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PLANT ECOANTOMY

             
Compulsory/Elective Code Semester Lectures Practicals Credits ECTS
Elective 13Β018 5th 3 Hrs/Wk  3 Hrs/Wk 4 5,5
Aims:
 
 

Approach the internal structure and organization of the higher plants to get acquainted to the impressive adaptations plants have developed in order to confront the stressing environmental conditions which are intense and unpredictable in areas with Mediterranean climate.

 
Objectives:
 
 

The students at the end of lectures and laboratory exercises are expected to: a) approach the internal structure and organization of superior plant organisms, with emphasis on Mediterranean and historical plants, b) get acquainted with the impressive adaptations adopted by Mediterranean plants during the development, c) be aware of the mechanisms of defense and protection of these plants, d) get acquainted with secondary metabolism and the metabolic pathways followed by these plants in adapting them, e) understand the importance of derivatives of secondary metabolism with pharmaceutical value.

Knowledge: At the end of the course students should have knowledge of: a) the history of each plant and its connection to the Mediterranean ecosystem, b) the particular anatomical and histological characteristics of Mediterranean plants, c) secondary metabolism, d) the nature and possible use of secondary metabolites, e) the main functional principles of Transmission Electronic Microscopy as well as Scanning Electron Microscopy.

Skills: At the end of the course students should have developed skills on: a) the adaptive behavior of Mediterranean plants and their role in the ecosystem, b) the possibility of drug utilization of secondary metabolic substances, c) optical (photonic) microscopy, d) making sections to create microscopic preparations.

Abilities: At the end of the course students should get familiar with the structures and the mechanisms developed by the plants which may expand their interest and broaden the prospects of their occupational quests.

 
Lectures:
 
 

1st part (12 hours): The students will get acquainted to the Mediterranean climate, the Mediterranean plant formations as well the peculiarities and environmental stresses of the Mediterranean plant life. The evergreen sclerophyllous plants and their adaptations of these plants to the two, distinct and seasonally separated environmental stresses, will be presented. The phryganic formations and the interesting strategy of the seasonal dimorphism will also be analyzed.

2nd part (22 hours): The students will follow a presentation of more that seventy plant species common in Greece. They will approach the anatomical features of these plants, they will “investigate” certain interesting structural details through optical and electron microscopy (both transmission and scanning), they will corelate the structural features to the plant uses and discuss on the bioactive compounds and their utilization and exploitation.

3rd part (5 hours): In the last part of the lectures an attempt is made to associate the structural characteristics of the plants to the interesting metabolites they produce, the uses of these metabolites not only in the pharmaceutical industry, nutrition and cosmetology but also in other industrial practices and applications as well as their financial importance and the possibilities of further exploitation through modern technology.

 
Practicals:
 
 

1. Epidermis- epidermal isolation – 2. Secretory formations – 3. Root anatomy – 4. Apical – meristems – 5. Stem anatomy – 6. Secondary xylem architecture – 7. Leaf anatomy – adjustments – 8. Flower, micro- and macro-sporiogenesis.Fruit, sperm and embryo

 
Instructors:
 
  Lectures: Dr. Nikolaos S. Christodoulakis, Professor of Plant Anatomy (Coordinator) - Dr. Aikaterina Stefi, Post doctoral Research Associate
 
  Practicals: Dr. Nikolaos S. Christodoulakis, Professor of Plant Anatomy (Coordinator) - Dr. Aikaterina Stefi, Post doctoral Research Associate - Dr. Eleni Giannoutsou (Laboratory Teaching Staff) - Dr. Pinelopi Sotiriou (Laboratory Teaching Staff)
 
Notes:
 
 

There are no prerequisites for the student to choose and attend the course. However, in order to achieve better understand of the course, good knowledge of students in Botany (related to the subject of Plant Ecoanatomy) is considered to be as required. In this way the student will better understand the histology and anatomy of the Mediterranean plants and the adaptive mechanisms they have developed.

The course is offered to Erasmus students: Teaching in Greek language - Exams in English language.

The evaluation process is carried out in Greek language (there is the possibility in English for Erasmus students), with a final examination of the whole course that includes: A. Written examination of the course: a) Short theoretical development questions, b) Multiple choice questions, c) Critical Thinking Questions - B. Written examination of the laboratory exercises: a) Short-answer (essay) questions for assessing students' critical thinking, b) Microscopic and macroscopic sections for the determination of particular anatomical, histological and adaptive characteristics. The average grade of Laboratory Exercises contributes 50% to the final, total, course grade.

 
Contact:
 
  If you require more information, please contact the Course Coordinator, Prof Dr Nikolaos S. Christodoulakis at: Tel: 0030 210 727 4650, e-mail: nchristo[at]biol.uoa[dot]gr