Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in BIOTECHNOLOGY
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Supplementary compulsory subjects
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (44 hours), Laboratory (8 hours)

Although not mandatory, a good knowledge of plant biology and organic chemistry is strongly advised.

The student will be asked to demonstrate a thorough comprehension regarding the constitutive topics covered in all five training objectives. Students will perform two tests by using the e-learning platform. Precisely, one is intermediate, i.e. scheduled during the course, the second test coincides with the official date of the first exam session. Tests consist of multiple-choice questions, corresponding tests, written text, figures and tables interpretation. Each test is considered passed with the minimum score of 18/30. The final score is the mean of the two evaluation tests. The use of the e-learning platform also makes it possible to assess the student's progressive ability to use self-assessment systems.
In subsequent exam sessions the verification will take place in the same way, considering a longer time available being the two tests performed on the same day. On the other hand, the student can opt for the oral exam.

Voto Finale

The present course is in the second or third year, depending on the curriculum chosen, contributing to a training program on Botany for biotechnologies, which starts from plant biology and ends with plant biotechnology. The main objective is to provide the basic knowledge of the main biosynthetic pathways of the different categories of secondary metabolites, to combine their rule in the plant ontogenesis with their biotechnological applications. Factors affecting the production of active compounds by the plant are analysed in detail. Links among Pharmacognosy, Organic Chemistry, Botany, Systematic Botany and Biology are elucidated as well.
Students are encouraged to acquire greater and conscious independence in self-evaluation of their work and their ability to learn using the e-learning platform.

Expected learning outcomes
The students are expected to:
• to acquire the basic knowledge on the main metabolic pathways of secondary metabolites in plant cell.
• to identify the chemical structure of the macro-categories of secondary metabolites.
• to analyse the environmental factors affecting the secondary metabolites production
• to acquire the basic knowledge on the main plant secondary metabolites with pharmacological applica-tions.
• Phytotherapy

Lectures (5.5 cfu, 44 hours)
The secondary metabolism in plants
• Recall of plant morphology and physiology: secretory tissues
• Secondary metabolism and the main biosynthetic pathways of secondary metabolites
• Chemical structure of the macro-categories of secondary metabolites:
- Phenolic compounds (Flavonoids, Tannins, Lignins, Lignans, Coumarins, Chinons, Cannabinoids)
- Terpenoids (essential oils, Steroids, Iridoids, Saponines, Resines, Rubbers, cardiac glycosides)
- Nitrogen compounds (Alcaloids, Glucosinolates, non-proteic aminoacids, cianogenic glycosides)

Bioactive plant secondary metabolites of pharmacological interest
Location of the secretory tissues and related extractive methods

Environmental factors
Endogenous and exogenous factors affecting bioactive compounds production

notes on extractive methods and type of products of phytotherapy

Systematic Botany: definition and aims. Classification criteria. Taxonomy of the main phylum: Algae, Fungi, Bryophytes, Pteridophytes, Gymnosperms, Angiosperms

Laboratory (0,5 cfu, 8h)
Extraction method of:
- a phenolic compound from clove (Syzygium aromaticum): eugenol
- essentials from Salvia officinalis and Melissa officinalis
- limonene from rind fruit of Rutaceae and GC-MS analysis


Slides of the lessons: downloading from the Elearning platform or provided by the lecturer.
Papers, monographs: downloading from the Elearning platform
• Badal McCreath SB and Delgoda R. Pharmacognosy, Fundamentals, Applications and Strategies. Academic Press, Ed 2017


The addressed topics will be integrated by presentation of picture slides, graphics, diagrams and videos useful to clarify the concepts.
The aim of the course is also to stimulate the student's self-learning skills by stimulating, independently from the teacher, the search in the web for further information on specific aspects of the course.
For laboratory activities, students are divided in small groups and are assigned a location for the self-conduct experiment. The access to the rooms is allowed only if equipped with white coat. The presence of the lecturer and one or more assistants will be guaranteed. Lab attendance is mandatory, and absence should not exceed 25% (1 activity) of the laboratory planned program.

Meetings preferably by appointment (by email request). Lecturer answers emails only if signed and with domain
Lecturer is available for meeting aimed at clarifying and analyzing the treated topics, preferably for groups of students