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Facoltā di Scienze Agrarie e Alimentari Universitā degli Studi di Milano
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Molecular plant physiology
Code: G610D-
Teacher:  Fabio Francesco Nocito
CFU subdivision: Lectures: 6
Basic aims:  Understanding of the molecular basis and the general aspects of physiological and biochemical mechanisms underlying plant growth and diversity as related to endogenous and exogenous factors, with special emphasis to environmental aspects and stress responses.
Acquired skills:  Critical understanding up to at molecular level of the physiological and biochemical aspects of plant growth differentiation and productivity, individuation of limiting factors and ways to overcome them. Understanding of the evolution of scientific knowledge in the area.
Course contents:  The study of physiology up to a molecular level of the following major plant functions: water uptake: thermodynamic factors, kinetic and metabolic responses; limitations to photosynthetic productivity: thermodynamics yield and crop yield; peculiarity of oxygen uptake in plants and their meaning; biological membranes : role in signal transduction and in the mineral nutrition; morphogenesis: the role of external stimula, the role of hormones in growth, differentiation and development.
Program:  Molecular aspect of plant Plant Physiology . Thermodynamics and kinetics of water uptake: Chemical potential of water, solute, chemical and pressure water potential, Water diffusion and aquaporins. Water pathways in plant. Transpiration, Water deficit. Water stress: structural (pressure potential) and metabolic answer. Osmo-regulation. Water deficit and signaling. Dehydration tolerance. Thermoregulation and water. Heath stress. Heath shock proteins. Low temperature stress. Productivity and Photosynthesis. Thermodynamic Yield of Photosynthesis and crop yield. Protection of photo-systems against light and ox /red. Potential, Photo inhibition. Physiological role of Photorespiration. Carbon fixation and C4 and CAM Plants. Thermodynamic and crop yield of these plants. Translocation of Photosynthates and starch biosynthesis. Role of stomata in Carbon flux. Oxygen uptake in plants. Physiologic role of respiration in plants: role in biosyntheses. Cyanide resistant mitochondrial oxygen uptake and its physiological role. Non mitochondrial uptake of oxygen (micro bodies, plasma membrane and cytoplasm). Active oxygen species in defence against pathogens. Plant Plasma-membrane and Physiology. Role of membrane transport in compartmentalization and homeostasis, energy conversion, signal transduction and plant mineral nutrition. Uptake of mineral nutrients: thermodynamics, kinetics and metabolic aspect. Role of mineral nutrients in plant physiology. Assimilation of nitrogen, sulphur and phosphate. Nutritional stress. Salt stress and effect of toxic elements. Morphogenesis. Role of plant morphogenesis in relation to environment. Plant cell differentiation and organogenesis. Geotropism. Photo-morphogenesis: the phyto-chromes. Plant growth regulators and hormones. Physiologic actions of hormones. Maturation and germination of seeds: metabolic and plant membrane reactivation during seed germination. Fruits ripening and senescence.
Prerequisites:  Are required knowledges concerning:
-morpho-functional organization of the plant,
-general and organic chemistry
-physics in particular thermodynamics.
-general biochemistry
Preparatory instructions:  Prerequisites for the teachings of the degree are not required
Learning materials:  It is given to the students the materials , slides, that are shown and discussed during the teaching.
- Biochimica e Biologia Molecolare delle Piante, BB Buchanan, W Gruissem, RL Jones, Zanichelli
- Fisiologia vegetale, L Taiz E Ziegler ed ital. Massimo Maffei Zanichelli
- Fisiologia vegetale, L Taiz E Ziegler ed ital. Massimo Maffei Zanichelli
Other info:  The test consists in an oral critical presentation: student can make a choice between the following two possible way:
- critical illustration of a presentation of a topic of teaching integrated with the contents of scientific articles of interest, identified by the student with a search on the site of the electronic libraries of the University, agreed with the teacher. The teacher is available for explanations and clarifications during the setting up of the presentation.
- presentation and discussion of on three subject from the topics of teaching identifying and discussing general significant aspect.
Synthesis and critical view of the topics discussed will be evaluated
Program of Molecular plant physiology (pdf version)
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