Course: Physical Aspects of Plant Physiology

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Course title Physical Aspects of Plant Physiology
Course code KBF/FAFR
Organizational form of instruction Lecture
Level of course Master
Year of study not specified
Semester Winter
Number of ECTS credits 4
Language of instruction Czech
Status of course Compulsory-optional
Form of instruction Face-to-face
Work placements This is not an internship
Recommended optional programme components None
  • Špundová Martina, RNDr. Ph.D.
  • Nauš Jan, prof. RNDr. CSc.
Course content
1) Electrical properties of plants Electrical conductivity and photoconductivity of materials. Conductivity of biological materials. Experimental set-up for measurement of steady state conductivity and photoconductivity. Conductometry and measuring methods, examples of application in biophysics. Ion leakage. Lipid peroxidation. 2) Electrical potentials Measurement of electrical potentials of plants. Action and variation potentials. Voltage-gated channels in thylakoids. Relation between electric potentials and plant stresses. Microelectrodes and the patch-clamp method. Membrane potential and its measurement. 3) Magnetic properties Methods of NMR and EPR and their application in plant physiology. Measurements of water distribution in leaves, detection of ROS by the method of spin-trapping. The effect of electric and magnetic and electromagnetic fields on plants. 4) Thermic methods Thermometry of plants. Measurements of plant tissue temperature. Fluxes and accumulation of heat in plants. Thermic methods and their application in plant physiology (DTA, DSC, calo-respirometry, thermo-imaging). 5)Optical properties Spectra of reflectance and transmittance. The spectrum of absorptance. Measurements using the integration sphere. Measurements of chloroplast movement. Multilayer method and the method of light pipes. Optical indexes of plants and their meaning. Chlorophyll-meters and the meters of plant optical indexes (NDVI, etc.). Multispectral cameras. Methods of differential absorption. 6)Mechanical properties of plants Biomechanics and hydromechanics of plants. Xylem and floem transport. 7)Environmental biophysics of plants Air temperature and humidity. Measurements of the air humidity. Transport of heat and material, fluxes. Radiation and absorption of energy. Wind. Water and heat relations in soil. The light in canopy. Movement of air.

Learning activities and teaching methods
  • Preparation for the Exam - 50 hours per semester
Learning outcomes
Cells and diffusion. Water in plant cell. Energy budgets.
Knowledge Define the main ideas and conceptions of the subject, describe the main approaches of the studied topics, recall the theoretical knowledge for solution of model problems.
Knowledge of physics, biophysics, chemistry and plant physiology. The subject LRR/FRP - Plant Physiology is recommended to pass.

Assessment methods and criteria

Knowledge of information presented in lectures (basic concepts, comprehension of principles, examples of application).
Recommended literature
  • Campbell, G.S., Norman, J.M. (1997). An introduction to Environmental Biophysics. Springer..
  • Nobel, P.S. (1999). Physicochemical and Environmental Plant Physiology. Academic Press, San Diego et al.
  • Taiz, L., Zeiger, E. (2006). Plant Physiology. Sinauer Associates, Inc., Publisher, Sunderland, Massachussets.

Study plans that include the course
Faculty Study plan (Version) Branch of study Category Recommended year of study Recommended semester
Faculty of Science Biophysics (2015) Physics courses 2 Winter
Faculty of Science Experimental Biology of Plants (1) Biology courses 1 Winter