Homepage » Courses Offered » Undergraduate Studies » 3rd 13B010 Plant Physiology


Compulsory/Elective Code Semester Lectures Practicals Credits ECTS
Compulsory 13B010 3rd 4 Hrs/Wk 3 Hrs/Wk 6 8.0

The course introduces students to the functional complexity of plant organisms. The overall goal is a deep understanding of the mechanisms and the importance of biochemical, biophysical and developmental processes throughout the life of a plant: Right from embryogenesis and seed germination through to photosynthesis, water relations and nutrition, dealing with growth, development and various responses to endogenous and exogenous factors, until eventual senescence and death.

Throughout the course, students are encouraged to acquire the basic, state-of-the-art scientific knowledge pertinent to this biological discipline and at the same time they are introduced into critical thinking and handling of plant functions on all possible organization levels (macromolecules, cells, tissues, organs, entire plants, populations), using different tools and approaches (molecular biology, biochemistry, classical experimental physiology, ecophysiology). Furthermore, students are trained to realize, on the one hand, the importance of experimentation in Plant Physiology and to acquire, on the other, a hands-on, real-life experience during the laboratory practicals of the course.


At the end of the course students should: a) Have acquired an enhanced knowledge on plant functions and processes, b) Be able to develop cogent and critical arguments based on retrieving, analyzing and assessing relevant data and information, c) Be able to perform, analyze and report on experiments and observations making use of up-to-date technological tools, d) Be able to integrate related topics from separate parts of the course and make progress into thinking in a critical and integrative way, e) Have made progress in enhancing both their individual and group work skills, f) Have made steps towards respecting life and natural environment as well as exercising self assessment and criticism.


Teaching comprises the following 2-hr lectures: 1. Introduction to Plant Physiology. Basic concepts of Photosynthesis. 2. Photosynthesis - the light reactions. 3. Photosynthesis - the carbon reactions (C3 and C2 cycles). 4. Photosynthesis - mechanisms of CO2 accumulation (aquatic plants, C4, CAM). 5. Photosynthesis - control and regulation of photosynthesis. 6. Water and plant life - water and plant cells. 7. Water and plant life - water balance in plants. 8. Solute transport. Transport in the phloem. 9. Plant responses and adaptations to abiotic stress. 10. Mineral nutrition - essential elements, deficiencies, nutrient acquisition. 11. Biological nitrogen fixation. Assimilation of inorganic nutrients. 12. Respiration and storage lipids metabolism. 13. Biotic interactions. 14. Growth, Differentiation, Development. Growth kinetics. 15. Photomorphogenesis - responses of plants to light. 16. Germination and early seedling development. 17. Photoperiodism and Flowering 18. Plant movements. Biological rhythms and circadian clock. 19. Plant hormones – Auxins. 20. Gibberellins. 21. Cytokinins and Brassinosteroids. 22. Ethylene and Abscisic acid. 23. Are plants "different"? Plasticity of plant genomes. 24. Arabidopsis thaliana: the model plant. 25. Signal transduction in plants: Signals, receptors and responses. 26. Cases of plant signal transduction pathways.


1. Mineral nutrition of plants – 2. Plant pigments – 3. Photosynthesis – 4. Respiration – 5. Nitrogen metabolism – 6. Water relations of plant tissues – 7. Transpiration – 8. Seed dormancy and germination 9. Light and development 10. Plants hormones and growth 11. Recapitulation of practicals

  Lectures: Costas A. Thanos, Professor of Plant Physiology (Coordinator) - Sophia Rhizopoulou, Professor of Plant Ecophysiology - Andreas Roussis, Assistant Professor of Molecular Plant Physiology - Maria-Sonia Meletiou-Christou, Assistant Professor of Plant Physiology
  Practicals: Sophia Rhizopoulou, Professor of Plant Ecophysiology - Andreas Roussis, Assistant Professor of Molecular Plant Physiology - Maria-Sonia Meletiou-Christou, Assistant Professor of Plant Physiology - Dr. Maria Doussi, Laboratory Teaching Staff - Dr. Pinelopi Delipetrou, Laboratory Teaching Staff - Pinelopi Sotiriou, Laboratory Teaching Staff
  Students are assessed throughout the course by both oral and written reports and exams. The theoretical part and the practicals are marked independently; students need to acquire passing marks for each of them and their relative weight on the final course mark is equal (50% each).
  If you require more information, please contact the Course Coordinator, Prof. C. Thanos at: Tel: +30 210 727 4655, e-mail: cthanos[at]biol.uoa[dot]gr