2017 Plant Physiology

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Life Science and Technology
Ohta Hiroyuki  Hisabori Toru  Tanaka Kan  Masuda Shinji  Shimojima Mie  Imamura Sousuke 
Course component(s)
Day/Period(Room No.)
Tue3-4(W935)  Fri3-4(W935)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
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Course description and aims

Photosynthetic organisms such as algae and higher plants are important for all living organisms, because they can convert light energy to chemical energy through photosynthesis and this chemical energy source is directly and indirectly utilized to perform various biological activities in all organisms on the earth. Photosynthetic organisms also contribute to maintain global environment by providing organic compounds and atmospheric oxygen. This course particularly focuses adaptation mechanism of these photosynthetic organisms to various environmental conditions on the earth. These mechanisms enable photosynthetic organisms to live in different environments, and consequently, have brought about present prosperity for all living organisms on the earth.    This course will provide a basic overview of physiology for these photosynthetic organisms, focusing on their responses to various environmental factors such as light, water, nutrient, temperature etc. Students are asked to think about their importance and fundamental mechanism by comparing with animal responses to the living environment.

Student learning outcomes

1. By the end of this course, students will understand the basic concept of physiology for photosynthetic organisms, particularly the mechanism and function of their responses to various environmental factors. 2. Students will gain an understanding of the importance of photosynthetic organisms to maintain global environment on the earth, and acquire basic knowledge to utilize these organisms for production of various useful organic compounds as foods and industrial and medical materials etc.


Plants, Algae, Photosynthetic organism, responses to environment, plant hormone, chloroplast, mitochondria, nutrient response, photomorphogenesis, plant genome

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Texts for each section will be provided by each lecturer. Students are asked to provide solutions to some of the questions that have been posed as necessary. Always check the required learning for each class and be sure to complete them as part of preparation and review.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Plant cells, structure and functions (Tanaka) Understand characteristics of plant cells, as compared with cells of animal and fungi.
Class 2 Structure and funciton of plant chloroplasts (Tanaka) Understand the basis of function of chloroplasts.
Class 3 Structure and function of plant mitochondria (Hisabori) Understand the genesis of mitochondria, basis of the function and its significance in plant cells.
Class 4 Bioenergetics (Hisabori) Understand photophosphorylation and oxidative phosphorylation, their significance and differences.
Class 5 Photomorphogenesis of plants (Masuda) Understand growth differentiation of plants depends on light quality and quantity
Class 6 Plnat photoreceptors and their signal transduction (Masuda) Understand molecular mechanisms of how plant senses light
Class 7 Plant responses to water (Masuda) Understand molecular mechanisms of how plant senses water
Class 8 Key nutrients for plants (Imamura) Understand molecular mechanism of how plant cells sense and uptake key nutrients
Class 9 Responses to nutrient starvation and function of biological membranes (Shimojima) Students must make sure they understand basic knowledge for biological membranes in living cells. Understand the importance of membranes in various responses to environments
Class 10 Resposes to temparature (Shimojima) Understand multiple effects of atomosphic temparature on plant cells
Class 11 Differences in plant and animal hormones (Ohta) Basic overview of plant hormones wil be provided. Students should consider similarites and differences between plant and animal hormones.
Class 12 Physiological functions and signaling mechanisms for plant hormones (Ohta) Functions and signaling mechanisms of plant hormones wil be explained in detail. Students should consider the meaning of these systems in association with physiological events in nature.
Class 13 Immune system in plants: Disease responses (Ohta) Understand molecular mechanism for disease responses in plants
Class 14 Immune system in plants: Wounding responses (Ohta) Understand molecular mechanism for responses to mechanical wounding and feeding damages in plants
Class 15 Plant transformation and genome (ohta) Molecular basis for techniques of plant transformation and genome evolution in photosynthetic organisms will be explained. Basic knowledge for plant hormone signaling and molecular genetics is required.


No textbook is set.

Reference books, course materials, etc.


Assessment criteria and methods

Learning achievement is evaluated by a final exam.

Related courses

  • Photosynthesis and Photobiology
  • Science of Biological Resources

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

It is desireble for students to successfully complete Biochemistry I and Molecular Biology I, or have equivalent knowledge.

Office hours

Contact by e-mail in advance to schedule an appointment.

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