2020 Science of Biological Resources

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Life Science and Technology
Tanaka Kan  Hisabori Toru  Shimojima Mie  Masuda Shinji  Imamura Sousuke 
Course component(s)
Lecture    (ZOOM)
Day/Period(Room No.)
Mon1-2(B223,S223)  Thr1-2(B223,S223)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
Access Index

Course description and aims

This course focuses on basics required for using natural resources for sustainable future life. Specifically, the students will study basics and applied science on photosynthetic organisms such as algae and higher plants.
The topics will include photosynthetic light-energy conversion mechanism, photosynthetic light-signal transduction mechanisms, evolutional mechanisms of photosynthesis and photosynthetic organisms on the earth, mechanisms of symbiosis establishing chloroplasts, and mechanisms of nutrient-sensing system in photosynthetic organisms. Students will experience how photosynthesis is important for sustainable energy provision for life on the earth.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
1) explain how photosynthesis is important for life and the earth
2) explain molecular basis mechanisms of photosynthesis
3) explain how photosynthesis is established
4) explain mechanisms of how photosynthetic organisms capture nutrients
5) discuss future progresses on biofuel production by photosynthetic organisms


Natural resources, Photosynthesis, Artificial photosynthesis, Nutrient sensing, Biofuel, Bioenergy, Algae, Plant

Competencies that will be developed

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

Class flow

This course will be organized by five lecturers and given in English.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Photosynthesis; the most important energy conversion system on the earth (Hisabori) Understand why photosynthesis is important on the earth
Class 2 Light energy harvesting system in photosynthesis (Masuda) Understand basics for light-harvesting in photosynthesis
Class 3 Molecular mechanisms of light-signal sensing and light-signal transduction in photosynthetic organisms (Masuda) Understand molecular basics for light-seinsing
Class 4 Structure, function and development of plastids in plant cells (Tanaka) Understand plastid functions in divergent plant cells
Class 5 Function of plant cells based on organelle interactions (Tanaka) Understand interaction among various plant cell organelles
Class 6 Evolution and diversity of chloroplasts established by endosymbioses (Tanaka) Understand endosymbiotic evolution of photosynthetic eukaryotes
Class 7 Structure and function of biological membranes in photosynthetic organisms (Shimojima) Understand molecular basis and function of cellular and subcellular membranes in photosynthetic organisms
Class 8 Membrane-mediated signal transduction and its importance in various stress responses in photosynthetic organisms (Shimojima) Understand molecular mechanism and function of membrane-mediated signal transduction upon various stress responses in photosynthetic organsms
Class 9 Biosynthesis of membrane and storage lipids in photosynthetic organisms (Shimojima) Understand molecular mechanism of lipid synthesis and its function in photosynthetic organisms
Class 10 Carbon assimilation and its utilization in plants (Hisabori) Understand the molecular mechanism of carbon fixation in photosynthetic organisms
Class 11 Sulfur and phosphorus assimilation and their utilization in plants (Hisabori) Understand the molecular mechanisms of sulfur and phosphorus assimilation in photosynthetic organisms
Class 12 Regulation of nitrogen metabolism in eukaryotes (Imamura) Understand importance of nitrogen and its regulation in eukaryotes
Class 13 Regulation of nitrogen metabolism in microalgae (Imamura) Understand molecular mechanism of nitrogen assimilation in microalgae
Class 14 Biofuel production using microalgae (Imamura) Understanding importance of biofuel production using microalgae

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.


Will not be used

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Kimiyuki Sato (ed): Photosynthesis. Asakura-Shoten; ISBN 4-254-17657-0 C 3345. (Japanese)
Phosynthesis Education Team, The University of Tokyo; ISBN978-4-13-062214-1. (Japanese)
Robert E. Blankenship:

Assessment criteria and methods

Reports to check the essential understanding will be requested for the assessment.

Related courses

  • LST.A203 : Biochemistry I
  • LST.A218 : Biochemistry II
  • LST.A361 : Photosynthesis and photobiology

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


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