Plant biology and physiology - FISIOLOGIA VEGETALE (2013/2014)

Course code
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Teaching is organised as follows:
Activity Credits Period Academic staff Timetable
teoria 5 II semestre Tiziana Pandolfini
laboratorio 1 II semestre Barbara Molesini

Lesson timetable

II semestre
Activity Day Time Type Place Note
teoria Wednesday 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM lesson Lecture Hall Berni (Lebrecht)  
teoria Friday 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM lesson Lecture Hall Berni (Lebrecht)  

Learning outcomes

The course examines the principal physiological and molecular aspects of plant growth and development. The program includes water balance, xylematic and floematic transport,photosynthesis, biosynthesis and action of phytohormones, photomorphogenesis, abiotic stress, secondary metabolism. The objective of the course is the acquisition of the theoretical fundamentals of plant physiology relevant for viticulture.


Water transport in plants: chemical properties of water, water and solute transport processes.
Water balance of plants: movement of water in the soil, water absorption by roots, water transport through the xylem, transpiration and stomatal movements, control of stomatal opening. Water stress: physiological responses to drought.
Photosynthesis: general concepts of light reactions and carbon reactions. Starch and sucrose synthesis. Translocation in the phloem: phloem loading and unloading, the sink-source concept, allocation and partitioning of phosynthates.
General concepts of genetic information, gene expression and signal transduction pathways in eukaryotes.
Photomorphogenesis: phytochrome, phytochrome responses, cellular and molecular mechanisms. Blu-light responses.
Phytohormones: biosynthesis, physiological effects and molecular modes of action of auxin, cytokinins, gibberellins, ethylene, abscisic acid , brassinosteroids, polyamines, jasmonic acid.
Molecular methods used in experimental plant physiology: isolation and purification of nucleic acids and proteins from plant cells and tissues; methods for gene expression analysis;genetic transformation of plants.
Use of reporter genes for gene expression analysis with particular attention to the study of regulatory regions and to the hormones distribution in response to different stimuli; Agrobacterium tumefaciens as natural genetic engineer: T-DNA transfer mechanism to plant cell; transgenic plants generation by Agrobacterium and biolistic methods. Genetic transformation of the model species Arabidopsis thaliana by floral dip.
Practical work
Histochemical assay of beta-glucoronidase activity on plants expressing reporter constructs for gene expression and hormones sensitivity analyses.

Assessment methods and criteria


Reference books
Activity Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
teoria Taiz L. Zeiger E. Elementi di Fisiologia Vegetale Piccin 2013
teoria N. Rascio Elementi di Fisiologia Vegetale EdiSES 2012 9788879597104
teoria Taiz L. e Zeiger E. Fisiologia Vegetale Piccin-Nuova Libraria   9788829921577