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


A.Y. Credits
2019/2020 6
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Andrea Pompa 11:00 -13:00 AM ( checking the availability of the teacher by contacting him via e-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)
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The course aims to provide students with the fundamental basics of plant physiology using the knowledge acquired in courses in Plant Biology, General and Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The course starts from the study of the main cellular organelles to reach basic themes such as photosynthesis, nutrient transport, plant hormones and light regulation of growth and development processes. The student must: know the fundamental role of water for plant life; to learn the biochemical and biophysical mechanism of photosynthesis in reactions to light and in those of carbonation; to identify the cause-effect relationships between the different physiological phenomena by framing them in a wider context of metabolic and environmental interactions. Acquire knowledge on biotechnological techniques used to improve the quality, yield and stress resistance of plants.


importance of the study of plants and plant physiology.

Cell wall expansion. Biological membranes. Transport proteins. Proton pumps.

Photosynthesis: general concepts. Photosynthetic pigments. Spatial organization, location and function of photosystems. Linear flow and cyclic flow of electrons. Water oxidation. ATP synthase. Calvin cycle. Rubisco: general characteristics, biosynthesis, regulation and importance in the biosphere. Photorespiration. CO2 concentration mechanisms. C4 plants and CAM plants. Environmental factors that influence photosynthesis. Biosynthesis of sucrose and starch. Partition of photosynthesis. Source and sink organs. Phloem transport. Biosynthesis of fructans.

Plant and water: chemical-physical properties of water. Water potential. Cellular turgor. Water absorption from the roots. Xylem transport. Transpiration. Structure, function and regulation of stomata.

Mineral nutrition: essential macro and microelements. Deficiencies in plants. Soil and mineral nutrients. Rhizosphere. Rhizodeposition. Phytoremediation: the concept of a hyper-accumulative plant. Absorption and transport of solutes. Symbiotic plants and fungi: mycorrhizae. Absorption and assimilation of inorganic nitrogen. Nitrogen cycle. Fixing nitrogen organisms. Leguminous symbiosis-Rhizobium. Carnivorous plants. Sulfur cycle. Sulfur absorption, assimilation and organification.

Plant hormones. Concept of hormone and tissue sensitivity. Auxins. Cytokinins. Gibberellins. Abscisic acid. Ethylene. Brassinosteroids. Production sites, biosynthesis and transport. Signal reception and transduction. Biological roles and commercial uses.

Lights as an environmental signal. Photomorphogenesis. Fotoperiodismo. Photoreceptors of red light (phytochromes) and UV-A / blue.
Orientation of plants in space. Tropisms and nastie.
Secondary metabolites and plant defense mechanisms.
Genetic transformation of plant organisms: plants as bioreactors for the production of biopharmaceuticals and proteins of pharmaceutical / industrial interest. Use of genetic transformation to increase resistance to pathogens or abiotic / biotic stresses, increase in the nutritional value of crops.

Plants and climate change, possible biotechnological interventions on plant molecular mechanisms for the reduction of atmospheric CO2 content.

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

D1-Knowledge and understanding. Students must have critically and thoroughly assimilated the main themes of plant physiology (transport, photosynthesis, metabolism, mineral nutrition, photo morphogenesis, hormonal regulation) as well as having acquired knowledge of plant-environment interactions and stress responses.
D2 - Ability to apply knowledge and understanding. Students will be able to identify the cause-effect relationships between the different physiological phenomena and place them in a wider context of metabolic and environmental interactions. They will have to have acquired knowledge on the main methodological procedures (biochemical, biomolecular and biotechnological) and instrumental used for biological research and their fields of application, as well as developed a scientific approach to bioethical problems (see GMOs).
D3 - Autonomy of judgment. Students must be able to interpret and predict the physiological responses of the plant. Demonstrate conscious judgment autonomy with reference to evaluation and interpretation of experimental laboratory data and ability to compare with existing data in the literature.
D4 - Communication skills. Students will be prepared to use a specific technical language to communicate information and ideas related to the knowledge learned during the course. Acquisition of adequate skills and tools for communication with reference to data processing and presentation.
D5 - Ability to learn. Students, thanks to the theoretical skills acquired, will be able to understand and critically discuss the salient aspects of plant physiology. Moreover, thanks to the use of the available databases, they will be able to deepen and update their knowledge. The verification of the ability to apply the acquired knowledge will take place through: a) classroom discussion and problem solving and b) passing the exam.

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


Lectures and in-depth seminars on topics agreed with the students.

verification of learning through student presentations with a power point program summarizing the topics covered.

Course books

reference text: Elements of vegetal physiology of Lincoln Taiz, Eduardo Zeiger, Ian Max Moller Piccin Nuova Libraria, Padua, 2019

other text to be consulted: Elements of Plant Physiology. Various authors. EdiSES S.r.l. Naples


Oral interview. The exam consists of a series of three to four questions that require the discussion of the proposed topic and links with others in order to evaluate, in addition to the acquired knowledge and reasoning skills, also the communication and problem-solving skills of a practical nature in accordance with what is indicated by the Dublin descriptors


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.

« back Last update: 03/05/2020


Questo contenuto ha risposto alla tua domanda?

Il tuo feedback è importante

Raccontaci la tua esperienza e aiutaci a migliorare questa pagina.

Se sei vittima di violenza o stalking chiama il 1522

Il 1522 è un servizio pubblico promosso dalla Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri – Dipartimento per le Pari Opportunità. Il numero, gratuito è attivo 24 h su 24, accoglie con operatrici specializzate le richieste di aiuto e sostegno delle vittime di violenza e stalking.

Posta elettronica certificata



Performance della pagina

Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo
Via Aurelio Saffi, 2 – 61029 Urbino PU – IT
Partita IVA 00448830414 – Codice Fiscale 82002850418
2021 © Tutti i diritti sono riservati