Plant physiology - Photosynthesis and stress. (2016/2017)

Course code
Roberto Bassi
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Teaching is organised as follows:
Activity Credits Period Academic staff Timetable
teoria 5 I sem. Roberto Bassi
laboratorio 1 I sem. Roberto Bassi

Lesson timetable

I sem.
Activity Day Time Type Place Note
teoria Tuesday 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM lesson Lecture Hall I  
teoria Wednesday 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM lesson Lecture Hall H  
teoria Thursday 10:30 AM - 1:30 PM lesson Not defined from Nov 9, 2016  to Nov 9, 2016
teoria Thursday 10:30 AM - 1:30 PM lesson Laboratory Gamma from Nov 10, 2016  to Jan 31, 2017

Learning outcomes

The course aims to provide the basics of autotrophic metabolism that allows plants, algae and photosynthetic bacteria to organicate inorganic carbon (CO2) into sugars, the inorganic nitrogen (N2, NO3) into ammonium (NH4 +) and inorganic sulfur (SO4--) into thiol derivatives. In particular will be described (a) the structure and biogenesis of bioenergetic cellular organelles with particular reference to the mitochondria and chloroplasts; (B) the ways of biosynthesis of chlorophylls and carotenoids; (C) the photochemistry of carotenoids and chlorophylls (d) the structure and function of photosystems and electron transport pathways from H2O to NADP +, including the O2 atosferico synthesis and oxidative photophosphorylation. Furthermore, the relationship between irradiation, production of reactive oxygen species and the productivity of autotrophic organismsit will be discussed. Finally, t the principles of genetic improvement of the primary productivity of biomass for food and fuel will be critically assessed.


Cell biology of plants (quick review): plasma membrane, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, vacuoles, peroxisomes, plastids, mitochondria.
Structure and function of chloroplasts and mitochondria. Biosynthesis of Chlorophylls and carotenoids.
Photosynthesis: light absorption and conversion of energy, CO2 organication in C3 plants, C4 plants and CAM, the way photorespiratory
carbohydrate metabolism, synthesis and degradation of sucrose and starch, interaction between the pools of the hexose phosphate and pentose phosphate
regulation of carbon assimilation: metabolic control between the cytosol and the chloroplast
nitrogen metabolism: symbiotic N2 fixation, absorption and reduction of nitrate, nitrite reduction, interactions between nitrate assimilation and carbon metabolism
sulfur metabolism of sulfur chemistry, absorption, transport, and assimilation of sulfate role of glutathione
biosynthesis of amino acids: inorganic nitrogen assimilation, synthesis of aromatic aa, aa derivatives dall'aspartato, aa branched chain, proline
the mitochondria in plant cells
secondary metabolism: in short, the biosynthesis of IPP and terpenoids, alkaloids, phenylpropanoids, lignins and suberine, flavonoids, coumarins

Assessment methods and criteria

E 'consists of two parts:

Written: a biosynthetic pathway shown in writing, including formulas and enzymes
- Calvin cycle, C2, C3, C4, CAM
- Route of carotenoid biosynthesis
- Synthesis and degradation of starch and sucrose, adjustment
- Via glyoxylate
(Glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, pentose-phosphate, the Krebs cycle
are taken for granted by the general course of biochemistry)
- Biosynthesis of amino acids in general and tyrosine / phenylalanine
in particular.

Interview: 15-20 minutes of questions on various topics among which there will always be at least:
- A question on photosynthesis light phase.
- A question on the dark stage or into organic nitrogen or sulfur.