Crop Physiology

Crop Physiology

Type: Graduate course / Elective course

Division: Plant Science and Environment

Coordinator: Christos Damalas

Semester: 2nd

ECTS: 7.5

Instructors: Christos Damalas / Spyridon Koutroubas


Telephone: 25520 41116 / 25520 41125


Cooperation with students: after contact (via email)

Course description:

Physiological processes that determinate yield performance of crops. Canopy architecture, leaf area index, and light efficiency use. Crop physiology, yield components, and yield determinants. Weed-crop competition. Chemical and alternative methods of weed control. Dry matter production and accumulation of nutrients. Translocation of assimilates.

Production and consumption centers of assimilates (sink-source relationships). Water use efficiency and resistance mechanisms of plants to water stress.

Suggested textbooks:

(The following titles are offered by the library of our Department)

  • Weiss E.A. (2000): Oilseed Crops, 2nd edn. Blackwell Science, London,
  • Bavec F. and M. Bavec. (2006): Organic Production and Use of Alternative Crops, CRC Press, London,
  • Gunstone F.D. (2004): Rapeseed and canola oil: Production, Processing, Properties and Uses, CRC Press, London,

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course students will be able to:

  • Recommend appropriate management approaches for increasing productivity and improving economic efficiency of crops

Evaluation methods:

  • Written / oral exams at the end of the semester


Tentative schedule of classes for the course Crop Physiology’


Class topic


1st Introduction. Physiological processes that determinate yield performance of field crops S. Koutroubas C. Damalas
2nd Effect of canopy architecture on yield of field crops S. Koutroubas
3rd Crop physiology, yield components, and yield formation C. Damalas
4th Redistribution of assimilates and nutrients. Relationships between centers of production and consumption of assimilates (source-sink theory) S. Koutroubas
5th Grain yield formation in field crops: case studies S. Koutroubas
6th Simulation models of grain filling in major field crops S. Koutroubas
7th Effect of climate change on growth, development and yield of crops C. Damalas
8th Mechanisms of adaptation of crops to abiotic stress conditions C. Damalas
9th The role of plant nutrition in crop yield formation. Inorganic and organic fertilization S. Koutroubas
10th Physiology of nitrogen fixation by legumes plants. Methods of quantitative evaluation S. Koutroubas
11th Sustainable cropping systems in major fields crops C. Damalas
12th Influence of long term monocropping on crop yield and agroecosystems’ traits C. Damalas
13th Influence of weed competition on crop yield. Methods of quantitative evaluation C. Damalas
14th Written exams