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Plant Metabolic Regulation


Plant Metabolic Regulation

Isabel Abreu
Elena Baena

Other lecturers
Bruno Alexandre

The aim is to increase the skills of students on plant biochemistry, requiring general knowledge of biochemistry. A particular focus will be placed on the unique characteristics of plant metabolism and their dynamism and on how these characteristics relate to plant performance (growth and development).

Students will be exposed to key aspects of plant central metabolism (e.g., carbon metabolism and photosynthesis, amino acid metabolism and nitrogen and sulfur fixation) and their regulation at transcriptional and post-translational levels. It is intended that at the end of this unit students are able to identify which are the key elements in the regulation of plant metabolism and growth, within the current state of the art. Additionally, methodologies will be presented for the study of the proteome and metabolome. In the end, it is intended that students are able to recognize the tools they will have available to pursue work related to the subject under study.


The addressed aspects will be:

  1. Carbon metabolism - aspects of the regulation of the light-dependent reactions by the availability of energy and organic molecules; types of carbon fixation (photosynthesis C3, C4 and CAM) and their regulation; partition of photoassimilates (inter- and intra-tissue regulation); discussion with students.
  2. Amino acid metabolism - the components necessary for amino acid biosynthesis (nitrogen and sulfur fixation); regulation of nitrogen and sulfur fixation; regulation of amino acid biosynthesis.
  3. Secondary metabolism - biosynthesis and regulation of phytoregulators.
  4. Analytical platforms for metabolism study - use of mass spectrometry for proteomics and metabolomics studies.
Main Bibliography
  1. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Plants Bob B. Buchanan, Wilhelm Gruissem, and Russell L. Jones, Eds. American Society of Plant Physiologists, Rockville, MD, 2015.

    Selected publications

    Each year, 1-2-year-old scientific papers will be selected and suggested to students as classes progress


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