Plant biology and physiology - FISIOLOGIA VEGETALE (2016/2017)

Course code
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Teaching is organised as follows:
Activity Credits Period Academic staff Timetable
Teoria 5 II sem. Tiziana Pandolfini
Laboratorio [Laboratorio I] 1 II sem. Tiziana Pandolfini
Laboratorio [Laboratorio II] 1 II sem. Tiziana Pandolfini

Lesson timetable

II sem.
Activity Day Time Type Place Note
Teoria Wednesday 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM lesson Lecture Hall Berni (Lebrecht)  
Teoria Friday 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM lesson Lecture Hall C  

Learning outcomes

The course examines the principal physiological and molecular aspects of plant growth and development. The objective of the course is the acquisition of the theoretical fundamentals of plant physiology relevant for viticulture. After attending the course, the students will be able to comprehend the following physiological processes: water balance, xylematic and floematic transport, carbon metabolism, the role of phytohormones in plant growth and development.
To acquire knowledge about some experimental techniques used in plant physiology and to carry out a laboratory experience using plant material. The students will learn how to set up a laboratory in vitro test using plant tissues and how to collect, analyze and present the data.


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.
To acquire knowledge about some experimental techniques used in plant physiology.
Use of reporter genes for gene expression analysis with particular attention to the study of hormone distribution in response to different stimuli; Agrobacterium tumefaciens as natural genetic engineer: generation of transgenic plants by Agrobacterium and biolistic methods. Introduction to in vitro culture of plant tissues.
Practical work
1) Measurement of water potential in plant tissues. 2)The effects of auxin on adventitious root formation.

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam will ascertain:
Students’ knowledge on the topics of the lectures;
The language accuracy used to expose the arguments;
The ability to link the knowledge acquired to what learned from the Plant Biology course.
For both attending and non-attending students, the oral examination will concern the topics discussed in the lessons and covered in the text book.
A written report describing the results of the laboratory experiences.

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