Physiology of higher plants (2015/2016)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Tiziana Pandolfini
Tiziana Pandolfini
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
I semestre dal Oct 1, 2015 al Jan 29, 2016.

Lesson timetable

I semestre
Day Time Type Place Note
Wednesday 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM lesson Lecture Hall L  
Thursday 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM lesson Laboratory Gamma from Nov 5, 2015  to Jan 29, 2016
Thursday 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM lesson Lecture Hall H from Oct 22, 2015  to Oct 29, 2015

Learning outcomes

The objective of the course is the acquisition of the theoretical fundamentals of plant physiology. The course examines the plant metabolism and the physiological and molecular mechanisms regulating growth and development, and response to the environment.


Water transport in plants: chemical properties of water, mechanisms of water transport.
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.
Mineral nutrition: the essential mineral nutrients, transport of mineral ions across membranes, membrane transport proteins, effects of mineral deficiencies.
Photosynthesis: the light reactions: general concepts , the photosynthetic apparatus, light absorption, electron transport and ATP synthesis. The Calvin-Benson cycle and its regulation. Photorespiration. C4 and CAM metabolisms. Starch and sucrose synthesis and hydrolysis.
Translocation in the phloem: the sink-source concept, phloem loading and unloading, allocation and partitioning of phosynthates.
Respiration: general concepts and unique features of respiratory metabolism in plants
Assimilation of nitrogen, sulphur and phosphate. Biological nitrogen fixation.
Plant growth and development: signal transduction in plants, cell division and cell expansion, embryogenesis, meristematic tissues, plant life cycles.
Photoresponses: phytochrome, phytochrome-induced responses and molecular mechanisms. Blu-light responses and photoreceptors.
Phytohormones: biosynthesis, physiological effects and molecular modes of action of auxin, cytokinin, gibberellins, ethylene, abscisic acid , brassinosteroids, polyamines, jasmonic acid.

Assessment methods and criteria