cod. 1009319

Academic year 2021/22
2° year of course - Annual
Professor responsible for the course unit
integrated course unit
12 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Course unit structured in the following modules:

Learning objectives

At the end of the course we expect the student to
- have acquired instruments and insights into possible phytoremediation techniques for contaminated substrates;
- be able to understand experimental different experimental procedures for lab and in situ experiments optimized according to environmental conditions;
- be able to Interpret the results obtained using plant physiology and biochemistry perspectives in order to produce a positive feedback aimed at improving phytoremediation applications;
- be able to read critically and understand scientific publications on the topic of Phytoremediation.


Plant Physiology. Good knowledge of English Language

Course unit content

Module of Phytoremediation AC 2021-2022
1-Broad definition of Phytoremediation according to the literature and to the US EPA guidelines
2-Origins of Phytoremediation in the US, legislative aspects and relevant scientific
literature. Example of useful websites. Comparison between the superfund in the US and the SIN in Italy
3- Engineered nanomaterials, micro- and nano-plastics. From where they come from, total annual production, how they spread in the environment.
4-The Phytotechnologies, differences and similarities between Phytotechnologies and Phytoremediation, how it came about.
5-Phytotechnologies planting types from planted stabilization mat to hold contaminant s into place to Interception Hedgerow that servers to take up the pollutants from to soil, to other techniques such as Air flow buffer, green walls, multi-mechanism buffer.
6-Phytoremediation of organic compounds: Sanders and the green liver model. Chemical, molecular and physiological basis of the three steps of the green liver model, how it works.
7-Experimental approaches to Phytoremediation: from lab to field. In vitro culture, hydroponic aseptic culture, Hydroponic culture with bacteria, mesocosms in controlled conditions, field applications.
8- Examples of Phytoremediation of petroleum derivates in the field. Example of remediation of TCE in different types of soil and climate conditions. How soil and climate properties influence the outcome of Phytoremediation.
9-Inorganics Phytoremediations: differences and similarities between pollution metals and plant mineral nutrients.
10-Types of inorganics phytoremediation/phytotecnologies: Phytoextraction, phytostabilization, bioremediation in the rhizosphere (rhizofiltration), phytovolatilisation
11- Phtoremediations of metals and semimetals: genetics and molecular mechanisms utilised by plants to deal with metals, nutrients and water transporter molecules that can allow the entry of toxic metals into plants.
12- The basis of the interaction of plants with toxic metals or excess of mineral micronutrients: oxidative stress. Basis and chemico-biologigical functioning of the oxidative stress, ROS and anti-ROS molecules and mechanisms within the plant cell.
13- Special plants that help to understand the interaction of plants with metals: Examples and types of Metals Hyperaccumulator plants. Biochemical mechanisms of hyperaccumulation.
14- Microscopic techniques to study metals within plants. Scanning Electron Microscopy with EDX.
15- Example of a study of an hyperaccumulator plant from microscopic point of view.
16-Visit to the laboratory for plant study inside the Cascina Ambolana, and to the small green house at the back of the Cascina Ambolana
17- Constructed wetland: basic parameters relevant for the functioning of a constructed wetland. Types of constructed wetland: vertical flow horizontal sub superficial flow. How does a wetland function, how it can decontaminate polluted water.
18-Case studies of constructed wetlands and examples of a constructed wetland in Italy.
The Teacher will provide slides in English, Scientific papers dealing with the different topics proposed during the course suggests books appropriate for the study of part of the program.

Full programme

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The study material is provided by the teacher and available partially as a booklet and on Elly. It will be based on papers from the international literature and on slides shown during the lectures. Textbooks will be suggested if needed.

Teaching methods

Frontal lessons will be either student-engaging within an active learning dialogue on specific topics or heuristics descriptions and explanations by the teacher on broader aspects of phytoremediation.
For each topic under study many applicative examples will be provided and interactively discussed during the frontal lessons. When necessary the teacher will utilize computer aids such as programs and databases to show specific points of interest.
Power point slides used by the teacher during the lessons will be provided directly to the students weekly, when possible.
Moreover, scientific papers of relevance that are discussed during the lessons will be provided to the students ad pdf. Files

Assessment methods and criteria

The student will choose with the help of the teacher a scientific paper on the topic of phytoremediation. The exam will be a critical review of the paper carried on by the student, in the form of a dialogue and interaction with the teacher.

Other information

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