18457 - Plant Morphophysiology

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2021/2022

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

Students will acquire knowledge on hogher plants cells, tissues, organs, organisms by exploiting the many links between anatomy and physiology.

in detail, the following itopics will be discussed: .

  • Living matter constituents: molecules, macromolecules, polimers. Energy, enzymes, metabolism.
  • Cytology: procariotic, eucariotic cell; cell wall and cell membrane, nucleus. Cellular organelles: mitochondria, plastids, glyoxysomes. Endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, the vacuole, the Cell cycle.
  • Hystology: Pseudo-tissues and true tissues. Meristems, adult tissues. Parenchymatous, tegumental, conducting, mechanic, reserve, excretory tissues. Xylem and phloem.
  • Organs: root, stem, leaf structure and functions.
  • Plant water relations: water functions, water uptake, transport to leaves and fruit. Root pressure, embolism.
  • Mineral nutrition: uptake and trasport of nutrients, macro and micronutrients, main function of mineral nutrients. 
  • Photosynthesis: wavelengths, photoreceptors, light reactions, carbon fixation.
  • Respiration 
  • Exogenous factors of plant growth: phytocrome, fototropine, gravity, tropism. 

Readings/Bibliography

EVERT R.F., EICHHORN S.E., La biologia delle piante di Raven. Zanichelli Editore

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).

Per approfondimenti:

MAUSETH J.D. Botanica. Fondamenti di biologia delle piante. IDELSON-GNOCCHI (2020)

Teaching methods

Teaching is divided in 2 parts: lessons in classroom and practical activities in gardens, field and laboratories.

Assessment methods

The student learning acquisition will be evaluated at the end of the teaching lessons and consist of a 40 minuts final exam, which aims to quantify the skillness and expected expertise through an oral examintion with no possibility to use books, notes, or any other supports. The oral examination includes an interview  with the aim to evaluate the student learning level, ability of critical analysis, capability to link the different topics taught in class.

According to the COVID 19 pandemia evolution and the consequent legislation on social behavior, class can be offered in classroom, online or both, using TEAMS digital platform

Teaching tools

The class will be run with the help of digital slides (power point or similar). Upon agreement the teacher is available to give exrtra explanation to student with learning difficulties.

Microscopes and other laboratory equipment. Water relations and gas exchanges scientific instruments.

Office hours

See the website of Elena Baldi