BIOLOGY AND PLANT PHYSIOLOGY
Learning outcomes of the course unit
To provide the student with elementary knowledge relating to the nature of the living matter and plant organisms; the fondamental physiology, anatomy and morphology of the organisms, and their genetics, with special reference to those organisms that represent a source of food for man.
Course contents summary
Foundations of life. Characteristics of living beings. Unicellular and multicellular organisms. Growth and development. Metabolism. Movement and response to stimuli. Reproduction and evolution.
Water. Solvents and solutes. Inorganic and organic substances. The essential molecules for life: lipids, sugars, aminoacids, proteins, enzymes, nucleic acids. Organic acids. ATP and NAD(P). Secondary products of metabolism. Plants and human nutrition.
The main features of procariotic cells. Eucariots: nucleus and cytosol. The plasmalemma. Endomembrane systems. Tonoplast and vacuole. Plastids. Mitochondria and other organules. Cytoskeleton. Cell wall.
Cell cycle. Mitosis and meiosis. Structure and replication of DNA. Transcription and translation. Eucariot genome and its expression. Phenotype and genotype. Mendelian genetics. Plant breeding. Recombinant DNA and biotechnologies. GMOs. Origins of agriculture and biodiversity.
General characteristics of plants and their importance for man. Tissues and organs of higher plants. Anatomy of root, stem and leaf. Stomata. Primary and secondary meristems.
Structure and functions of the cloroplast. Radiant energy and photosynthetic pigments. The 2 phases of photosynthesis. The Calvin-Benson cycle. Photorespiration. C4 and CAM plants.
The seed: structure and chemical composition. The flower and sexual reproduction. Macro- and microsporogenesis, fecundation.
1) Campbell - Reece (2009). Biologia. Ed. Pearson.
2) Speranza A., Calzoni G.L. (2005). Struttura delle piante in immagini. Ed. Zanichelli.
Assessment methods and criteria