18457 - Plant Morphophysiology

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Luca Corelli Grappadelli

  • Credits 6

  • SSD BIO/03

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Cesena

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in Viticulture and Enology (cod. 8527)

  • Course Timetable from Feb 26, 2021 to May 28, 2021


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Responsible consumption and production Climate Action

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

Through this course the student acquires knowledge regarding the cell, tissue, anatomical features of higher plants; he gains an understanding of the complex relations underpinning anatomy and physiology of higher plants, in relation to water relations, photosynthesis and transpiration. The student gains knowledge related to the major classes of plant hormones and their control of plant responses to the environment, including: hormone/receptor interactions, signal transduction and amplification, control of response at various time scales.

Course contents

The course builds from knowledge regarding cells, tisses, organs, organisms, in relation to higher plants.

Exploiting the many links between anatomy and physiology, a coherent picture of the structure-function nexus is provided to the students.

The following is but a mere listing of contents that are discussed in an organic, holistic approach.

1. Living matter constituents: molecules, macromolecules, polimers. Energy, enzymes, metabolism.

2. Cytology: procariotic, eucariotic cell; cell wall and cell membrane, nucleus. Cellular organelles: mitochondria, plastids, glyoxysomes. Endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, the vacuole, the Cell cycle.

3. Hystology: Pseudo-tissues and true tissues. Meristems, adult tissues. Parenchymatous, tegumental, conducting, mechanic, reserve, excretory tissues. Xylem and phloem.

4. Organs: Root, stem, leaf structure and functions.

5. Laboratory observations of cells, tissues, organs.

6. Plant water relations: Water uptake, transport to leaves and fruit. Root pressure, embolism; water functions: transport, temp regulation, metabolic.

7. Plant-light relations: wavelengths, photoreceptors, the leaf as a light filter. Photomorphogenesis: phytochrome, phototropins, cryptochromes. Photosynthesis, photoinhibition, photoprotection, photodamage.

8. Plant hormones: environment and internal cues; signal reception, transduction and amplification. Rapid responses and responses involving gene expression.

9. Discovery, structure, mode of action, agricultural utilization of the following hormone classes: Auxins, Gibberellins, Citokinins, Abscissic Acid, Ethylene. General discussion of the following: acetylsalicylic acid, jasmonates, strigolactones, polyammines.

10. Laboratory measurements of water potential and gas exchanges of grape leaves, in response to levels of water stress.


Lecture slides, provided by instructor.

The following are valuable resources worth of acquiring for the interested student.

- PANCALDI S., BALDISSEROTTO C., FERRONI L., PANTALEONI L., Fondamenti di Botanica Generale - Teoria e Pratica. McGraw-Hill Education (2011).

- RASCIO N. Elementi di fisiologia vegetale. EDISES (2017).

- SPERANZA A., CALZONI G. L. Struttura delle Piante in Immagini Zanichelli (2001).

Teaching methods

The course comprises up to 60% of the hours in the classroom, and the remaining 40% administered as labs. The following are normally included in the program: microscopy observations of tissues and cells; pigment extractions; measurement of water potential and gas exchanges of grape leaves. 

In consideration of current legislation regarding COVID-19 containment, teaching will be carried out as per Unibo's guidelines. Currently, they state that all teaching will be carried out in mixed (in class and remote) modality. 100% online teaching may occur under special conditions, such as lectures given by visiting professors and/or in case of health conditions of the instructor that mandate self-quarantine.

Assessment methods

The final exam is a multiple choice, computer assisted test. The specific conditions of the test will be communicated during the course, as they may have to be tailored to existing Coronavirus imposed limitation.


Teaching tools

PC, Beamer, microscopes and other laboratory equipment. Water relations and gas exchanges scientific instruments made available by the instructor.

Office hours

See the website of Luca Corelli Grappadelli