Animal and plant biology

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
BIO/03 BIO/05
Learning objectives
The learning objectives are:
- to provide knowledge regarding chemical and biological characteristics of living organisms, particularly regarding plant organisms;
- to provide knowledge of the morpho-functional characteristics of plant organisms;
- to show how the morphology, function and behaviour of animals become adapted to the environment through evolution;
- to prepare students for the courses that require knowledge of plant and/or animal biology at the system and organism levels.
Expected learning outcomes
Expected learning outcomes are to have:
- knowledge of the basis of life its evolution and the meaning and value of biodiversity;
- knowledge and understanding of the main notions in cell biology, plant and animal biology and developmental biology;
- Knowledge of plants morpho-functional organisation;
- Ability to recognise and distinguish plants on the basis of their structure, organisation and complexity;
- capacity of grouping and classifying plants on the basis of the main plant taxonomy criteria;
- understanding of the complex interactions among various living organisms and their evolution.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
Plant biology:
· The main features of living organisms: Biological diversity. - The origin of life. - Autotrophic and heterotrophic organisms. - Role of plants in the biosphere.
· The chemical basis of life: - The chemical-physical characteristics of water molecules - Carbohydrates: structure, functions, role in cells - Structural and storage polysaccharides -Lipids: structure, functions, role in cells - Terpenes and essential oils - Lipids and biological membranes - Aminoacids and protein structure - Functional characteristics of proteins and notions regarding enzyme catalysis - Nucleotides and nucleic acids: structure, functions, role in cells
· Morpho-functional organization of plant cells: General organization of cells: prokaryotes and eukaryotes - Plant and animal cells - Biological membranes: structure and function - subdivision and transport - Cell membrane: the lipid and protein component - Cytoplasm and cytoskeleton: microtubules and microfilaments - Endomembrane system: endoplasmic reticulum - Golgi Apparatus, ribosomes, peroxisomes, lysosomes - cell organelles and endosymbiotic theory - Mitochondria: structure and functions - Plastids: Genesis and types of plastids - Chloroplast: structure and functions - Cell wall: genesis, structure and functions - Vacuole: genesis, structure and functions - Osmosis, plasmolisis, relaxation - Nucleus: structure and functions Transmission of genetic information - DNA replication and transcription - Genetic code - Protein synthesis - Cell cycle: mitosis and cytodieresis - Meiosis, genotype, phenotype - Mendelian genetics, F1 and F2, test cross - Mutations, ploidy in cultivated plants - Notions of molecular biology methodology - Examples of genetically modified plants
· Structural and functional organization of plants: General organization of plants - Plant tissues: meristematic and adult - Root apex and anatomy of the primary root - Shoot apex and anatomy of primary shoot structure - Structure and secondary growth - Structure of annual rings: omoxilo and eteroxilo wood - The leaf: formation, connection to the stem, structure - The flower: formation and organography - Micro- and macrosporogenesis, micro- and macrogametogenesis - Fertilization and formation of the seed and the fruit - Types of seeds and fruits - Seed structure, germination and formation of seedlings
· Introduction to systematic Botany: Taxa and nomenclature. Metagenetic cycles in algae, fungi, bryophytes, pteridophytes, spermatophytes. Introduction to plant diversity: thallus and corm plants. Eukaryotic algae: general information, morphology, organization, reproduction and cycles. Terrestrial plants: general taxonomics - Embryophytes: differences between bryophytes and tracheophytes - Bryophyta: general information, morphology, organization, systematics reproduction and cycles - Pteridophytes (vascular cryptogams): general information, morphology and organization, reproduction and cycles - Spermatophyta: general characteristics; ovule and seed, pollen - Gymnosperms: general information, morphology and organization; reproductive organs, reproduction and cycle - Angiosperms: general information, morphology and organization, reproductive organs, type of flower and inflorescences, type of fruits - Dicots and Monocots
Animal biology:
· Animals and characteristics of the Animal Kingdom. Cell, heterotrophy, homeostasis and metabolism.
· · Characteristics and classification of animals.
· · Food behavior and evolution of the digestive system in the main groups of animals.
· · Animal evolution and phylogeny.
· · Introduction to the sub-phylum Hexapoda (insects).
· · Embryonic development: zygote, morula, blastula, gastrula.
· · Sexual and asexual reproduction, mitosis and meiosis, hermaphroditism, parthenogenesis.
· · Introduction to population ecology. Population characteristics. Population size and evolution.
· · Community ecology. Structure and functioning of communities. Symbiotic relationships.
· · Micro-evolution of populations: mutation, natural selection, gene flow, non-random reproduction, genetic drift.
Prerequisites for admission
Basic knowledge of elements of inorganic and organic chemistry. Basic knowledge of elements of general biology.
Teaching methods
Plant biology:
Lessons are 75% of the total hours of the course. Laboratory activities, practical field activities and seminars are 25% of the hours of the course. The final exam is oral.
Animal biology:
Lessons are 80% of the total hours of the course. Laboratory activities, practical field activities and seminars are 20% of the hours of the course. The final exam is written.
Teaching Resources
Plant biology:
Biologia delle Piante. Peter H. Raven, Ray F Evert, Susan E. Eichhorn. Sesta edizione (2013) Zanichelli Biologia.
La cellula. W.K. Prves, D. Sadava, G.H. Orians, H.C. Heller. Zanichelli
Speranza A. e Calzoni G. L. Struttura delle piante per immagini,
Zanichelli, 1996.
Pasqua G., Abbate G., Forni C. Botanica generale e diversita' vegetale. Piccin, 2015.
Mauseth J.D. Botanica. Parte generale. II ed. it. Idelson-Gnocchi, 2006.

Animal biology:
Solomon. Biologia. Edises
S.L. Wolfe - P.J. Russell - P.E. Hertz - C. Starr - B. McMillan. Biologia. Edises
Lesson slides uploaded on Ariel:
Assessment methods and Criteria
Plant biology:
The exam is oral and aims to verify the knowledge of the topics of the program and the ability to describe the plants characteristics with an adequate technical language. During the exam, image descriptions and the recognition of plant samples is required.
Animal biology:
The exam is a written test divided into two parts. The first part involves the answer to fifteen multiple choice questions; the second part involves the answer to two open questions.
Animal biology
BIO/05 - ZOOLOGY - University credits: 0
Laboratories: 8 hours
Lessons: 28 hours
Professor: Mazzini Stefania
Plant biology
BIO/05 - ZOOLOGY - University credits: 0
Field activity: 16 hours
Laboratories: 16 hours
Lessons: 48 hours
Professor: Giorgi Annamaria
Educational website(s)
Tuesday from 15.30 to 17.30