Agricultural and environmental biotechnology
Study-unit Code
In all curricula
Lara Reale
  • Lara Reale
  • 54 ore - Lara Reale
Course Regulation
Coorte 2023
Learning activities
Attività formative affini o integrative
Academic discipline
Type of study-unit
Obbligatorio (Required)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa monodisciplinare
Language of instruction
Reminds of cytology, histology and plant anatomy. The cell wall and the mechanisms of cell expansion. Embryogenesis: embryonic stages and gene control. Cyto-histological characteristics of the shoot apex and genetic and molecular basis of the functioning of the shoot apical meristem. Phyllotaxis and genes involved in leaf development. The root: the apical meristem and genetic bases of the development of the root system. From induction to flowering to the development of the floral organs (ABC model). Pregamic mechanisms and fertilization. Differentiation of seed and fruit; classification of fruits.
Reference texts
Plant Physiology and Development. Lincoln Taiz, Eduardo Zeiger, Ian M. Møller, and Angus Murphy
Sixth Edition
(Oxford University Press, 2018)

Elementi di Biologia, dello sviluppo delle piante. Altamura, Biondi, Colombo Guzzo (EdiSES, Napoli 2012)

Fisiologia vegetale. L Taiz, E Zeiger. Piccin Nuova Libraria S.p.A Editore (2012
Educational objectives
The main aim of this teaching is to provide students with knowledge about the development and structure of plants useful for the definition and organization of complex experiments of plant biotechnology.
The main knowledge acquired will be:
- Knowledge concerning the mechanisms of development (embryonic, cauline, radical and floral) and differentiation in Angiosperms;
- Knowledge regarding the mechanisms of plant-environment interaction (ie floral induction).
The main skills (ie the ability to apply the knowledge acquired) will be:
- Ability to evaluate which methodologies to use for the study of aspects of plant biology treated during the course;
- Ability to use the knowledge concerning the genes involved in plant development, provided by the course, for the evaluation of experimental data and the resolution of application problems.
- Ability to critically evaluate the recent scientific literature related to the covered topics.
Good knowledge of botany is required, both in cytology and plant anatomy.
Teaching methods
Lectures, laboratory exercises, simulations. During the lectures the theoretical concepts planned in the course program will be provided. The knowledge acquired during the course will also be used, during laboratory exercises and simulations, to solve experimental problems. During the laboratory exercises the main methodologies used the study the gene expression “in situ” will be described and implemented. The exercises and simulations will be held at the laboratory of "Anatomy and plant cytology" and the "Microscopy Educational Center" of the Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences.
Other information
Office hours: Wednesday from 11.30 to 13.30 unless teaching or institutional commitments.
Contacts: tel. 075 5856406, email lara.reale@unipg.it.
Address: Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, Borgo XX Giugno 74, 06121 Perugia
For information on support services for students with disabilities and / or DSA visit the page http://www.unipg.it/disabilita-e-dsa
Learning verification modality
The exam consists of an oral discussion of about 30 minutes, to ascertain the level of knowledge achieved by the student.
Extended program
Frontal lessons
Plant cell wall structure and cell expansion mechanisms. Plant embryogenesis: the early stages of embryogenesis define the organization of the plant. The molecular mechanisms of embryogenesis and the identification of the fate of different portions of the embryo. The study of mutants to understand the molecular mechanisms of embryogenesis.
The root: the apical meristem and the role of the quiescent center; positional information and gene control in the differentiation of root hairs; the organization (radial symmetry) and developmental mutants (scarecrow, short-root, monopteros, bodenlos etc.); hormones (auxin, cytokinins) in the development of the root system.
The shoot apex: functions and organization in zones (tunica / corpus, central zone / peripheral zone) at the cytological and gene expression level, gene control (genes WUS, CLV, STM, etc.) of the shoot apical meristem functioning. The organogenesis of stem, phyllotaxis and the role of auxin and PIN transporters; leaf development (dorsal-ventral and apex-base symmetry).

Flowering phase and control of flower development. Microsporogenesis, megasporogenesis and gametogenesis. Pollination and pre-gamic phase with incompatibility phenomena. Pollen tube development and double fertilization. Post-anthesis and fruit development with cyto-histological approach; different types of fruit.
Practical lessons
Methods to investigate the growth of an organism/ organ (size, fresh weight, dry, number and size of cells). Protocols for preparation of plant material (sampling, fixation and inclusion) for cyto-histological studies with light and electron microscopy. Cyto-histochemical techniques, in situ hybridization and immunolocalization.
The preparation of samples for the light and electron microscopy will be realized in the laboratory of Anatomy and Cytology of the Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences Department, investigations in light microscopy (bright field and epifluorescence) will be held in the Educational Microscopy lab.
Obiettivi Agenda 2030 per lo sviluppo sostenibile
Quality education; life on earth
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