Plant biology and systematics

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
BIO/01 BIO/02
Learning objectives
The educational objective of the teaching is to provide basic information on the organization of higher plants (Spermatophytes) by referring to the peculiarities of plant cells and to the specific characteristics that make it possible to distinguish the different types of tissues and how these are organized to form the plant organs. Furthermore, topics concerning the reproduction methods of the different plant groups (non-vascular and vascular plants), as well as some aspects of their plant biology, will be studied in dept.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the teaching the student must demonstrate that he has acquired theoretical and practical skills in reference to the biology of plant organisms. In particular, the student must demonstrate that he has understood the cytological, anatomical, physiological and functional characteristics of plants and be able to correlate structure and function. Moreover, he will have to know the reproductive mechanisms and be able to interpret the great variety of biological cycles of the treated organisms.
The activities that contribute to the development of these abilities are represented above all by the laboratory activities during which the student can begin to develop manual skills, preparing the samples to be analyzed with an optical microscope in order to deepen the main anatomical aspects of higher plants.
Course syllabus and organization

A - L

Lesson period
Second semester
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 64 hours
Turno 1
Professor: Caporali Elisabetta
Turno 2
Professor: Ezquer Garin Juan Ignacio

M - Z

Lesson period
Second semester
The lessons will be held on the ZOOM platform or on the Microsoft Teams platform, they could be followed both synchronously, based on the timetable, and asynchronously because they will be recorded and made available to students. Moreover, students can profit of the forum on the Ariel website: there they can post their questions or curiosities, the teachers will answer to these questions
Course syllabus
-The plant cell:
o The plastid
o The cell wall
o The vacuole
-The plant tissues:
o The meristems
o The epidermal tissues
o The ground tissues
o The vascular tissues
o The mechanical tissues

-Plant organs:
o The leaf
o The stem (primary and secondary structure)
o The root (primary and secondary structure)
o Main organ development

-Angiosperm sexual reproduction:
o The haplodiplontic life cycle
o The flower and the pollination
o The fruit
o The seed
o The embryo development
o The germination
o The vegetative reproduction

- The biological life cycles
- The algae
- The transition of plant life from aquatic to terrestrial environments.
- The pteridophytes
- The spermatophytes: gymnosperms and angiosperms (the invention of the seed and of the pollen tube)
Prerequisites for admission
Suggested prerequisites are Cytology and Histology, General chemistry with elements of chemistry.
Teaching methods
The course is based on interactive frontal lessons supported by screen-projected material; lessons will be uploaded onto the Ariel website area.
The student will be involved to actively participate in the discussion to improve their critical skills, reworking the acquired concepts and communicating the concepts in an appropriate way.
Some seminar lectures are organized to present topics related to plant biology such as biotechnology, photosynthesis and fungi.
The teaching is complemented by practicum activities: the students will develop manual skills by preparing fresh samples to be analyzed using a light microscope. The practicum activities will contribute to the formation of the figure of the biologist both in view of a possible use in the areas of teaching in secondary school, scientific dissemination and research and in view of the continuation of studies in master degrees of naturalistic, biological and biotechnological orientation. In order to make the practical part carried out in the laboratory effective, students are required to produce an atlas, which consists in drawing the structures observed under the optical microscope, accompanied by a short caption that emphasizes the purpose of the observation. The different artistic skills will not be discriminatory in the evaluation of the work.
Teaching Resources
Botanica. Fondamenti di biologia delle piante - James D. Mauseth (Idelson-Gnocchi)
Botanica generale e diversità vegetale. Cinzia Forni, Gabriella Pasqua, Giovanna Abbate (Piccin)
The slide of the lectures will be uploaded on the Ariel Website
Assessment methods and Criteria
The examination is a written test with 11-12 open-ended questions. One of the questions involves the recognition of the section of a plant organ; the student must describe the organ and indicate the tissues. An oral test is provided at the request of the student or if the written test is not sufficient to determine the degree of preparation of the student.
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 64 hours