First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCP8084999, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
SC1161, Degree course structure A.Y. 2008/09, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination PLANT BIOTIC INTERACTIONS
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Biology
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge NICOLETTA LA ROCCA BIO/04

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses BIO/04 Vegetal Physiology 6.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 3rd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 48 102.0 No turn

Start of activities 30/09/2019
End of activities 18/01/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2008 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
LO SCHIAVO FIORELLA (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: Animal and Plant Cell Biology, basic Biochemistry and Plant Physiology (to facilitate the understanding of the morphological and physiological aspects underlying the interactions)
Target skills and knowledge: Achieve a good knowledge of the interactions between plant organisms and biotic environment with particular attention to the adaptive and co-evolutionary aspects.
Examination methods: Oral exam with questions covering the various topics of the course in order to ascertain the overall preparation of the student.
Assessment criteria: Knowledge of the different topics covered during the lectures and the ability to link them will be evaluated.
Course unit contents: - Chemical and molecular characteristics of defensive and attractive interactions. Secondary metabolism: alkaloids, phenols, terpenoids, VOCs, etc. Molecular talks in the rhizosphere and in the atmosphere. (1 CFU)
- Morphological signals. Mimicry, mimesis and attractive morphological specializations and deterrents. Variegations, colors and other leaf and flower specializations of attraction or defense against animal organisms. Co-evolutive aspects.(1 CFU)
- Symbiosis: morphological, molecular and evolutionary aspects of commensalism, mutualism etc.
- Characteristics and evolutionary aspects of the most important symbiotic relationships: plant microbiota (ex: endophytes); cyanobacteria / sponges and microalgae / coelenterates symbiosis; lichen symbiosis, nitrogen fixing organisms, mycorrhizae. Pollination and dispersion of seeds by animal organisms. (1 CFU)
- Extreme specializations. Cases of retention by animal organisms of plant organisms or organelles: permanent symbiosis and chloroplasts kleptoplasty.(1 CFU)
- Endo- and ecto-parasites. Adaptations of parasites, hosts and vectors: chemical, molecular and structural mechanisms of pathogenic interactions of plants with viruses, bacteria, fungi, nematodes and pathogenic insects. Parasitic plants of other plants. Plant immunity. Molecular signals for the activation of symbiosis or defense. Evolutionary aspects and examples of convergences between mechanisms of parasitism and defense in animals and plants. (1 CFU)
- Generalist and specialists phytophagous, menage a trois: molecular and evolutionary aspects. Carnivorous plants.(1 CFU)
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Lectures in the classroom during which case studies will also be addressed. Approximately 8% of the time will be dedicated to group work, journal club and active quiz.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Lesson notes and suggested readings.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Pievani, Telmo; Sanita di Toppi, Luigi, Interazioni piante-ambienteLuigi Sanità di Toppi ... [et. al.]presentazione di Telmo Pievani. Padova: Piccin, 2018. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Smith, Alison Mary, Biologia delle Piante. Vol. 2 Interazioni con l'ambiente. Bologna: Zanichelli, 2011. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Case study
  • Working in group
  • Questioning
  • Problem solving
  • Flipped classroom
  • Active quizzes for Concept Verification Tests and class discussions
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)
  • Learning journal

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Quality Education Gender Equality Climate Action Life on Land