Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


PLANT PHYSIOLOGY
FISIOLOGIA VEGETALE

A.Y. Credits
2018/2019 6
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Valeria Scoccianti Wednesday and Thursday afternoon by appointment via mail
Teaching in foreign languages
Course with optional materials in a foreign language English
This course is entirely taught in Italian. Study materials can be provided in the foreign language and the final exam can be taken in the foreign language.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Biological Sciences (L-13)
Curriculum: NATURALISTICO AMBIENTALE
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The course aims at providing students with the fundamentals of plant physiology, using the knowledge acquired in the Plant Biology, General and Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology courses. The course starts from the study of the main cell organelles to get to such important issues as photosynthesis, plant nutrition and transport, plant hormones and light regulated plant growth and development. Students will learn the properties of water and its vital role in plant life; they will learn the biochemical and biophysical mechanism of photosynthesis in both light reactions and carbon reduction cycle, how to identify cause and effect relationships between different physiological phenomena setting them in a broader context of metabolic and environmental interactions; they will acquire knowledge about the biotechnological techniques used to improve the quality, the yield and the stress resistance of plants.

Program

Typical features of plants and their distribution in the different natural ecosystems.
The plant cell. Structure, biogenesis and roles of the cell wall. Synthesis of cell wall constituents. Plasmodesmata. Cell wall expansion. Biological membranes. Membrane transport proteins. Proton pumps. Calcium pumps. Structure of chloroplast. Endosymbiotic origin. Plastidial DNA. 
Photosynthesis. Light characteristics. Photosynthetic pigments. Structure of photosynthetic apparatus. Organization of light-absorbing antenna systems. Mechanisms of electron and proton transport. The Calvin Cycle. Biosynthesis, regulation and importance in the biosphere of Rubisco. The photorespiratory carbon oxidation cycle. The C4 carbon cycle. Crassulacean Acid Metabolism. Physiological and ecological considerations. Synthesis of sucrose, starch and fructans.
Translocation in the phloem. Sources and sinks. Materials translocated. Phloem loading.The pressure-flow model.
Water balance in the plant. Water potential gradient. Changes in turgor pressure. Water absorption by the root. Apoplast and symplast pathways. Transport through xylem. Stomatal transpiration. Guard cells structure. Stomatal opening mechanism. 
Mineral nutrition. Essential nutrients. Effect of soil particles on mineral absorption. Rhizosphere and root exudates. Heavy metal accumulation in plants. Phytoremediation. Association of mycorrhizal fungi with the root system. Ion transport in roots. Nitrate assimilation. Ammonium assimilation. Biological nitrogen fixation. Symbiotic N2 fixation. Carnivore plants. Sulphate assimilation.
Plant hormones. Auxins, Gibberellins, Cytokinins, Ethylene, Abscisic Acid, Brassinosteroids: discovery, biosynthesis, transport, metabolism and physiological effects.
Light responses Photomorphogenesis. Photoperiodic regulation of flowering. Phototropism. Red light (phytocrome) and UV-A/blue photoreceptors.
Seed germination. Glucidic, lipidic and proteinic reserves mobilization. Seedling growth.
Secondary products and plant defense mechanisms. Transgenic plants and their application. 

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

D1-Knowledge and understanding. Students will assimilate critically and exhaustively the main issues of Plant Physiology (transport, photosynthesis, metabolism, nutrition, photomorphogenesis, hormonal regulation) and acquire knowledge on plant-environment interactions and stress responses.

D2-Applying knowledge and understanding. Students will be able to identify causal relationships between different physiological phenomena and to set them in a broader context of metabolic and environmental interactions. They will gain knowledge about key methodological procedures (biochemical, biomolecular and biotechological) used for biological research and their fields of application, and develop a scientific approach to the problems of bioethics (e.g. transgenic organisms).

D3-Making judgments. Students will be able to interpret and predict the physiological responses of the plant, show both conscious autonomy of judgement  regarding evaluation and interpretation of experimental laboratory data, and a capacity to compare them with existing data in the literature.

D4-Communication skills. Students will be trained to use a specific technical language to communicate information and ideas related to the knowledge learned during the course. Acquisition of appropriate skills and tools for communication with reference to data processing and presentation.

D5-Learning skills.  Thanks to the theoretical skills acquired, students will be able to understand and critically discuss the salient aspects of plant physiology. In addition, with the aid of the available databases they will be able to expand and update their knowledge. The capacity to apply the knowledge gained will be checked by: a) a plenary debate and problem-solving and b) good exam results.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Didactics, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment

Didactics

The course will be taught by lectures and seminars on topics agreed with students.

Attendance
Course books

Elementi di Fisiologia Vegetale. Autori vari. EdiSES S.r.l. Napoli
 or
Elementi di Fisiologia Vegetale. Taiz-Zeiger-Moller-Murphy. Piccin Nuova Libraria, Padova, 2016
 
Further readings
Iaccarino et al. Microrganismi benefici per le piante. Idelson-Gnocchi
Lorenzini - Nali. Le piante e l'inquinamento dell'aria. Springer
Articoli forniti dal docente.  

L.Taiz-E. Zeiger: Plant Physiology. fifth edition. Sinauer Associate, Inc. (http://www.sinauer.com    publish@sinauer.com

Assessment

At the end of the course, there will be an oral exam. Students are expected to answer a few questions (three or four), and be able to connect different topics together.The exams will assess the knowledge and reasoning skills, the ability to solve problems and interpret data in accordance with what is stated by the Dublin descriptors.

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students

Course books

Elementi di Fisiologia Vegetale. Autori vari. EdiSES S.r.l. Napoli
 or
Elementi di Fisiologia Vegetale. Taiz-Zeiger-Moller-Murphy. Piccin Nuova Libraria, Padova, 2016
 
Further readings
Iaccarino et al. Microrganismi benefici per le piante. Idelson-Gnocchi
Lorenzini - Nali. Le piante e l'inquinamento dell'aria. Springer
Articoli forniti dal docente.  

L.Taiz-E. Zeiger: Plant Physiology. fifth edition. Sinauer Associate, Inc. (http://www.sinauer.com    publish@sinauer.com

Assessment

At the end of the course, there will be an oral exam. Students are expected to answer a few questions (three or four), and be able to connect different topics together.The exams will assess the knowledge and reasoning skills, the ability to solve problems and interpret data in accordance with what is stated by the Dublin descriptors.

Notes

The student can request to sit the final exam in English with the following  bibliography:
 Plant Physiology and Development, Sixth Edition by Lincoln Taiz, Eduardo Zeiger, Ian M. Møller, and Angus Murphy, published by Sinauer Associates.
 

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