Plant Biotechnology (2011/2012)

Course code
4S02777
Credits
9
Coordinator
Antonella Furini
Teaching is organised as follows:
Unit Credits Academic sector Period Academic staff
BIOREATTORI VEGETALI 3 AGR/07-AGRICULTURAL GENETICS I semestre Mario Pezzotti
BIOCOMBUSTIBILI 3 AGR/07-AGRICULTURAL GENETICS I semestre Roberto Bassi
FITOBONIFICA 3 AGR/07-AGRICULTURAL GENETICS I semestre Antonella Furini

Learning outcomes

Module: BIOCOMBUSTIBILI
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The teaching module “biofuels” supplì basis for the identification and properties of fuels from different sources. Among these biofuels are considered in detail, namely bio-ethanol, bio.diesel and bio-hydrogen and the consequence of their use for environmental, production issues and vehicle traction. For each the production processes presently in use are defined as well as the biotechnological approach to their improvement with a major reference to crops, which are in common with food-producing processes (first generation biofuels). Furthermore, alternative sources of biomass are considered, having a lower dependence on food-producing processes. Particular emphasis is dedicated to unicellular algae and the procedures for quantitative and qualitative improvement of algal biomass through classical genetics and recombinant DNA procedures towards definition of a biofuel productive process economically sound and with low environmental impact.


Module: FITOBONIFICA
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Module: BIOREATTORI VEGETALI
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Mankind has used plants as a source of raw materials and medicines for thousands of years. From the earliest stages of civilization, plant extracts have been used to ob¬tain technical materials and drugs to ease suffering and cure disease. Since the late seventies, many valuable therapeutic and diagnostic proteins have been discovered through molecular biology research and molecular medicine, but widespread use of these molecules has been hampered by production bottlenecks such as low yields, poor and inconsistent product quality and a shortage of production capacity. In the late 1980s, the application of recombinant DNA and protein technology in plants al¬lowed the exploration of plant-based expression systems for the production of safer and cheaper protein medicines. Over the last decade, plants have emerged as a convenient, safe and economical alternative to mainstream expression systems which are based on the large-scale culture of microbes or animal cells, or transgenic animals. The production of plant-made pharmaceuticals and technical proteins is known as Molecular Farming. The objective of this course is to illustrate how to harness the power of agriculture to cultivate and harvest plants or plant cells producing recombi¬nant therapeutics, diagnostics, industrial enzymes and green chemicals.

Syllabus

Module: BIOCOMBUSTIBILI
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1) definition of biofuels, biomass of origin. Bio-gas, bio-ethanol, bio-diesel and bio-hydrogen
2) Present procedures of production and legislation
3) Energy balance of photosynthetic organisms, upper limits of productivity, factors of loss of productivity, comparison with photovoltaaics.
4) Crops as biomass for biofuels. Present state and perspectives for improvement in crops and forst organisms..
5) Unicellular algae: advantages and disadvantages with respect to crops.
6) Biodiesel from algae
7) bio-hydrogen from algae
8) Molecular genetis in unicellular algae model system and productive systems. Procedures limiting engineering of algae.
9) Growth in photobioractors: different architevctures and limits for productivity.
10) Algae as CO2 scavengers.
11) Metabolic enginnering: light use efficiency.
12) lipid metabolism
13) electron transport and hydrogenases.


Module: FITOBONIFICA
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Module: BIOREATTORI VEGETALI
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• Protein expression systems in planta:
transient: plant virus as vectors
stable: nuclear transformation, plastid transformation
• Sub cellular target
• Organ specific expression (seed)
• Cell suspension and hairy roots
• Host plant and model
• “Food” and “non food” plants
• Green algi
• Molecules:
Antibodies
Vaccines
Antigens
Peptides
• Post translation modification in plants
Glycosilation in plants
• Quantification of recombinant proteins
• Biological properties of the molecules
• Extraction and purification processes downstream processes
• Clinical studies

Assessment methods and criteria

Module: BIOCOMBUSTIBILI
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two parts for this exam:
a) chose an article among a list supplied by the teacher and prepare a powerpoint presentation.

b)if the presentation will be satisfactory, a discussion on issues within the program will be performed with the teacher.


Module: FITOBONIFICA
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Module: BIOREATTORI VEGETALI
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Oral examination