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Plant Metabolism under Stressful Conditions
Code: 44262
ECTS: 5.0
Lecturers in charge: izv. prof. dr. sc. Željka Vidaković-Cifrek - Lectures
izv. prof. dr. sc. Mirta Tkalec - Lectures
Lecturers: Mirta Tkalec - Practicum
Željka Vidaković-Cifrek - Practicum
Sandra Vitko - Practicum
Take exam: Studomat
English level:


The lecturer is not able to offer courses in English at this time.

1. komponenta

Lecture typeTotal
Lectures 15
Practicum 30
* Load is given in academic hour (1 academic hour = 45 minutes)
1. Compare metabolism of plants in optimal environmental conditions and metabolic changes caused by stress factors.
2. Explain the metabolic changes caused by stress conditions and also mechanisms of acclimatisation and tolerance.
3. Analyse the plant responses to environmental changes caused by human activities with few examples of possible consequences on the environment.
4. Propose the scientific research (topic, experimental plant, stress factor).
5. Carry out the research to gain experience in laboratory work (sample preparation, experiment, data processing).
6. Use basic laboratory equipment (centrifuge, electrophoresis, spectrophotometer)
7. Based on analysis of obtained results make basic conclusions presenting them in the form of scientific publication.

1. Introduction to stress physiology in plants (terminology, definitions, phases of response to stress);
2. and 3. Osmotic adjustment: the role and biosynthesis of compatible osmolytes in conditions of water deficit (drought and salinity);
4. Accumulation of osmolytes and other specific molecules in acclimation to cold and freezing;
5. Biosynthesis and role of heat shock proteins in response to heat stress;
6. Cellular respiration in hypoxic and anoxic conditions in rhizosphere caused by flooding;
7. Photodamage, protection and repair of photosynthetic apparatus in high light conditions;
8. and. 9. Oxidative stress (caused by reactive oxygen species) and antioxidative system in plants;
10. and 11.Effect of heavy metals on plant metabolism, role and biosynthesis of phytochelatins;
12. Effect of air pollution and herbicides on plants.
13. and 14. Plant responses to pathogens and herbivores.
15. Theoretical introduction related to topic selected for practical work (Time of the lecture will be coordinated with the beginning of laboratory work).

Experimental work includes laboratory research of the effect of selected stress factor on plant metabolism. Work includes planning (selection of topic, searching for appropriate literature), laboratory work, analysis of the results and writing reports.
1. Selection of the research topic and making hypothesis;
2. Search for relevant scientific literature;
3. and 4. Research planning: making detailed laboratory procedures for chosen methods (based on literature data and knowledge gained in the scope of the current and previous courses);
5 and 6. Setting up an experiment: growing plants in climate chamber and exposure to biotic or abiotic stress factor.
7. Laboratory work: spectrophotometric determination of specific metabolites synthesized under stress conditions (for example prolin)
8. Evaluation of cell damage caused by oxidative stress (lipid peroxidation, protein carbonyls) by spectrophotometric methods
9. Spectrophotometric measurements of antioxidative enzyme activities (peroxidase, catalase, superoxid dismutase);
10. and 11. Separation of proteins by native gel electrophoresis and detection of isoenzymes of antioxidative enzymes.
11. and 12. Analysis of data including statistical methods
13. Interpretation of results;
14. and 15. Report (in written form) containing elements of original scientific paper: Abstract, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, References.
  1. Taiz L., Zeiger E. (2010). Plant Physiology, 5th Edition. Sinnauer Associates Inc., Publishers Sunderland, Massachusetts U.S.A.
  2. Odabrani radovi (originalni znanstveni radovi i pregledni radovi) koji obrađuju odgovor biljaka na stresne uvjete u okolišu.

    Selected publications (original scientific papers and review papers) in the field of plant metabolism under stress conditions.
  3. Buchanan B., Gruissem W., Jones R. L. (2002). Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Plants. John Wiley & Sons.
  4. Jones R, Ougham H, Thomas H, Waaland S (2013). The Molecular Life of Plants. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
5. semester
Izborni predmeti - Mandatory studij - Molecular Biology
Consultations schedule: