able to describe soil fertility and manage soil vs. plant growth.
Teaching methods
Classroom lessons.
Teaching Resources
Text book: Chimica Agraria, Violante, EDAGRICOLE + slide.
Plant physiology and biochemistry
AGR/13 - AGRICULTURAL CHEMISTRY - University credits: 6
Lessons: 48 hours
Professor: Espen Luca
Soil chemistry
AGR/13 - AGRICULTURAL CHEMISTRY - University credits: 4
Lessons: 32 hours
Professor: Adani Fabrizio
Educational website(s)
On Fridays from 9.00 to 12.00 or by appointment.
At the office or via MS Teams.