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Plant Physiology

Code: 40365
ECTS: 7.0
Lecturers in charge: prof. dr. sc. Željka Vidaković-Cifrek
Lecturers: dr. sc. Marija Babić - Practicum
dr. sc. Sandra Vitko - Practicum
Take exam: Studomat
English level:


All teaching activities will be held in Croatian. However, foreign students in mixed groups will have the opportunity to attend additional office hours with the lecturer and teaching assistants in English to help master the course materials. Additionally, the lecturer will refer foreign students to the corresponding literature in English, as well as give them the possibility of taking the associated exams in English.

1. komponenta

Lecture typeTotal
Lectures 45
Practicum 45
* Load is given in academic hour (1 academic hour = 45 minutes)
1. Describe physiological processes in plants and metabolism of plants cell.
2. Explain correlation between structure and function at the cell, tissue and whole plant level.
3. Conclude about the role of physiological and metabolic processes for cell, tissue(s) and whole plant.
4. Explain the influence of endogenous and environmental signals on plant physiological and metabolic processes.
5. Gain experience in laboratory work (methods and laboratory equipment).
6. Analyse, compare and explain results of experiments.
7. Apply knowledge from theoretical and practical part of the course in solving problems in the field of plant physiology.

1. Introduction to plant physiology. Specific characteristics of plants in comparison to other organisms. Plant cell: function of membranes, plastids, microbodies, vacuoles and cytoskeleton.
2. Cell wall: function and biosynthesis of primary and secondary cell wall. Surface protection.
3. Water balance in plants: uptake, movement from the root to the atmosphere. Water potential of plant cell, plant water status, root pressure, transpiration, guttation.
4. Solute transport across membranes. Mineral nutrition: uptake and translocation of mineral nutrients, nutritional needs of plants.
5. Assimilation of nitrogen, sulfur, phosphate, oxygen and cations. Biological nitrogen fixation. Mycorrhizae.
6. Photosynthesis: organisation of photosynthetic membranes; photochemical reactions.
7. Carbon reactions of photosynthesis (the Calvin cycle), synthesis of starch and sucrose. Photorespiration. C3-, C4- and CAM plants. Control and regulation of photosynthesis.
8. Physiological and ecological considerations of photosynthesis. Translocation in the phloem. Parasitic and carnivorous plants.
9. Respiration process and its specificities in plant cell: glycolysis, pentose phosphate pathway, citric acid cycle, mitochondrial electron transport and ATP synthesis, control and regulation of respiration. Respiration of intact plants and tissues. Starch and lipid metabolism in germinating seeds.
10. Secondary metabolites in plants: role and distribution in plant species, structure, biosynthetic pathways.
11. Plant growth regulators: auxins, gibberellins (structure, biosynthesis, translocation, physiological effects).
12. Plant growth regulators: cytokinins, abscisic acid, ethylene and brassinosteroids (structure, biosynthesis, translocation, physiological effects).
13. Effects of temperature and light on plants: dormancy, photoreceptors, photoperiodism.
14. Signal transduction in plant cell and plant organism.
15. Physiology of movements in plants. Stress physiology (basic information).

1. Introduction to laboratory work in Plant Physiology. Structure and function of plant cell. Properties of cell membranes. Staining methods.
2. Plasmolysis. Determination of osmotic potential in plant cells. Root pressure.
3. Transpiration. Guttation. Measurement of stomatal aperture.
4. Identification of organic acids in plant cells and tissues. Identification of carbohydrates.
5 Essential nutrients in plant tissue (iron, nitrates, phosphates). Activity of nitrate reductase. Evidence of hydrogen ions secreted by the roots.
6. Determination of photosynthetic pigments in leaves (lyophilisation, extraction, centrifugation, spectrophotometric measurements).
7. and. 8. Separation of plant pigments by thin-layer chromatography. Absorption spectra of photosynthetic pigments.
9. Determination of photosynthesis rate by oxygen electrode.
10. Determination of activities of enzymes amylase and phosphorylase.
11. Model of electron transport chain. Evidence of starch in leaves.
12. Secondary metabolites in plants (tannines, anthocyanins, cyanogenic glycosides) - analysis by different methods (fluorescence, specific reagents, spectrophotometry). Activity of polyphenoloxydase.
13. Effects of auxin, gibberellin, cytokinines and ethylene. Transformation of plant cell by Agrobacterium tumefaciens.
14. Examples of movements in plants. Mechanisms of plant movements - short oral presentations (10 minutes).
  1. Pevalek-Kozlina, B. (2003). Fiziologija bilja. Sveučilišni udžbenik. Profil International, Zagreb.
  2. Taiz, L., Zeiger, E. (2010). Plant Physiology, 5th Edition. Sinnauer Associates Inc., Publishers Sunderland, Massachusetts U.S.A.
  3. Vidaković-Cifrek, Ž., Pevalek-Kozlina, B., Tkalec, M., Babić, M., Radić Brkanac, S. (2014). Praktikum iz fiziologije bilja. Skripta za internu upotrebu.
  4. Buchanan, B., Gruissem, W., Jones, R. L. (2002). Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Plants. John Wiley & Sons.
  5. Jones, R., Ougham, H., Thomas, H., Waaland, S. (2013). The Molecular Life of Plants. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  6. Odabrani radovi (originalni znanstveni radovi i pregledni radovi) iz područja fiziologije bilja.

    Selected publications (original scientific papers and review papers) in the field of plant physiology.
Prerequisit for:
Enrollment :
Passed : Botany
Passed : Cell Biology
Passed : General and Inorganic Chemistry
Passed : Organic Chemistry
4. semester
Mandatory course - Regular study - Molecular Biology
Consultations schedule: