The course aims to provide students with the basic knowledge on the structures, the organization, the main functions of plant cells, tissues and organisms, also taking into consideration the morphological and functional diversity existing in the plant world. The course therefore provides a complete view of the structure-function relationship of plants. Laboratory activities allow students to acquire the basics of some methods widely used in plant biotechnology.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, students will know the plant cell, its main metabolic cycles, plant tissues and the relationships existing between the structures of tissues and organs and the function they must carry out. The student will have acquired the ability to describe plant structures, using the correct terminology, will be able to discuss the functioning of a cell and will be able to apply this knowledge in the context of green biotechnologies.
Plant Biology The plant cell and its main features: vacuole, cell wall, plastids Osmosis, turgor pressure and the importance of the cell wall Histology: the plant tissues. Angiosperm anatomy: stem, leaves, roots Flowers and inflorescences Sexual reproduction: haplodiplontic life cycle, alternation of generations Seeds: anatomy, germination, dispersion. Fruits: anatomy, dispersion Asexual reproduction and apomixis Plant hormones: auxin, cytokinins, gibberellins, ethylene and abscisic acid Phototropism and gravitropism Plant-environment interactions: seasonal flowering and photoperiodism Plant domestication and varietal improvement Plant Physiology Photosynthesis and the structure of the photosynthetic apparatus; synthesis of ATP and NADPH and their role in the Calvin and photorespiratory cycle; C4 and CAM cycles Cell-to-cell and across membrane transport Nernst equation, pumps, channels and transporters. Active and passive transport Apoplast and symplast; water potential and transport across the cell and in the plant Cohesion-adhesion-tension theory and transpiration. Transport in the phloem: content and mechanisms Stomata opening and abscisic acid Starch and sucrose synthesis Absorption, transport and assimilation of nutrients, nitrogenous compounds in particular
Prerequisites for admission
Cell Biology, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry
Teaching language: Italian Lectures are supported by powerpoint slides, in order to create a logical thread helped by data, formulas, images and videos.
The laboratory associated to the course will require about 16 hours and cover three topics: 1. observation of cell structures and plant tissues with a microscope 2. in vitro cultures 3. observation of alterations of shape or function of mutagenized plants. Observations will be facilitated by a stereomicroscope.
Plant Biology Raven Biology of Plants, Eighth Edition by Ray Evert, Susan Eichhorn, publ. Freeman, alternatively Botanica Generale e Diversità Vegetale, G. Pasqua, G. Abbate, C. Forni, IV edizione Ed. Piccin Plant Physiology: AAVV. (2012) Elementi di fisiologia vegetale (a cura di Nicoletta Rascio)
Assessment methods and Criteria
Oral exam - the exam aims to assess knowledge of the topics discussed during the course and understanding of the relationship between structure and function of plants