Subject: Advanced Biotechnology

Scientific Area:



62 Hours

Number of ECTS:




Overall objectives:

1 - To provide an opportunity to increase and deepen a set of topics related to the molecular mechanisms that control different phases of plant development, how endogenous mechanisms intersect with external signals, and how can be studied these processes.
2 - To understand the fundamentals of molecular biology and biotechnology.
3 - To explain how the RNA molecule participates in the control of living cells and discuss its applications.
4 - To explain the mechanisms that control the reproductive development of plants.
5 - To explain how environmental factors are integrated and influence the development of plants.
6 - To explain plant responses to biotic and abiotic factors.
7 - To critically analyse, summarise, present and discuss scientific literature in the subject area.
8 - To apply a scientific approach in the planning of a research project.


1 - Basics of biotechnology. Organisms used in biotechnology. Recombinant DNA technology. Plant tissue culture and genetic engineering.
2 - RNA-based technologies. Functions of non-coding RNA. Modulation of expression by antisense RNA and microRNAs. Applications of RNAi.
3 - Molecular regulation of reproductive development. The molecular basis of self-incompatibility.
4 - Senescence and cell death. Types of cell death. Environmental influences on senescence and cell death. Growth regulators in senescene and defense-related PCD.
5 - Responses to plant pathogens. Immunity and defense. Preformed defenses. Induced defense. Sources of genetic variation for resistance. Local and systemic defense signaling.
6 - Plant gene silencing confers virus resistance, tolerance and attenuation. Control of plant pathogens by genetic engineering.
7 - Plant responses to abiotic stress. Gene expression and signal transduction. Plant responses to several types of stress.


B. B. Buchanan; W. Gruissem; R. L. Jones , 2015 , Biochemistry & Molecular Biology of Plants , John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Published
J. D. Watson; T. A. Baker; A. Gann; M. Levine; R. Losik , 2014 , Molecular biology of the gene , Pearson/Benjamin, cop.
D. Elliott; M. Ladomery , 2016 , Molecular biology of RNA , Oxford University Press

Assesssment methods and criteria:

Classification Type: Quantitativa (0-20)

Evaluation Methodology:
The teaching methods include theoretical classes, discussion of scientific papers and a minor laboratory research project. Each week will be assigned a relevant paper related to the lecture of the week. In the discussion sessions (mandatory) students will be randomly called to discuss any figure or method used, present supporting materials or answer questions about the paper under analysis, being valued the active participation. The evaluation comprises a final exam that covers the syllabus, which addresses questions and problem solving based on what has been learned throughout the program, rather than simply memorizing facts (50% of the final grade), participation and discussion of scientific papers (30% of the final grade) and presentation of a research project (20% of the final grade). This project allows the student to research in detail and present briefly to the class, an example of genetic engineering that has not been discussed in class.