D3a - Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Ambientali - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)


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Seat Agraria
A.A. A.A. 2016-2017
Credits 9
Hours 81
Period 1^ semestre
Language ENG
U-gov code STAL W000585


Basic knowledge of general biology is propaedeutic to the teaching. 

Development of the course

The course consists of a balance of theoretical lectures (6 ECTS, 54 hours) and laboratory activities and field trips (3 ECTS, 27 hours). During the laboratory activities the students will observe at the optical microscope, anatomical sections of plants. It will also be made one or two educational trips to observe the plants in their natural environment with a focus on wild species of food interest.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:

(a) adequate basic knowledge of the structure and functions of cells, with particular attention to the plant cell, plant tissue, anatomy and function;

(b) proper knowledge of systematics and taxonomy of the main families of food-related plants;

(c) knowledge of the aims and methodology of ethnobotanical studies and some of the main uses of wild plants.


Applying knowledge and understanding:

(a) fill any gaps of previous learning experiences in the field of plant biology; (b) understanding the nature of the principal plant foods (anatomical part of the plant to which correspond, by which tissues are formed e presence of main secondary metabolites); (c) ability to assess the recovery potentiality of traditional uses of wild plants in the food sector.



Ability to use the knowledge gained in the field of plant biology to understand the characteristics of different foods, evaluating the selection of raw materials and sourcing environments, recover traditional uses of plants in order to improve the quality and efficiency of food production.



Introduction. The Botany: general characteristics, indagine sectors and methodologies. The plants in the biosphere. The autotrophic and heterotrophic organisms. Prokaryote and eukaryote. Thallophyte and cormophyte.

Cell biology. The cell theory. The general structure of cell. Prokaryote and eukaryote cells. The eukaryote cell: structure and function. Water and solutes absorption. Secondary metabolites: importance for the plant and use by man. Cell elongation. (1 ECTS).

Plant Histology
Cell differentiation theory. Cell aggregate and pseudotissues. General characteristics of the tissues. Primary and secondary meristematic tissues. Primary and secondary mature tissues: tegumental, parenchymatic, supporting, conducting, glandular tissues. (1 ECTS).

Plant anatomy
Plat life cycles. General plant anatomy of the three principal organs. The metamorphosis. Steam anatomy: meristematic, elongation and differentiation zones, primary and secondary structure zones. Cambium activity. Omoxilo and eteroxilo wood. The bark. The phellogen activity. Root anatomy. Leaf anatomy: Monocotyledonous, Dicotyledonous and Coniferous. Leaf morphology and structure. Connections of the steam conducting system with the leaf's one. Leaf metamorphosis.

The flower. Structure and functions. The inflorescences.
The seed: general characteristics, origin and structure. Maturation and germination.

The fruit. Origin, structure and classification. (2 ECTS).
Outlines of plant physiology
Water balance . The cuticular and stomatic transpiration. Apoplast and symplast. The water and mineral salts carriage. Organic solution carriage. Plant adaptation to soil aridity. (0.5 ECTS)

Outlines of plant systematic. Systematics and taxonomy of Angiosperma and characteristics of families important for human diet. (0.5 ECTS).


Main morphological characteristics of the fungi (Ascomycota and Basidiomycota), with particular reference to macrofungi with applicative interest.

Ethnobotany. The ethnobotany: general characteristics, fields of investigation and methodologies. Examples of wild food plants and eco physiological bases of their use by man. Wild plants such as vegetable rennet. Medicinal plants. Environments of collecting wild plants. (1 ECTS).


Development of the examination

Learning evaluation methods

Oral discussion on the subjects listed in the teaching program; written examination on the anatomical sections of plants

During the first exam session, at the end of the course, students can choose to take a written test multiple choice, instead of the oral exam.


Learning evaluation criteria

Knowledge of the topics discussed and propriety of scientific language used.


Learning measurement criteria

The final mark is attributed in thirtieths.


Final mark allocation criteria

The examination will be evaluated with a mark in thirtieths.

To get a positive final mark students must demonstrate an overall understanding of the content and express themselves with a proper scientific language.

To get the maximum final mark, the student must demonstrate an excellent understanding of the topics and express themselves with proper scientific language.


Recommended reading

G. PASQUA, G. ABBATE, C. FORNI – Botanica generale e diversità vegetale. Piccin Nuova Libraria S.p.A., Padova.


P.H. RAVEN, R.F. EVERT, S.E. EICHHORN – Biologia delle piante. Zanichelli, Bologna



  • C.L.T. - Scienze e Tecnologie Alimentari (STAL)

Università Politecnica delle Marche
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