Plant Biology

Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
Academyc year when starting the degree: 
Academyc year when helding the course: 
Cognomi A-L
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
First Semester
Standard lectures hours: 

No prerequisites

Final Examination: 

Learning progression will be evaluated at three-week intervals by means of itinere exams during the course in relation to the most important topics presented above. In itinere exams will be carried out on-line within the e-learning environment and every topic will be tested with a series of 30-50 questions. The questions will have different methodologies such as multiple questions, open questions, free compositions, exchange of sentences and the results will be expressed in thirtieths. The evaluation will be based on the progression of the learning capacity, the ability of making use of the acquired knowledge, autonomous assessment and communication skills. The final vote will be expressed as a mean of the votes received after each itinere exam.

Voto Finale

The learning target of this course is to provide the knowledge necessary in order to understand the organizational and functional models of a higher plant organism (Angiosperm), and to achieve the skill necessary to understand studies which focus also upon practical-biotechnological approaches of plant biology. In regard to that it is possible to foresee the following learning results: to understand the structure and physiology of plant cell; the morphological and anatomical organization of a vascular plant in relation to its evolutionary process; the specificity of the reproductive mechanism in higher plants. The student will achieve a complete autonomous skill for the self-evaluation of his learning progression by means of the e-learning platform which enable a self evaluation of the state of the knowledge. At the same time, the student will achieve a full skill in the use of the ICT to communicate with the teacher and the fellow student by interacting with the e-learning platform. The use of the web to search for additional information relative to specific topics discussed in the classroom will be useful to achieve a self-teaching approach to plant biology.

1 The content of the course will be initially focussed on the plant cell with the response to light and water. Topics discussed will be:
Cell wall(relation between chemical composition and function; Plasmodesmata and cytodieresis;Plastids: type, structure and composition in relation to its function; Vacuole: function and chemical composition
Cell turgor; Growth due to elongation; Vegetative growth; Tissues in Angiosperms; Morphology and anatomy of different organs in relation to the most important physiological processes; Stem and xylem/phloem sap transportation, major plant movements; Root and gravitropism, solution uptake, symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and mycorrhyzal fungi; Leaf and transpiration control, photosyntesis in CAM plants;Flower and Angiosperm reproduction(pollination, pollen-pistil interaction, fertilization, mechanisms to avoid auto-fertilization), photoperiodism; Seeds and dormancy; Fruit and dissemination.

The practical in the lab will last 16 hours (1 CFU)
4 hours will be dedicated to investigate photosynthesis with the extraction of the most important pigments; 4 hours will be dedicated to cut and stain trasverse sections of stem and root for microscopical analysis;4 hours will dedicated to measure some physiological trait (gas excchabges, water potential, fluorometric analysis of photosynthesis, rhizothrone analysis). The last 4 hours will be used to learn to use a dichotomous key for plant species determination.

All text-books focussing upon plant biology could be used. The following text is recommended:
Biologia delle piante by Alison M. Smith et al.

The professor will use the lesson to introduce a specific topic of the couse. The texts and figures shown during the lesson will be made avalable to all the students and additional material will be made available to support the self-teaching of the students. The materials shown during the lesson will be prepared in HTML language and will be free for download from the e-learning web site. Students will be recommended to complement the topics with traditional text-books or by referring to web sites. Learning material will be provided in both italian and english languages.

The professor will be available to meet the students at the end of each lesson


Parent course