Upon completion of this course, students will be able:
1. T o understand key concepts involved in crucial plant responses,and signaling when the plant is subjected to various kinds of stresses.
2. To comprehend the influence of stressful environments and climate change on plant growth and on production of cultivated plants and of natural ecosystems.
3. To protect and cultivate plants by knowing how a plant actually reacts to adverse environmental conditions.
5. To be fully informed of the last biotechnological advances regarding plant mechanisms and reactions to stresses
Course Content (Syllabus)
Introduction to the course: The question of defining plant stress. Stress categories and mechanisms of plant resistance (avoidance, tolerance). 2. Grouping of stress resistance mechanisms. Similarities in the final response of a plant to different stress categories. 3. Uptake, recognition and stress signal transduction: The role of hormones. Coordinating plant responces to stresses. 4. Plant response to stressful environments at the molecular, cellular and metabolic level (general concepts): Promoters and gene expression. Proteins and other metabolites whose biosynthesis is induced by stressful environments. 5. Oxidation stress as a regulator of plant response to environmental stresses. Origin and types of oxygen reactive species. Antioxidant mechanism (enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant molecules). Oxidation burst and its role in plant resistance. 6. Stress effects and reaction mechanisms per abiotic stressful factor (from the molecular and cellular level to whole plant level). Water deficit, drought. 7. Salinity 8. High temperatures 9. Freezing temperatures 10. Anoxia and/or hypoxia, flooding. 11. Heavy metals, phytoremedation. 12. Environmental pollution (primary and secondary pollutants, plant resistance mechanisms to ozone and SO2, symptoms of cultivated plants due to ozone, SO2, nitrogen oxides, F and PAN). 13. State of the art in researching various biomolecules involved in plant resistance to stresses. Emphasis on ubiquitine, antifreeze and ice nucleating proteins, betaines and betalaines, aquaporins,Ca2+/calmodulin. Crosstalk between biotic and abiotic stresses