PLANT BIOLOGY MODULE
Animal and plant organisms, differences
Plant nutrition: autotroph and heterotroph orgamisms.
Plastids: chloroplasts, chromoplasts, amyloplasts
Vacuole: origin, development, functions. Vacuolar content with particular reference to secondary metabolites.
Transport across the plasma membrane. Osmotic phenomena, plasmolysis and deplasmolysis. Osmotic pressure, turgor pressure.
Middle lamella and cell wall. Genesis and development of the cell wall. Cell wall functions.
Chemical components of the cell wall: cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin substances. Secondary modifications of the cell wall: lignification, suberization, mineralization, cutinization.
Tissues in higher plant. Primary and secondary meristematic tissues. Embryonic growth and distension growth. Differentiation. Adult tissues: parenchymatic, tegumental, mechanical, secretory, conductive.
Organography: stem, leaves, root apparatus.
Stem anatomy: vegetative apex, stem primary structure of Dicotyledons and Monocotyledons. Stem secondary structure of Dicotyledons and Gymnosperms. Heteroxylous and homoxylous wood. Functioning of the vascular cambium.
Root anatomy: root apex, root primary structure of Dicotyledons, Monocotyledons and Gymnosperms. Roots secondary structure of Dicotyledons.
Leaves: form, structure and function of the leaves of Dicotyledons, Monocotyledons and Gymnosperms. Gas exchanges between the leaf and the external environment and their regulation mechanisms. Functioning of stomata.
Seed and germination
PHARMACEUTICAL BOTANY MODULE
Introduction to Pharmaceutical Botany: the concept of medicinal plant, drug, active principle, balsamic time.
Algae, Bryophytes, Pteridophytes: reproductive cycle
Algae: general information
Rhodophyta (Chondrus crispus and genus Gelidium cited), Chromophyta (notes: Phaeophyceae, Bacillariophyceae), Chlorophyta (notes: Chlorophyceae, Charophyceae)
Mosses: general information (Marchantia polymorpha and genus Mnium cited)
Rhyniophyta (Rhynia gwynne-vaughanii),
Psilophyta (Psilotum nudum),
Lycophyta (Lycopodium clavatum),
Spenophyta (Equisetum arvense),
Filicophyta (ferns)(Adiantum capilus-veneris, Dryopteris filix-max)
cited: Osmunda regalis, Polipodium vulgare, Phyllitis scolopendrium
Spermatophytes: taxonomy, importance and biology and of the seed.
Cycadophyta, general information (Cycas revoluta)
Ginkgophyta (Ginkgo biloba)
1. Pinaceae (Picea abies, Abies alba, genus Pinus, Larix decidua, Cedrus libani)
2. Cupressaceae (Cupressus sempervirens, Juniperus communis)
3. Taxaceae (Taxus baccata)
Gnetophyta, general informations and notes on the genera Ephedra, Gnetum, Welwitschia
Angiosperms: general information
A detailed knowledge about the discriminating characters and about the main species of the botanical families listed hereafter is firmly required. The species listed in brackets should also be studied in detail.
1. Ranunculaceae (genera Aconitum, Helleborus)
2. Papaveraceae (Papaver rhoeas, P. somniferum, Chelidonium majus)
3. Cannabaceae (Cannabis indica, Humulus lupulus)
4. Fagaceae (Fagus sylvatica, genus Quercus, Castanea sativa)
5. Salicaceae (Salix alba, Populus nigra)
Fabales: common characters
6. Mimosceae (ornamental species, Acacia senegal)
7. Caesalpinaceae (Ceratonia siliqua, Tamarindus indica, Cassia angustifolia)
8. Fabaceae (food, medicinal and fodder species and known species of the Italian flora; in detail Cytisus scoparius and Spartium junceum; Glycyrrhiza glabra cited)
9. Apiaceae (Pimpinella anisum, Conium maculatum)
10. Solanaceae (food species, deadly nightshade, henbane, stramonium)
11. Lamiaceae (Lavandula angustifolia)
12. Oleaceae (ornamental species, Olea europaea, Fraxinus excelsior, Fraxinus ornus)
13. Scrophulariaceae (Digitalis purpurea; genera Verbascum and Veronica cited)
14. Asteraceae (food, medicinal and ornamental species, in detail Artemisia absintium and Chamomilla recutita; Sylibum marianum, Arctium lappa, Taraxacum officinale, Arnica montana cited)
15. Aloaceae (Aloe barbadensis, Aloe ferox)
Prerequisites for admission
No prior knowledge is required.
