Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in BIOTECHNOLOGY
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 

Basic knowledge on the organization of cells and tissues, cell division processes and mechanisms of transmission of genetic information is required.

Final Examination: 

Module A. The exam consists of a written test on the topics presented during the course (multiple choice questions and open-ended questions). The acquisition of the knowledge on the various animal forms (structure, functions and systematic) by the student will be evaluated. The evaluation will take into account the capacity of learning, elaboration of the literature, and the ability to discuss the knowledge acquired during the course.
In order to verify the knowledge acquired by the students, a test could be planned during the semester.

Module B. The final exam is oral: the student must show to be have learnt the basic concepts of plant biology, to be able of critical thinking on the related problems and to use the appropriate technical language. In order to verify the knowledge acquired by the students, a test could be planned during the semester.

The laboratory activities will be evaluated during the final exam with an oral question.

Voto Finale

The course aims at providing basic knowledge on the organization, biology and evolution of animal and plant kingdom. It will address the intimate relationship between form and function, at different levels of organization and complexity of the organism, from unicellular to more specialized, multicellular levels. The body plan and major adaptations of a representative sample of animal and plant biodiversity will be examined in an evolutionary perspective. Moreover, some specific processes of the plant physiology will be analyzed in detail: the photosynthesis, water transport, and hormones.
The students will be able to describe the key concepts, criteria and methods of the relationship between form and function of animal and plant organisms, and the levels of organization and complexity of organisms. They will also acquire knowledge on the importance of evolution of organisms and of skills for the analysis of plant and animal biodiversity.

The course consists of two modules:

Structural and functional organization of the animals (18 h):
- the body plan of the animals (symmetry, structural aspects, size)
- life functions (nutrition, circulation, excretion, respiration, locomotion, nervous system and sense organs, reproduction, embryonic development)
Evolution of animals (30 h):
- an overview of evolutionary biology (Darwin's theory, descent with modification, fitness, natural selection, adaptation)
- the origin of life
- the evolution of animal biodiversity (the origin and diversification of eukaryotes, multicellularity)
- animal classification and new animal phylogeny
- features of the most important phyla: protists, poriferans, cnidarians, ctenophora, platyhelminthes, nematodes, rotifers, molluscs, annelids, artropods, echinoderms, chordates

B. PLANT BIOLOGY (5 ECTS - 40 hours)
• Plant classification and biodiversity (2 h)
• Plant cell organization: wall, plastids, vacuole (4 h)
• Cell and tissue differentiation and organ formation (2 h)
• Angiosperm anatomy: root, stem, leaf and flower (4 h)
• Angiosperm reproduction: seeds and fruits (4 h)
• Metabolism: photosynthesis and mineral nutrition (8 h)
• Water uptake and transport (2 h)
• Development and adaptation: (16 h)
- Internal stimulus: plant hormones
- External stimulus: phytochrome photomorphogenesis and photoperiodism
- Plant responses to abiotic and biotic stresses

Laboratory activities (1 ECTS - 16 hours)
Four lab sessions approximately 4 hours long:
• Measuring the water potential of potato tubers; plasmolysis and deplasmolysis. Extraction and characterization of anthocyanins.
• Identification of plant tissues by histological analysis. Protoplast preparation from plant tissues; pollen germination.
• Axenic cultures of plant tissues with different hormones concentrations. Effects of hormones on seed germination and plant growth.
• Extraction and quantification of photosynthetic pigments. Separation and spectrophotometric characterization. Analysis of primary starch under different light conditions.

- Hickman et al., Zoologia, McGraw-Hill
- Westheide and Rieger, Zoologia sistematica, Zanichelli
- Argano et al., Zoologia generale e sistematica, Monduzzi
- Arrigoni O., Elementi di Biologia vegetale, Casa editrice Ambrosiana, distribuito da Zanichelli
- Evert R.F., Eichhorn S.E, 2013. La Biologia delle piante di Raven. Ed. Zanichelli
- Pasqua G. et al. Botanica generale e diversità vegetale (Piccin)
- Powerpoint slides


The course is organized in lectures (11 CFU) and laboratory activity (1 CFU). Powerpoint presentations will be used during lectures. Laboratory activities will be done at the Biological Experimental and Chemistry Lab of DBSV in via Dunant 3. The attendance at the practical activity performed in the laboratory is mandatory with frequency detection by the teacher (the student absence rate will not exceeds 25% of the planned total hours). For each lab activity protocols and materials will be provided.