Hours per week
Objectives of the course (preferably expressed in terms of learning outcomes and competences): The student is exposed to basic knowledge of the physiological mechanisms and functions of plants in a way that permits to correlate with analogous mechanisms/functions in other organisms.
Course contents: The plants are the key-organisms on the planet for sustainable life. The topics in this course include: Differences between plant and animal cells. Physicochemical phenomena governing uptake and transport of water, ions and solutes from the soil into the root cells to the aerial plant organs. Plant nutrition. Photosynthesis (from solar energy to carbohydrates: photosystems; electron flow; synthesis of energy-rich molecules, Calvin cycle, C-3 and C-4 plants). Photorespiration. Nitrogen metabolism (uptake, reduction of nitrates, ammonia assimilation, biosynthesis of nitrogenous molecules). Secondary metabolism. Plant Developmental Biology: morphogenic programmes, signal perception and transduction, plant hormones and like-hormones molecules. Abiotic stress and biotechnological applications.