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Plant Cell and Developmental Biology


Plant Cell and Developmental Biology

Rita Abranches and Jörg Becker

This curricular unit aims to provide the students with a state-of-the-art overview of the molecular and cellular bases of the processes that govern plant development. By consolidating basic concepts and being exposed to the most recent scientific advances in the cell biology and mechanisms of plant development, the students will develop skills to approach complex biological questions related to this field of research.
Additionally, the contents of this unit will be essential to promote the students’ abilities to correlate concepts across different disciplines of the plant sciences.
Students should also become familiar with the tools and methodologies commonly used in plant cell and developmental biology research. At the end of this unit students should have developed the capacity to understand and critically evaluate literature that forms the basis for current knowledge in this field of research.

Organization of the plant cell; membranes and organelles, membrane transport
Genome organization and epigenetics; cell cycle regulation
Embryogenesis; plant meristems and cell fate; root and shoot development; secondary growth; vascular development
Sexual plant reproduction; flower development; mechanisms of gametogenesis and fertilization
Developmental plasticity; signal perception and transduction; the central role of hormones in plant development; light perception and developmental responses to light
Model organisms and experimental tools in cell and developmental plant biology

The evaluation will have three components based on a written work, the oral presentation of the work and tutorial sessions.

Main Bibliography

  • Molecular Biology of the Cell by B. Alberts, A. Johnson, J. Lewis, M. Raff, K. Roberts and P. Walter. Garland Science, 5th edition, 2008
  • Biochemistry & Molecular Biology of Plants by B. Buchanan, W.Gruissem, R. Jones (Eds). American Society of Plant Physiology, Rockville, MD, 2000
  • Mechanisms in Plant Development by O. Leyser and S. Day. Blackwell Science, Ltd., Oxford, 2003
  • Growth and Development (2012) X. Chen and T. Laux (Eds) Current Opinion in Plant Biology 15(1): 1-110
  • The Arabidopsis Book. American Society of Plant Biologists, Rockville, MD, 2002 to 2012


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