First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCN1031415, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2019/20

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
SC1179, Degree course structure A.Y. 2018/19, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination PLANT ECOPHYSIOLOGY
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Biology
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 TOMAS MOROSINOTTO BIO/04

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

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

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

Start of activities 02/03/2020
End of activities 12/06/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2018 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
8 ECOFISIOLOGIA VEGETALE 2019-2020 01/10/2019 27/11/2020 MOROSINOTTO TOMAS (Presidente)
LA ROCCA NICOLETTA (Membro Effettivo)
7 ECOFISIOLOGIA VEGETALE 2018-2019 01/10/2018 30/11/2019 MOROSINOTTO TOMAS (Presidente)
LA ROCCA NICOLETTA (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of Plant Physiology is essential for understanding the topics covered.
Target skills and knowledge: The course aims to provide, also through the presentation of case studies, an understanding of the morphological and physiological mechanisms underlying the adaptation of plants to the environment.
Examination methods: The exam is written and consists of open questions.
Assessment criteria: The test consists of a few questions requiring a longer, more elaborate, response and others with a short answer, probing the preparation of all subjects covered.
Course unit contents: General definition of stress and common avoidance and tolerance strategies: production of reactive oxygen (ROS), nitrogen (RNS) and sulfur (RSS) species, activation of the antioxidant system, hormonal regulation, epigenetic modifications. Adaptation vs. acclimation.
High light stress. Photoinhibition and photoprotection. Regulation of photosynthesis to environmental dynamics. Regulation of light harvesting. Regulation of photosynthetic electron transport. Non-photochemical dissipation of light energy. Xanthophylls cycles, PSII damage and repair mechanisms. Regulation of carbon fixation. Adaptation of photosynthesis during evolution.
Low light intensity adapted plants. Sciaphilous plants: morphogenetic and physiological features. High light intensity adapted lants. Heliophilous plants: morphogenetic and physiological features.
Excess water stress. Flooding (flooding) and submersion. Molecular, cellular and organismic damages. Fermentation and acidification of the cytoplasm. Ethylene in flooding stress. Avoidance and tolerance mechanisms in partially submerged (amphibious) plants. Adaptive responses to hypoxia and anoxia. NO and plant hemoglobins. Morphogenetic adaptations of plants to submersion. Photosynthesis under water. Carbon concentration mechanisms in submerged plants.
Drought stress. Molecular, cellular and organismic responses. The xerophytes. Morphogenetic and physiological mechanisms of dry resistance. Tolerance to extreme desiccation: true poichilohidrich and resurrection plants.
Salt stress. Morphogenetic and physiological strategies of salt resistance. Halophytes. Osmoregulation. Mechanisms for regulating the absorption and accumulation of NaCl in plants. The SOS system.
Cold stress and freezing stress. Cell damage and adaptive responses. Osmoregulators and cryoprotectants. The parietal antifreeze proteins. Adaptation to winter desiccation and protection mechanisms of photosynthetic apparatus in evergreen plants.
Stress from anthropogenic pollution. The example of heavy metals. Characteristics, toxicity and tolerance mechanisms. Detoxification systems. Metal hyperaccumulator plants: mechanisms and function of hyperaccumulation. Phytoremediation and rizofiltration. Current experimental approaches for the use of tolerant or hyperaccumulator plants in the purification of aquatic and terrestrial sites polluted by heavy metals.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course consists only of lectures. The teacher, for some themes, will complement purely theoretical lessons with analysis of scientific articles with attention to the most current methodologies used in the study of plant ecophysiology.
Additional notes about suggested reading: No textbooks covering all the topics covered in the course are available. All the lesson slides will be provided to students through e-learning as well as in-depth articles.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Rascio, Nicoletta; Trost, Paolo Bernardo, Elementi di fisiologia vegetale. Napoli: Edises, 2017. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Taiz, Lincoln; Zeiger, Eduardo; Maffei, Massimo, Fisiologia vegetale. Padova: Piccin, 2013. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Sanità di Toppi, Luigi; Pievani, Telmo, Interazioni piante-ambiente. Padova: Piccin, 2018. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Case study
  • Questioning
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)

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

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Zero Hunger Quality Education Affordable and Clean Energy Sustainable Cities and Communities Responsible Consumption and Production Climate Action