Learning outcomes of the course unit
The student will acquire basic knowledge in Botany, with particular emphasis to crops for zootechnical use
Course contents summary
INTRODUCTION The concept of plant organism. Binomial nomenclature. Origin, diversity and classification of plants. Outlines of major biological molecules: lipids, sugars, amino acids, proteins, enzymes, nucleic acids. Organic acids. ATP and NAD(P). THE PLANT CELL The main features of the plant cell. The nucleus and the cytoplasm. The plasma membrane. The endomembrane systems. Tonoplast and vacuole. The osmotic phenomena and the turgor. Plastids. Outlines of mitochondria, peroxisomes and other organelles. The cytoskeleton. Cell cycle, mitosis and meiosis. The cell wall and plasmodesmata. WATER BALANCE IN PLANTS The water in the soil. Water absorption by the roots. Water transport through the xylem. Movement of water from the leaf to the atmosphere. MINERAL NUTRITION AND TRANSPORT Essential nutrients for plants. Absorption of mineral elements of the soil. Membrane transport processes and translocation of mineral elements in the plant. PHOTOSYNTHESIS Reactions in light and dark. Photosynthetic electron transport, proton and synthesis of ATP. Primary and secondary starch. C3, C4 and CAM photosynthetic metabolism. Distribution of photosynthesis products: allocation and partition. Ecology of photosynthesis. HISTOLOGY AND ANATOMY OF HIGHER PLANTS Meristematic tissues and adult tissues. Anatomy of root and stem in Gymnosperms, Dicotyledons and Monocotyledons. The dorsal-ventral leaf, isolateral and needle-like. Stomata and stomatal movements. ONTOGENETIC PLANT CYCLE Overview on reproduction of Pteridophytes and Gymnosperms. Angiosperms: the flower and the sexual reproduction. Microsporogenesis, macrosporogenesis, gametogenesis, fertilization. Embryogenesis. The seed: structure and chemical composition. Germination and seedling formation. The fruit. OUTLINES ON SECONDARY METABOLISM AND PROTECTION OF PLANTS TOWARDS BIOTIC AND ABIOTIC STRESS Terpenes, phenolic compounds, nitrogen-containing compounds. Defence against herbivore insects and pathogens. water, heat, salt, oxidative stresses and major environmental pollutants. MAIN CROPS ADDRESSED TO AGRO-ZOOTECHNICAL USES Graminaceae, Fabaceae, industrial crops; outlines on meadows, pastures and mountain crops
Physiology and Behaviour of Plants
Classes with Power Point Support.
Practical activity on plant samples.
Assessment methods and criteria
Written examination, with possible oral integration