12818 - Plant Biology

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Annalisa Tassoni

  • Credits 6

  • SSD BIO/01

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in Natural Sciences (cod. 5823)


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

This course aims to give to the student the basic knowledge about plant cytology, histology and organography and some basic knowledge of plant physiology. In particular, the student will be able to recognise cytological and anatomical structures and plant morphology.

Course contents

Cytology - Life origins. Prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. Cell structure of prokaryotics. Eubacteria and cyanobacteria. Cell structure of eukaryotic organisms. The plant cell. Plant cell wall chemical structure (cellulose, hemicellulose, pectic substances and glycoproteins). Primary and secondary cell wall; modifications of the secondary cell wall. Primary and secondary metabolism. Vacuole: structure, formation, differentiation and functions. Plastids. Chloroplast structure. Chemical structure and functions of starch. Leucoplasts and chromoplasts. Theories on the origin of plastids.

Morphological organization of plants - Outline of sistematics in plants

Histology – Primary and secondary meristems. Parenchyma. Epidermal tissues (stomata and tricomes). Mechanical tissues (collenchyma and schlerenchyma). Transport tissues (xylem and phloem). Secretory cells and tissues. Vascular bundles

Anatomy – Morphology and anatomy of the stem, root and leaf and their morphological modifications. Primary and secondary structures. Structure of wood. Structure of Spermatophytes (Gymosperm and Angiosperm both Monocots and Dicots). Flower, fruit and plant reproduction.

Elements of Plant Physiology - Photoautotrophy and chemioautotrophy. Autotrophy and heretrotrophy: symbiosis and parasitism. Photosynthesis: pigments, light and dark phase. C3, C4 and CAM plants. Photorespiration. Mineral nutrition. Nitrogen metabolism and cycle. Plant hormones: general knowledge on auxins, cytokinins, gibberellins, abscissic acid, ethylene, brassinosteroids, jasmonates, polyamines.



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 (7/10 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