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Plant Physiology

Class at Faculty of Science |


Definition of plant physiology. Relationship to other plant disciplines. Short history of plant physiology.

Importance of plants for existence of life on the Earth. Importance of plants for man.

Plant and energy. Solar radiation, light, light absorption, excitation, deexcitation.

Photosynthesis - definition. Choroplasts, photosynthetic apparatus. Primary phase of photosynthesis - non-cyclic and cyclic transport of electron, chemiosmotic theory, products and their utilisation. Oxygen production in photosynthesis, water as an electron donor. Secondary processes in photosynthesis carbon dioxide assimilation, Calvin cycle. Photorespiration. Plants C3, C4 and CAM. Net photosynthesis. Sacharide metabolism, function and importance. Source - sink, short and long distance transport of assimilates, phloem, phloem loading, phloem unloading, assimilate distribution. Control of photosynthesis - inner factors, outer factors - light, temperature, carbon dioxide, minerals, water, oxygen. Products of the primary phase of photosynthesis and nitrogen and sulphur assimilation, fatty acid and membrane lipid synthesis.

Respiration. Glycolysis. Mitochondria. Krebs cycle, link to glycolysis and aminoacids metabolism. Electron transfer in mitochondrion membrane, structures of electron transfer chain, ATP synthesis. External dehydrogenase. Alternative oxidase, cyanide resistant respiration. Control of respiration rate - irradiation, temperature, carbon dioxide, minerals.

Plant water regime, importance and role of water in plant. Physical properties of water, diffusion, osmosis. poikilohydric and homoiohydric plants. Root. Water uptake, aquaporins. Xylem, xylem development. Root pressure. Transpiration, control of transpiration. Stomata. Gutation. Water potential, components of water potential. Importance of plants for water cycle in nature.

Mineral nutrition. Essential elements - macroelements, microelments. Plant and soil. Uptake and transport of minaral elements in plant, apoplast, symplast, mineral ion membrane transport. Long distance transport of minerals. Function of minerals. Nitrogen, N-cycle in soil - ammonification, nitrification, denitrification, N fixation. Metabolism of nitrogen in plants - nitrate and nitrite reduction, N assimilation. N importance for plants. Kalium - water relations in plants. Phosphorus, importance of phosphate for plant - energetic metabolism, signal transduction. Calcium - compartmentation, signal second messenger, structural function. Magnesium - structural and metabolic importance. Sulphur - assimilation and function. Iron - uptake mechanisms. Role of microelements.

Plant and environment. Adaptation and stress. Light - photomorphogenesis, photosensors. Water - shortage of water, salinity, flooding. Temperature (high, low, frost). Interaction with other organisms.

Plant growth and development. Definitions. Metagenesis. Ontogenesis - juvenile and generative phases. Embryogenesis. Seed germination. Vegetative growth. Transition to flowering, flower formation. Male and female gametophyte formation, differentiation of gametes. Pollination, fertilisation. Seed and fruit development. Dormancy. Coordinatation of plant body development - phytohormones. Auxins, cytokinins, gibberellins, abscisic acid, ethylene and other compouns affecting plant growth and development. Factors of ambient conditions in control of plant development. Light - photoreceptors : phytochromes, cryptochromes, phototropin. Photomorphogenesis - deetiolation, photoperiodism. Temperature - vernalisation.

Plant movements - types, mechanisms. Tropisms, nastic movements.


Lectures on plant physiology for future teachers and optional for biology students in bachelors study. Lectures deal with photosynthesis, respiration, water regime, mineral nutrition and transport of substances in plants. Lectures concern to plant growth and development, adaptation to ambient conditions, including photomorphogenesis and stress.

The basic knowledge of plant anatomy and cell biology is necessary for successful going through the course.