Plant secondary metabolism (2008/2009)

Course partially running

Course code
Name of lecturer
Roberto Bassi
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
1° Sem dal Oct 1, 2008 al Feb 6, 2009.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

The course on "Secondary plant metabolism has the aim of supplying an integrated view of this part of the biochemistry, including (a) physiologic role of S.P.M.; (b) metabolic pathways, genes encoding relevant enzymes; (C) technological strategies for increasing the production of specific metabolites; (d) toxicity of S.P.M. for man and animals.

The biotechnological strategies for gene identification and expression is discussed together with advantages and disadvantages of different methods.



Part 1 : Definition and Sistematic of (SPM)

Part 2 : Ecological function of SPM and pharmacological action on Plant, mammals and insects.

Parte : Teerpenoids, Sintesys of IPP (isopentenil pirophosphate)

Part 4 : alcaloids, biosinthesys of: berberin and related compounds. Biotech applications.

Part 5 : Phenylpropanoids, biosynthesis and ecological function.

Part 6 : Biosinthesys of lignin, lignans, suberins.

Part 7 : Flavonoids, synthesis of dyes of flowers.

Part 8 : Biotechnology of carotenoids.

Part 9 : Nuclear vs plastic transformation in the prosuction of SPM.

Parte 10: Toxicity of natural and artificial products. Ames's Test .

Assessment methods and criteria


The examination has three components.

a) written. 45 minuti for describing the major metabolic pathways. The list of pathways is supplied to the sudents along with the pdf of slides.

b) presentation of a paper relevant for the secondary plant petabolism. This part can be performed during the teaching.

c) Oral. discussion of the major subject. A list of most frequent questions is supplied at the end of the teaching period.