Plant Physiology

Academic year
Subject Area
Área Científica do Menor
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites

General knowledge of cell biology.

Teaching Methods

Theoretical and practical classes during the semester. During the two weeks the students will grouped (3 – 5) and will develop a practical work related with one particular subject of plant physiology. The results will be discussed with the professor and colleagues and, by the end of the course students will write a report about the experiments and will present and discuss their work.          

Learning Outcomes

Students will learn concept and methods used in the study of plant physiology. Applications of the studies of plant physiology in practical subjects. By the end of the course the students must have acquired skills and knowledge which will able them to understand the mechanisms of plant physiology and the ways how they can be studied.

1. Understanding capacity: to be able to understand concepts related with physiology and to relate them with practical applications in areas like agriculture and plant biotechnology

2. Ability to solve practical problems: to apply the concepts and methods learnt on this course to solve practical issues.

3. Communication: be able to analyse scientific information and to transmit it in a clear and concise way either in oral or written form.

4. Self learning: to be able and autonomous in the preparation and analysis of scientific experiments. Show the capacity to interpret scientific data.     

Work Placement(s)



1. Plants and water

1.1. Water relationships in plant cells

1.2. Water balance: absorption, transport and transpiration

2.Mineral nutrition

2.1. Soil mineral nutrients: absorption and distribution

2.2Plant mineral requirements; functions and symptoms of deficiencies

2.3. Plants and nitrogen: fixation and assimilation

3. Translocation in the phloem

3.1.Phloem sap: Composition and velocity

3.2. Mechanism of sap translocation in the phloem ans partition of the assimilates

4. Plant hormones

5. Light and development.

5.1 Photoreceptors: Phytochrome and blue light pigments

5.2 Physiological processes controlled by phytochrome: photomorphogenesis and photoperiod

5.3 Physiological responses to blue light. phototropism and stomatal movement

6. Seed germination

5.1. Conditions for germination

5.2. Dormancy: causes and importance

5.3. Phases of germination     

Head Lecturer(s)

Maria Teresa Silva Gonçalves

Assessment Methods

Mini Tests: 10.0%
Resolution Problems: 10.0%
Laboratory work or Field work: 20.0%
Exam: 60.0%


1. Taiz, L. & Zeiger, E., 2010. Plant Physiology, 3ª ed.. Sinauer Associates Inc. Publishers. Sunderland, Massachusetts.

2. Salisbury, F. & Ross, C., 1992. Plant Physiology (4ª ed.), Wadsworth Pub. Comp., California

3. Hopkins, W., 1999. Introduction to Plant Physiology (2ªed.), John Wiley & Sons, New York.

4. Azcon-Bieto & Talon (ed.), 2000. Fundamentos de Fisiologia Vegetal, McGraw-Hill/Interamericana, Madrid

5. Bárcena, J.L.G. & Luis, A.G., 1990. Fisiologia Vegetal I: Nutricion y transporte.

Editorial Sintesis S.A., Madrid

6. Davies, P.J., 2004. Plant Hormones 2nd ed. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.