Academic Year 2022/2023 - Teacher: LUCA VANELLA

Expected Learning Outcomes

To provide knowledge about secondary metabolism in plants and its importance in physiological regulation. Provide specific knowledge of biochemistry applied to the study of the response of plants to hormones and biotic and abiotic stresses. In particular, and with reference to the so-called Dublin Descriptors, the course aims to provide the following knowledge and skills.

Knowledge and understanding
At the end of the course, the student will know, from a biochemical perspective, the main secondary metabolites of plants and microorganisms, their impact on plant productivity and any pharmacological and nutritional use.

Ability to apply knowledge and understanding
Individual and group exercises, aimed at verifying the understanding of the concepts included in the course.

Autonomy of judgment
Administration of ongoing training tests aimed at self-assessment of the understanding and learning of already completed teaching units; conscious evaluation of teaching.

Communication skills
The student will strengthen the technical language of biochemistry and communication skills through interactions with the teacher and colleagues during the course.

Learning ability
The student will be able to update and expand their knowledge by independently drawing on texts, scientific articles and online platforms

Course Structure

The course includes 42 hours of frontal (or distance) lessons and 28 hours of classroom exercises through exposure and participatory debates among students on research, case studies or topics related to the topics of the course. To guarantee equal opportunities and in compliance with the laws in force, interested students can ask for a personal interview in order to plan any compensatory and / or dispensatory measures, based on the didactic objectives and specific needs.
It is also possible to contact the referent teacher CInAP (Center for Active and Participatory Integration - Services for Disabilities and / or SLD) of the Department, Prof. Giovanna Tropea Garzia and Anna De Angelis.

Required Prerequisites

Knowledge of Biology and General Biochemistry.

Attendance of Lessons

Highly recommended

Detailed Course Content

Secondary metabolites and their importance in plant physiology.
Phenolic compounds: via the scichimic acid and aromatic amino acids. Biosynthesis of simple phenols. Lignin biosynthesis. Coumarins. Stilbenes, dibenzyls, benzoquinones, naphthoquinones and anthraquinones. Biosynthesis of complex phenols: flavonoids and tannins.
The terpenoids: Via mevalonic acid and the biosynthesis of isoprene.
Monoterpenes, sesquierpenes, diterpenes, triterpenes, tetraterpenes, polyterpenes.
Secondary nitrogen-containing metabolites
The alkaloids. Nicotine and tropane alkaloids. Isoquinoline alkaloids. Indole alkaloids. Cyanonegetic glucosides. Glucosinolates. Non-protein amino acids.
Secondary metabolites and plant hormones in the adaptation of plants to stress:
Adaptation to abiotic stresses. Adaptation to biotic stresses.

Textbook Information

1- Buchanan B.B., Gruissem W e Jones R.L -Biochimica e Biologia Molecolare delle Piante- Zanichelli.

2- Lehninger, Nelson, Cox – Principi di Biochimica – Zanichelli

3- Maffei – Biochimica vegetali – Piccin

4- Raven, Evert, Eichhorn – Biologia delle piante - Zanichelli

5 -Taiz, Zeiger – Fisiologia vegetale – Piccin

6 - Paul M.Dewick – Chimica, Biosintesi e Bioattività delle Sostanze Naturali- PICCIN

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

The exam will be written with multiple choice. The test will focus exclusively on the topics covered in class. The type of exercises of the exam will be addressed during the course. Exam dates will be published on the Department website.

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

The biosynthesis of fatty acids in plants takes place:

A. In the cytosol.

B. In glyoxisomes.

C. In peroxisomes.

D. In plastids.