Subject: Environmental Biochemistry

Scientific Area:



74 Hours

Number of ECTS:




Overall objectives:

1 - To acquire theoretical knowledge and skills in Environmental Biochemistry, by understanding the importance of cellular metabolome in the adaptation to abiotic and biotic factors.
2 - To understand the multi and interdisciplinary character of the Environmental Biochemistry, through exploring examples that illustrate their interaction with other scientific domains
3 - To be aware of current and future issues of this science domain and its implications for the development.


1 - Introduction. Goals. Study object, methodology, methods, theoretical concepts.
2 - Cellular metabolome organization of the. Structure, metabolic pathways. Functioning, biochemical and functional diversity. Origin, structure and role of these diversities in the response and biochemical adaptation to the environment.
3 - Ecobiochemical interactions. Emitting and receiving metabolomes. Type of interactions between metabolomes. Biotransformation. Molecular processes and mechanisms.
4 - Biochemistry of adaptation to the abiotic environment. Environmental factors and the cellular metabolome. Action of abiotic elements. Acclimatization and biochemical adaptation to the environment. Molecular mechanisms and adaptive strategies.
5 - Biochemistry of stress. General theory of stress. Stress classification. Models of response and biochemical adaptation to abiotic, water and edaphic stress.
6 - Analysis and discussion of specific topics and thematic.
7 - Laboratory activities, modeling the action of abiotic factor and responses associated with stress in random populations.


Alscher R.G., Cumming J.R. , 1990 , Stress Responses in Plants: Adaptation and Acclimation Mechanisms , Wiley Liss. New York
Farago, M.E. , 1994 , Plants and the Chemical Elements. Biochemistry, Uptake, Tolerance and Toxicity. , VCH. Weinheim
Harborne, J.B. , 1993 , Introduction to Ecological Biochemistry. , Academic Press
Mckersie B.D., Leshem, YA.Y. , 1994 , Stress and Stress Coping in Cultivated Plants , Kluwer Academic Pub. Dordrecht.
Smirnoff, N. , 1995 , Environment and Plant Metabolism. Flexibility and Acclimation , Bios Scientific Pub. Oxford.
Richards, I.S. , 2007 , Principles and Practice of Toxicology in Public Health. , Bartlette publishers
Krauss, G-J., Nies, D.H. , 2014 , Ecological Biochemistry: Environmental and Interspecies Interactions. , Wiley and Co;VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA
Hochachka, P.W., Somero, G.N. , 2002 , Biochemical Adaptation. , Princeton Press
Buchanan, B.B., Gruissem, W., Jones, R.J. , 2000 , Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Plants , American Society of Plant Physiologists, Pub.
Fowden, L., Mansfield, T., Stoddart, J. , 1993 , Plant Adaptation to Environmental Stress , Chapman & Hall.

Assesssment methods and criteria:

Classification Type: Quantitativa (0-20)

Evaluation Methodology:
This course comprises theoretical-practical (TP) and laboratorial (L) classes. The TP classes include teaching with multimedia presentation of contents and the analysis of scientific paper. The discussion of the program specific contents is promoted. The L classes involve the laboratory training, being asked to acquire data from different sources and their use to identify specific correlations. The previous literature search, course contents and the experimental data are used to prepare a report. All works are carried out in group. a) written test, to assess the acquired individual knowledge and skills (30% weight); b) scientific paper discussion, to evaluate the ability to acquire and critically systematize specific information (15% weight; c) experimental work, to assess the ability to plan and execute practical teamwork, systematizing different data (30% weight); d) report, to assess ability to perform the data processing and interpretation and communicate them (25% weight).