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General Botanics
First semester
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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 fundamental physiology, anatomy and morphology of the organisms, and their genetics, with special reference to those organisms that represent a source of food for man. The student will also be able to autonomously evaluate the reliability of related information coming from various sources, and to communicate his judgement of products in an effective and scientifically correct manner. The expected learning outcomes are: 1) Knowledge and understanding: knowledge of the cells; tissues and plant organs; knowledge of the structure and functions of the biological macromolecules; knowledge of the biological biodiversity; knowledge of the modifications of organs and tissue after industrial process. 2) Application skills: identify and predict the effect of different technological processes on food quality and safety; apply methodologies, techniques and tools for biological food analysis. 3) Independent judgment: collect and critical interpretation of scientific data starting from raw material of animal and vegetable origin up to processed foods; develop a scientific approach to bioethical problems (eg GMOs); critical use of data from scientific literature; evaluation of teaching. 4) Communication skills: written and oral communication through the scientifically correct vocabulary; ability to present, transmit and disseminate information on topics related to biology; transmission and dissemination of information on technological issues; ability to communicate with experts or non-experts in the food production sector, and when started to work to superiors and / or customers. 5) Ability to learn: Ability to consult bibliographic material, databases relating to biology; ability to autonomously expand one's scientific-cultural background and keep up-to-date on the most recent scientific and technological developments related to the food; ability to successfully carry out the Master's Degree courses of the LM70 class and in particular the Master's Degree course in Food Science and Technology.



Course contents summary

The teaching is divided into three parts: animal and plant citology, plant histology and plant anatomy. Foundations of life. Characteristics of living beings. Procariotic and Eucariotic cells. Cell cycle.
General characteristics of plants and their importance for man. Tissues and organs of higher plants. Anatomy of root, stem and leaf. Photosynthesis process. The seed: structure and chemical composition. The flower and sexual reproduction.

Course contents

Foundations of life. Characteristics of living beings. Unicellular and multicellular organisms. Growth and development. Metabolism. Movement and response to stimuli. Reproduction and evolution.
Water. The essential molecules for life: lipids, sugars, aminoacids, proteins, enzymes, nucleic acids. Organic acids. ATP and NAD(P).
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.

Recommended readings

1) Campbell - Reece (2009). Biologia. Ed. Pearson.
1) Pancaldi et al. 2019. Fondamenti di Botanica Generale: teoria e pratica in laboratorio. Ed. Mc Graw Hill, Seconda edizione

2) Speranza A., Calzoni G.L. (2005). Struttura delle piante in immagini. Ed. Zanichelli.

Teaching methods

Lessons will be organized face-to-face with the possibility of using the lessons also remotely in synchronous (via Teams) and asynchronous mode (uploaded on the Elly page of the course). Lecture, to comply with the program.
The teaching (lectures) will be carried out in the classroom using slides as didactic material (supplement to the recommended text). The slides will be available online on the website in pdf format for students only and after each lesson. During the lessons, the appropriate use of technical language will be reiterated, and the links between the various parts of the course will be highlighted. For this reason, the presence of the students in classroom and their active participation is strongly encouraged.

Assessment methods and criteria

ORAL EXAM, which will assess the student's ability to apply the concepts learned during the course. The oral exam includes 5 questions on the following topics: fruit and seed, cytology, histology, anatomy and description of an anatomical image. The registration for the test takes place online through the ESSE3 SYSTEM.
If it is impossible to take the exam in classroom due to rules imposed by the University, the exam will be carried out remotely through Teams software.
The assessment of the level of knowledge acquired also takes into consideration how the student is able to express himself correctly, with the specific scientific language of biology.

Other informations