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Environmental and Applied Botanics
Second semester
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Learning outcomes of the course unit

Introduction to plant diversity (cianobacteria, algae, bryophytes, pteridophytes, gimnospermae) and fungi in a phylogenetic frame.
The student will learn some basics to approach with morphology of photoautotrophic organisms and with their evolutionary history.
The students will be able to evaluate morphological differences between different organisms, to describe them with a technical language and to build a timetree of life.

Course contents summary

The course is intended to give basic elements of plant systematics and to allow students to understand the origin and the main processes of plant phylogeny.
Students will acquire specific knowledge of the plant biology and biodiversity in coherence with the formative objective on diversity, and they will acquire the capacity to choose instruments and methods to detect structural diversity.Specific contents:1. From the origin of taxonomy to a modern biosystematic. 2. Reproduction and sexuality in plants. 3. Cyanobacteria. 4. The origin of photoautotrophic Eukaryotic cells. 5. Algae. Generalities, thallus organization, main evolution lines, life cycles and reproduction. 6. Fungi. Main characteristics of the terrestrial fungi and their relations to plants (mycorrhizae). 7. Lichenes. Main characteristics, morphology and ecology. 8. Bryophytes. Generalities, evolution, morphology, reproduction, life cycle.
9. Pterydophytes. Generalities, evolution, morphology, reproduction, life cycles. 10. Spermatophyetes. Ovule and seed. Main characteristics, morphology, reproduction, evolution and life cicles of Gymnosperms and Angiosperms. Angiosperms taxonomy.

Course contents

Systematic Botany.

Systematic and Taxonomy. 1. The origin of taxonomy and the modern biosystematic. 2. Basics of reproductive biology of plants. 3. Cyanobacteria. 4. Eukarya: general architecture and the origin of photoautotrophic Eukaryotic cells. 5. Algae: basics, evolution and taxonomy of Glaucophyta, Rhodophyta, Chlorophyta, Euglenophyta, Dinophyta, Cryptophyta, Haptophyta, Heterokontophyta. Pills of ecology. 6. Fungi. Basics, evolution and taxonomy of Myxomycota, Oomycota and Eumycota (Chytridiomycetes, Zygomycetes, Ascomycetes, Basidiomycetes, Deuteromycetes). 7. Lichens. Basics, morphology and taxonomy. 8. Land plants and the new terrestrial habitat. Adapting to a different world. 9. Bryophyta. Basics, morphology, reproduction and ecology. Evolution and taxonomy (Marchantiopsida, Jungermanniopsida, Anthocerotopsida and Bryopsida). 10. Pteridophyta. Basics, morphology, reproduction and ecology. Evolution and taxonomy (Zosterophyllophyta, Rhyniophyta, Trimerophytophyta, Lycophyta, Sphenophyta, Pterophyta). 11. Progymnospermophyta. 12. Spermatophyta. 13. Gymnospermae. The seed. Taxonomy (Coniferophyta, Gnetophyta). 14. Angiospermae (Magnoliophyta).

Recommended readings

Eduard Strasburger. Trattato di Botanica: parte generale e parte sistematica. Antonio Delfino Editore.

Gabriella Pasqua, Giovanna Abbate, Cinzia Forni. Botanica generale e diversità vegetale. Piccin.

Walter S. Judd et al. Botanica sistematica. Un approccio filogenetico. Piccin.

Teaching methods

Lessons in the classroom during which the main topics of the course will be exposed and discussed with an active interaction with the students.
Field and laboratory experiences to approach real biodiversity and methods of identification of vascular species

Assessment methods and criteria

1) Test planned to verify the knowledge of the student and his/her ability to build a timetree of life. A positive evaluation is necessary to reach the oral examination. 2)
Oral examination planned to verify the ability of the student to describe the organisms studied (morphological approach) and his/her ability to understand the evolutionary relationships between morphology and functions (phylogenetic approach). To pass the oral examination the student shoul reply positively to 5 questions about: Algae, Fungi, Bryophytes, Pteridophytes and Gimnospermae.
The final result will be obtained by calculating the average within the two modules (Botany Module A and Botany Module B) corrected by the result obtaining during the oral discussion on the herbarium of vascular plants collected and identified by the student.