91158 - Plant Functional Genomics

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Francesca Sparla

  • Learning modules Francesca Sparla (Modulo 1)
    Mirko Zaffagnini (Modulo 2)

  • Credits 6

  • SSD BIO/04

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures (Modulo 1)
    Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)

  • Language English

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in Genomics (cod. 9211)


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

Zero hunger Affordable and clean energy

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

The overall aim of the course is to provide theoretical skills concerning new large-scale and technology-driven approaches in molecular plant biology. A combination of lectures and project-based research will be used for studying processes and factors that control plant growth. Examples on how plants can be manipulated to sustainably satisfy the increasing global demand for food and biofuels will be provided.

Course contents

During the course, lectures will be given to introduce various aspects of plant cell biology, plant biological chemistry and fundamentals of plant molecular biology. For each module the students will work in groups to give a short seminar on a case study.

The first set of lectures introduces:

  • Plant cell
  • Plant genomes
  • Basic techniques of plant molecular biology

The second set of lectures introduces:

  • The photosynthetic process: functional mechanisms and regulation
  • Plant primary production
  • Plant responses to the environment


Original publications and reviews will be provided during the course.

The teaching material (e.g. lesson slides and links to suggested publications) can also be downloaded on the Virtuale - University of Bologna through username and password.

Teaching methods

The course is divided into two teaching units. The first unit (3 ECTS corresponding to 24 hours; leading by Prof. Sparla) consists of theoretical lectures aimed to introduce and train the student to the study of plant biology. The second unit (3 ECTS corresponding to 24 hours; leading by Prof. Zaffagnini) consists of theoretical lectures on molecular, genetic and proteomic approaches used in the study of plant biology and plant productivity.

All lectures are accompanied by the projection of pictures and diagrams. All the teaching material can be downloaded via IOL.

Questions and requests of further explanation from the students are always welcome, both during and after the lesson.

Assessment methods

The assessment methods for the student’s quote includes three questions, two chosen by the teacher and one chosen by the student.

For those students who wish, two of the three questions can be replaced by two short seminars (one for each teaching unit) on a subject agreed with the teachers.

Teaching tools

The course is held in English in classrooms with PC projection. All lectures and seminars are carried out through power point presentations. The files of the power point presentations and the teaching materials supporting lectures and seminars (articles, reviews, bibliography and websites) are made available to the students via IOL-University of Bologna.

Office hours

See the website of Francesca Sparla

See the website of Mirko Zaffagnini