System Physiology - FISIOLOGIA VEGETALE (2013/2014)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Roberto Bassi
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
II semestre dal Mar 3, 2014 al Jun 13, 2014.

To show the organization of the course that includes this module, follow this link * Course organization

Lesson timetable

II semestre
Day Time Type Place Note
Monday 2:30 PM - 5:30 PM lesson Lecture Hall F  
Wednesday 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM lesson Lecture Hall D  
Thursday 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM lesson Lecture Hall F  

Learning outcomes

Educational Aims: The teaching unit in Plant biochemistry offers and integrated view of basic aspects of the primary plant metabolism and of the integration betwen metabolic pathways. Major biochemical pathways are described in detail together with the methods used for their elucidation including biochemica, biophysical and genetic methods.

Educational aims: The subject “Plant Physiology” aims to integrate the knowledge previously acquired in Plant biology and plant biochemistry to obtain an integrated view of the functioning of the plant organism using as a model an higher plant. The metabolic reactions will be inserted into the general plan of the plant organism at the cell, tissue, organ level. The sensing functions of the plant for environmental factors will be described together with their effect on plant development through the effect of plant ormons and of the reproductive cycle.


Chapter 1: Light as source of energy and information in plants: mechanisms of control of primary and secondary metabolism.

Chapter 2: Electron transport and ATP synthesis in bacteria, algae and plants. Linear and cyclic electron transport. Control of electron transport

Chapter 3: CO2 fixation: Calvin-Benson Cycle, Hatch and Slack cycle, CAM cycle.
Chapter 4: Biosynthesis and mobilization of starch in the chloroplast and leucoplasts, metabolic connections between plastid and cytoplasm. Transport of sugars.

Chapter 5: metabolism of Hydrogen: hydrogenases and bioenergetic of H2 production.
Chapter 6:Nitrogen metabolism: dymbiotic and bacterial nitrogen fixation. Organization of noitrogen. Biosynthesis iof essential aminoacids.
Chapter 7: Suphur metabolism: biosynthesis of metaioning and cystein, phytochelatins and detoxification of xenobiotics.

Chapter 8: biosynthesis and degradation of lipids. Cycle of glyoxilate.

Chapter 9: Biosynthesis and degradation of aminoacids and phenolic compounds.

Buchanan, Gruissem & Jones : Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Plants.
Taiz & Zeiger : Plant Physiology.

1Introduction: what’s plant physiology and interaction with others disciplines. Methods of study. Implications and adaptations typical of autothophy and eterothrophy. Cytoplasm/mass ration in plants and animals.

Major difference between animal and plant cell.

Water. Osmosys, mass flow, water potential. Root absorption, Xilem: structure and function. Water flow in the xylem. "Cohesion tension theory". Cavitation and recovery. Origino f the absorption strength. Leaf, stomata and traspiration.

Structure and function of the biological membranes: ion transport, Energy dependent pransport, Nerst equativo, mechanismsms of solute transport.

Phisiology of mineral absorption, macro- and micro-nutrients. essential elements.

Pholem: structure and function. Pressure-flow hypothesis. loading , unloading and mass flow..

Cellulose biosynthesis and formation of cell wall. Extensibility, acid growth, expansins, polar growth. Role of Ca2+.

Cell cycle and growth: seed development, dormance and germination. Synthesis/degradation of recserves.

Perception and transmission of signals.

Plant Hormons Auxins, Abscissic acid (ABA), gibberellins, brassinosteroid, ethylene, cytokinins.

Phytochrome: photoactive proteins, light as information, photoperiodism.

Cryptochrome: blue and UVA response. Regulation of stomata opening. phototropism.

Assessment methods and criteria

d) Multiple choice questions. This part is propedeutical to the oral examination. A report

e) Oral. Discussion with teacher on the major subjects considered in the program. It is possible to chose a subject and prepare a powerpoint presentation on it.