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Facoltā di Scienze Agrarie e Alimentari Universitā degli Studi di Milano
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General and systematic botany
Code: G271E-
Teacher:  Alberto Spada
Year: 
Term:  1-2 
CFU:  10 
CFU subdivision: Lectures: 8,5
Practices in classroom: 1,5
Basic aims:  Provide students a learning method based on concepts understanding and logical organization of knowledge. Impart the basic elements of general biology and plant biology, detailed knowledge of cytology, histology and plant anatomy with the appropriate use of terminology. Also equip students with the knowledge of systematic of both vascular and non vascular plants. Vascular plant will be addressed in greater depth, approaching the study of the reproductive organs, strategies and criteria used for their classification. Some families of vascular plant that are important from the point of view of agriculture and forestry, will be dealt with in depth.
Acquired skills:  Ability to study in a not mnemonic way the general knowledge on the fundamental properties of living organisms, focusing on the cytology, histology, anatomy and organography of higher plants and their core functions. Ability to observe with optical microscope anatomical specimens of plants. Presentation skills with knowledge of the appropriate use of terminology. Ability to recognize and classify plants at the level of the family, while at the species level for the crop plants.
Course contents:  The course aims to improve knowledge of plant biology. In particular, it will deal with the plant cell, tissues (histology) and anatomy of plant organs, and reproductive structures and strategies. A component of systematic botany will mainly focus on spermatophytes, with emphasis on plant families and species of agronomic, food and medicinal relevance.
Program:  General Botany
A).The fundamentals of Biology: Characteristics of Living Organisms: autotrophy and heterotrophy; the role of plants in the biosphere. The chemistry of living things. Key chemical bonds. Water and life. The main organic molecules in biology. Structure and function of carbohydrates, lipids and products of secondary metabolism, proteins, nucleotides and nucleic acids. B) Cytology (cell biology) - general characteristics of the cell. Procaryotes and Eucaryotes. The components of the eucaryotic cell. Typical structure of the plant cell (cell walls, plastids, vacuole). Genetic information and the cell cycle. C) Histology and Plant Anatomy. Structural organisation of the plant.Meristematic tissues. Adult tissues. Vegetative organs of higher plants: roots, stems and leaves. Reproductive organs of higher plants.
Systematic Botany
The Basics of Systematic Botany (general part). General classification of plants. Metagenetic cycles. Vegetative propagation and sexual reproduction. Principal groups of cryptogams: algae, fungi, lichens, bryophytes and pteridophytes. Characteristics of the spermatophytes: Gymnosperms and Angiosperms. Principal differences between Monocotyledons and Dicotyledons. V.
Systematic Botany (special part).
Monocots; Dicots some important agricultural families.
Practical laboratory work involving observation using the optical microscope and the preparation of histological and anatomic samples.
Techniques for the recognition of species by the observation of reproductive and vegetative characters.
Plant observation in University Botanical Garden
Prerequisites:  A basic, high-school level, knowledge of general chemistry and biology is required.
Preparatory instructions:  No other prerequisites
Learning materials:  Essential teaching material will be distributed by the lecturer. Useful texts:
Pasqua G. et al., 2008 - Botanica Generale e diversitā vegetale. Piccin ed.;
Calzoni G.L., Speranza A. , 1996 - Struttura della piante in immagini. Guida all'anatomia microscopica delle piante vascolari - Zanichelli, Bologna.
Gerola F.M. (a cura di), Biologia e diversitā dei vegetali, UTET. Judd, Campbell, Kellogg, Stevens - Botanica sistematica, un approccio filogenetico - PICCIN
Longo C., Biologia vegetale Vol. 1 Forme e funzioni - Utet Lüttge U., Kluge M., Bauer G., 1997 - Botanica - Zanichelli, Bologna.
Pupillo P., Cervone F., Cresti M., Rascio N., 2003 - Biologia Vegetale - Zanichelli Raven P.H., Evert R.F., Eichorn S.E., 2002 - Biologia delle piante. VI edizione - Zanichelli, Bologna.
Ray P.M., Steeves T.A., Fultz S.A, 1985 - Botanica - Zanichelli, Bologna. Venturelli F., Virli L., 1995 - Invito alla Botanica, con esercitazioni di laboratorio - Zanichelli, Bologna. Useful links: http://www.biologie.uni-hamburg.de/b-online/e00/default.htm
Other info:  Oral examination
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Program of General and systematic botany (pdf version)
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