Primary and secondary metabolism of horticultural plants

Subject description

Phenolic synthetic pathway, key enzymes and groups of secondary metabolites will be presented with an emphasis of their importance for the mechanisms of resistance to stress, disease and pests. Specific and non-specific response of plants to pathogens will be determined.
The synthesis, classification, decomposition and role of aromatic compounds in fruits and grapes will be stated. The precursors of aromatic compounds will be listed and the distribution of aromatic compounds in various tissues and physiological stages of fruits and grapes will be presented. Measures affecting the synthesis of aromatic compounds will be described, with an emphasis on cultivar, technology, environment, and production mode.
Factors influencing the content of biologically active compounds in herbs will be addressed and measures to optimize the production of these compounds discussed.
The content of secondary metabolites in plants can predict the consistency between the cultivar and rootstock in various plant species. Examples and methods for determining cultivar/rootstock inconsistency in different physiological stages will be discussed from the view of plant secondary metabolites. Primary and secondary metabolites are crucial for the quality of horticultural crops. External and internal quality parameters will be analyzed; the latter is related to the content of specific metabolites in different edible plant parts.   Groups of primary and secondary metabolites will be presented along with their importance for food quality and technological measures which increase the content of primary and secondary metabolites in fruit.
The growing importance of fruit secondary metabolites for human health and regular consumption of fruit will be described in terms of prevention as well as faster improvement in case of sickness.

The subject is taught in programs

Objectives and competences

The aim of the study is in the broadened knowledge on the primary and secondary metabolism of horticultural plants, representing the basis for the synthesis of bioactive compounds. This are important for the plant-environment interactions as well as for the adequate use of technology and the production of functional foods

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, seminar work.

Expected study results

Knowledge and understanding:

The student understands the importnace and role of the primary and secondary metabolism  (bioactive compounds) of horticultural plants from the ecological viewpoint, plants' resistance to the pathogens, different forms of stress and fruit quality. The student understands the importance of secondary metabolites for the human health.

Basic sources and literature

Herrmann K. 2001. Inhaltsstoffe von Obst und Gemüse. Stuttgart Verlag Eugen Ulmer GmbH Co.:200 str. ISBN 3-8001-3139-0

Michael W. 2010. Biochemistry of Plant Secondary Metabolism (Annual Plant Reviews S.). Sheffield Academic Press, 464 str. ISBN 978-1405183970


Revijalni članki s področja, tekoča periodika, druga učna gradiva…


Articles from scientific journals, current magazines, other readings …

Stay up to date

University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Electrical Engineering Tržaška cesta 25, 1000 Ljubljana

E: T:  01 4768 411