Plant Physiology and Biotechnology

Objectives and competences

The goal of the plant physiology and biotechnology course is an extensive insight in how the plants work and response to the environment, with the putative applications of this knowledge in biotechnology.


Knowledge of biology and microbiology.
The course is associated with following courses: Viticulture, Agriculture and the environment, Trace elements in soils and plants, and Plant pathology.


• Plant growth and development
- Cell growth
- Cell division
- Cell differentiation
- Embryogenesis
- Meristems
- Leaf development
- Root development
- Development of plant vessels
- Flowering
- Ageing and programmed cell death
- Regulation of developmental pathways
• Water in plants
- Chemical properties of the water molecule
- Hydrogen bonds
- Water as a solvent
- Capillarity
- Diffusion
- Osmosis
- Water potential
- Turgor
- Transpiration
- Water flow through plants
• Mineral nutrition of plants
- Mineral nutrients
- Uptake of nutrients into the cell
- Influence of available mineral nutrients
- Amount of essential elements in plants
- Deficiency of essential elements
- Mobility of essential elements
- Availability of essential elements
- Fertilisation and spraying
- Hydroponic cultures
• Photosynthesis
- Light
- Chloroplasts
- Light reactions
- Carbon reactions
- C3, C4 and CAM
- Synthesis of sucrose and starch
- Photorespiration
• Phloem
• Plant growth regulators
- Auxins
- Cytokinins
- Gibberellins
- Abscisic acid
- Ethylene
- Brasinosteroids
- Jasmonic acid
- Salicylic acid
- Systemin
• Light and temperature
- Light as a regulatory factor
- Rhythms and periodisms
- Photoperiodism
- Temperature
- Movements
• Genetically modified plants
- Genetic modification of plants
- Methods of introducing genes into plants
- Traits that can be introduced in plants
* Disease resistance
* Resistance to insects
* Resistance to herbicides
* Resistance to environmental factors
* Changes in food composition
* Genetically modified plants in pharmaceuticals
* Other traits
* Genetically modified plants in the arts
- Presence of GM plants in the world
- Risks and concerns of GMOs
- Identification and labelling of GMOs
- Regulations

Preparation of culture media
- Sterilisation of plants and establishment of tissue culture
- Micropropagation
- Plant growth regulators
- Effect of jasmonic acid on potato plant growth
- Transformation
- Suspension cell culture
- Transfer of plants from test tubes to soil
- Mineral nutrition
- Transpiration
- Conductivity of wood
- Chlorophyll

Intended learning outcomes

Students will be acquainted with plant physiology, with tissue cultures and with genetically modified plants.



  • Taiz, L. and Zeiger, E. (2015) Plant Physiology. 6th Edition, Sinauer Associates ali katerakoli prejšnja izdaja. Catalogue E-version


  • Raspor, P. (urednik) 1996. Biotehnologija, Osnovna znanja. BIA, Ljubljana. Catalogue


Laboratory practicum (obligatory attending tutorials and filled lab tutorials) is a prerequisite for taking the exam. Passing the seminar paper is also a prerequisite for taking the exam. The exam covers the material covered in lectures and tutorials (70 % lectures / 30 % tutorials). The exam can be taken with mid-term colloquia and homework assignments.

Lecturer's references

Prof. dr. Maruša Pompe Novak,full professor in the field of Biotechnology, is partly employed at the University of Nova Gorica as a member of the Wine Research Centre and partly at the National Institute of Biology, as the Head of the Infrastructural center Planta.

References, professional and research activtiy of professor .