The course deals with the fundamentals of the molecular and laboratory techniques and field management practices, to exploit plant plasticity aiming at quality mass propagation, stress tolerance, phytoremediation, biopharming, germplasm conservation, energy input containment and renewable energy production, environmental sustainability.
The course aims at providing skills and knowledge on the biotechnological and agronomical tools to grow, preserve and modify plants in a deeply changing environment. Laboratory and field activities will support the theoretical competence, in order to encourage the self-directed capacity of the student.
Recommended courses: organic chemistry and biochemistry, plant biology.
The course entails a cycle of lectures with the support of slides and some laboratory and field supplementary activities.
Type of Assessment
The end assessment will be held through an oral test. Furthemore the candidate will deal with scientific papers (in english) chosen by the candidate himself from a list made available by the teacher to verify the acquired knowledge and the capacity of the student to analyse case studies.
Biotechnology applied to the woody plants: current situation and perspectives. "In vitro" plant handling: theoretical and practical aspects. Mass propagation through biotechnologies: from micropropagation to bioreactors. Biotechnologies for plant disease containment: virus eradication using "in vitro" culture. Citrus: a study case. "In vitro" germplasm conservation and methods to preserve genetic variability. "In vitro" plant morphogenesis for plant transformation: apple and kiwifruit as a case study. Woody plant transformation: applications and perspectives. GMO and non-GMO coexistence. Isolation of promoters: an example from an apple genomic library. Hints of plant genome editing.
Biotechnology applied to the annual crops: current situation and perspectives. Criteria for the selection of improved varieties in terms of health-objectives, environmental sustainability, food safety. Biotechnologies for the production of renewable energy from biomass. Application for the management of weed control. Agronomic criteria for the use of residue from biomass transformation, such as compost and digestate. Use of annual crops for the chemical and biological restoration of polluted fields.