Plant Biology


At the end of this course unit, students will acquire the skills necessary to assess the complexity of the plant system and its ability to adapt. Namely, the will be able to analyze and discuss:

-the relevance of water availability in terrestrial plants and molecular mechanisms involved in water transport;

-the mechanisms of absorption and transport of mineral nutrients and their implications on plant development;

-plant-specific metabolic processes and basic aspects of their regulation;

-molecular recognition mechanisms in plant-microorganism interactions (symbiotic and pathogenic interactions.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Carla Maria Alexandre Pinheiro, Luís Jaime Gomes Ferreira da Silva Mota


Weekly - 6

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



Available soon


Main textbook: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology of Plants de Bob Buchanan, Wilhelm Gruissem, Russell Jones, John Wiley & Sons (2015);

Specific chapters on plant water relations: Plant Physiology de Lincoln Taiz e Eduardo Zeiger (5ª Edição). Sinauer Associates Inc. Publishers (2010);

Scientific papers and reference works will be used as model cases to be discussed in tutorial sessions.

Teaching method

Lectures: ppt presentations (content available at CLIP and Moodle);

Practical’s: laboratory component;

Theoretical-practical: presentation of results obtained in practical classes; presentation and discussion of scientific papers.

Evaluation method

Special educational needs will have to be communicated to the professor by the end of the first week of classes.

Grading methods

• approval in the theoretical component (70% final grade); the grade obtained must be ≥ 9.01 values (0-20);

• attend at least 2/3 of the theoretical-practical and practical classes. Attendance will be included in the TP classification;

• approval in the theoretical-practical component (30% final grade); the grade obtained must be ≥ 9.01 (0-20). The grade obtained in this component is valid for the following year if the student does in not approved in the theoretical component;

• the final grade is calculated as (0.7 T + 0.2 TP) (rounded to one hundredth).

Theoretical assessment

• three partial tests of 60 min each (there is no minimum grade per test, no repetition of tests allowed);

• In case of absence in one of the tests, it will be considered that it obtained the classification zero (0);

• An exam covering the entire subjects (3h) will be available (pre-registration in CLIP needed) when students do not achieve the test''''s threshold. 

• Students wishing to make improve their grade are allowed to perform the exam. In this latter case, TP grade will also be considered.

TP assessment

• laboratory performance (motivation, interest, participation, attendance).

• presentation of the results of the practical classes (oral presentation and written summary);

• presentation and discussion of articles (oral presentation and written summary);

Participation in the discussions of the other group’s presentations is also an element of evaluation. The absence of one or more group members at these assessment classes will penalize the group as a whole.

Subject matter


• Plant cell specificities

• Water absorption and transport;

• Molecular mechanisms of mineral nutrition

• Photosynthesis

• Photorespiration

• Growth and development under stress

• Plants & pathogens - resistance pathway analysis

• Plants & microsymbionts - SYM pathway analysis

Practical classes

-RuBisCO fractionation, responsible for atmospheric CO2 assimilation and one of the most abundant proteins;

-electrophoretic analysis of protein extracts;

- presentation and discussion of scientific articles. The 2020 edition will address plant health and the challenges to agricultural and forestry production.


Programs where the course is taught: