Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Annalisa Tassoni

  • Credits 5

  • SSD BIO/01

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in Sciences and Technologies for Green and Landscape (cod. 5830)

  • Course Timetable from Oct 11, 2021 to Dec 14, 2021


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

Life on land

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student acquires the basic notions of evolution of plant organisms, the structure of the cell and plant tissues, the structure of the main organs (leaves, stem and roots). The student also acquires skills related to the principles of plant physiology (water balance, hormonal regulation of plant development, photosynthetic process) in order to understand the role of the main groups of autotrophic living beings in the ecosystem. The student is able to make a preparation from a fresh plant and to identify the type of plant, the stage of growth, its environmental adaptations, and the functions of the examined organs.

Course contents

The teaching programme includes the following subjects:

- Elements of biochemistry. The chemical components of the living organisms: water, inorganic substances, organic substances. Monomers, polymers, condensation, hydrolysis. Carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids. Difference between primary and secondary metabolites.

- The cell. The prokaryotic cell: structure and function of its components. Cyanobacteria, endosimbyontic theory and the genesis of eucaryotic cell. The eucaryotic cell: plasma membrane, cytoplasm, nucleus, ribosomes, mitochondria, Golgi complex, endoplasmic reticulum, cytoskeleton. Basic knowledge on cell division through mitosis and meiosis. The eukaryotic plant cell: cell wall (middle lamella, primary wall, secondary wall, cell wall modifications), vacuole (genesis and functions), the plastids (chloroplasts, leucoplasts, chromoplasts).

- Degrees of plant structure and evolution. Autotrophs and heterotrophs. The main functional and morphological characteristics of the plant organisms: algae, Briophytes, Pteridophytes and Spermatophytes (Angiosperms dicotyledons and monocotyledons, Gymnosperms).

- The plant tissues. Meristematic tissues and differentiated tissues. Integumental tissues, parenchyma tissues, mechanical tissues, the secretory tissues, the vascular tissues and types of vascular bundles.

- The anatomy of the Spermatophytes. Leaf anatomy of Gymnosperms, Angiosperms dicotyledons and monocotyledons. The stem in primary and secondary structure. Anatomy of the stem of Gymnosperms, Angiosperms dicotyledons and monocotyledons. The root in primary and secondary structure. Anatomy of the root of Gymnosperms, Angiosperms dicotyledons and monocotyledons. Main modifications of plant organs.

- Introductory plant physiology. Osmotic phenomena. Water potential. The water potential in the soil-plant-atmosphere system. Water uptake from the soil and water movements in the plant. Transpiration, opening and closing of the stomata. Photosynthesis (photosynthetic pigments, photosystems, the light phase, the dark phase or the Calvin cycle). Photosynthesis of plants C3, C4 and CAM. Photorespiration. The aerobic respiration, the anaerobic respiration, the fermentations. The Carbon  cycle. The plant hormones: auxins, gibberellins, cytokinins, abscisic acid, ethylene. The effects of light: photomorphogenesis, photoperiodism. The seed germination. The effects of temperature: vernalization. Plant senescence.



Botany. Mauseth J.D., 4th Ed., Idelson-Gnocchi

Atlas for recognition of plant structures: Struttura delle piante in immagini, by Speranza A., Calzoni G.L., Zanichelli, 1996

Optional to view videos of some laboratory experiences online:

Fondamenti di Botanica Generale - Teoria e pratica di laboratorio

by Pancaldi, S. et al., 2nd Ed, McGraw-Hill


Ppt presentations of the lessons downloadable from the Virtuale platform.

Teaching methods

Lectures and practicals (highly recommended) with the use of microscope.

See teacher website for practicals calendar and details.

The theoretical and practical teaching activities will take place regularly in the presence / mixed mode for all students compatibly with the health conditions and with the regulations in force relating to the COVID-19 emergency.

In case of restricted access to the University spaces, students are requested to register on the Present app.

Assessment methods

Written test with 10 multiple choice questions (duration 20 minutes), after which (6/10 correct answers) the student can access the oral exam (on the same day) with questions on the entire program and recognition of plant structures from computer images.

Passing the test has no influence on the final grade which will be expressed out of 30 only at the end of the oral interview.

If the oral exam is not passed successfully, the student is required to repeat the test at the next session as well.

The use of notes, electronic tools or textbooks is not allowed during the entire exam.

Teaching tools

Videoprojector, PC, microscopes, on-line classes, power point files of each lecture in the Virtuale website.

Office hours

See the website of Annalisa Tassoni