MOLECULAR GENETIC MECHANISMS OF ADAPTATION TO THE ENVIRONMENT
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Organisms, their morphology, their history, their activities, their potentialities are the product of complex interactions between their genetic background and the environment. If the environment changes, also the characteristic of the organisms change. The objective of the course is to understand, from the molecular point of view, the response of the organisms, in particular plants, to different biotic and abiotic stresses. Starting from these knowledges we will analyse some biotechnological approaches in agronomic field to obtain cultures more resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses and in the environmental field to utilise organisms as biosensors for the environmental pollution
Course contents summary
Molecular studies of the interactions between living organisms and the environment. Phenotypic plasticity and genetic variation. Molecular response to biotic and abiotic stress in plants. Biotechnological approaches for enhancing crop resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Living organisms as bioindicators of environmental pollution.
1. Adaptation to the environment and stress response in eucariotic organisms: Adaptation and phenotypic response; Adaptation and genetic response (DNA and chromosomes, genetic, genomic and chromosomic mutations, polyploidy); Epigenetic variations and phenotypic response
2. Plant response to stresses: Biotic stress; Abiotic stress (water deficit; heat; freezing; metal stress)
3. Biotechnological approaches in the agronomic field: selection of plants resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses; production of transgenic plants resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses
4. Environmental biotechnologies: organisms as bioindicators of environmental perturbations (mutagenicity tests; eco-toxicological tests)
Since no specific text is available comprehensive of all the arguments treated in the course, the professor will give the student all the material necessary for the preparation of the exame, such as slides and articles written in English.
Frontal lessons and monographic lessons by invited speakers
Assessment methods and criteria
Oral examination and preparation of a written elaborate about one of the subjects of the course