The course consists of 2 modules: Plant Biology and Pharmaceutical Botany for a total of 8 CFU.
Lectures and exercises
The course includes lectures and classroom exercises, with particular reference to plant anatomy, as well as field exercises frequently carried out at the Botanic Garden of Città Studi (Milan) and at the G.E. Ghirardi Botanic Garden (Toscolano Maderno, Bs), both annexed to the University of Milan. The hands-on method is used (touching with the hands, knowing through doing): the students become the architects of the lesson itself, researching, observing, using the 5 senses, drawing, recognizing, proposing and even planning. The products of this activity often become lessons given by the students themselves.
During the course, exam simulations are provided as an important moment of comparison and verification of the knowledge acquired. They are scheduled at the end of each of the two modules of Plant Biology and Pharmaceutical Botany. Each of the students is given an exam topic to be carried out in a time agreed with the teacher. Students can consult their notes and textbook and work in groups. At the end of the test, the teacher makes the correction in the classroom.
Other educational proposal
Diverse educational proposals vary from year to year, from workshops (by example, the workshop "Making botany in the garden", realized in 2015) to itinerant exhibitions (by example, the exhibition "SeductionRepulsion: what plants don't say"). Each year, two days of study are organized in May at the G.E. Ghirardi Botanic Garden, entirely dedicated to medicinal plants, in occasion of the international event Fascination of Plant Day.
Maugini E., Maleci Bini L., Mariotti Lippi M. 2014. Botanica Farmaceutica, Piccin, Padova.
Leporatti M.L., Foddai S., Tommassini L. 2001. Testo atlante di anatomia vegetale e delle piante officinali. Piccin, Padova
Curricular lessons, seminar lessons, summary sheets and other educational materials are available on Ariel.
Assessment methods and Criteria
During the course in itinere tests relating to the partial teaching program are scheduled, or alternatively exam tests relating to the overall program, as detailed below.
In itinere test
They are proposed at the end of each of the 2 modules of the course. The test relating to the Plant Biology program is scheduled during the period of teaching interruption (generally at the end of April), the test relating to the Pharmaceutical Botany program is scheduled at mid-June.
These are written tests consisting of 30 multiple-choice questions each (4 answers are proposed): the first in itinere test concerns the Plant Biology program, the second in itinere test concerns the Pharmaceutical Botany program.
The time available is 30 minutes. At the discretion of the teacher, an exercise test can be added, with an increase of time up to 45 minutes. The test starting from 18 correct answers is considered passed. Passing the first in itinere test relating to the Plant Biology program guarantees access to the second in itinere test relating to the Pharmaceutical Botany program.
The outcome of the first in itinere test is communicated directly by the teacher. Upon passing the second in itinere test, the overall result of the exam is recorded given by the average of the outcomes of the two in itinere tests.
7 exam sessions, relating to the overall teaching program, are scheduled and distributed from October 2021 to September 2022.
It is a written test consisting of 30 multiple choice questions (4 answers are proposed) concerning the programs of Plant Biology (15 questions) and Pharmaceutical Botany (15 questions). The time available is 30 minutes. At the discretion of the teacher, an exercise test can be added, with an increase of time up to 45 minutes. The test starting from 18 correct answers is considered passed.
An overall assessment is also carried out based on the student's participation in the lectures, exercises and events proposed. These assessments are not penalizing for non-attending students, but are intended to enhance the active participation of students.