Plant Systems Biology (AGEN2005)


This unit of study will provide students with an understanding of the plant metabolic network, its regulation and how metabolic control is integral to an ability to adapt to environmental change. It is a core unit for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Agricultural Science and Bachelor of Environmental Systems. From the perspective of energy flows, this unit will outline a framework for the plant metabolic network at the physiological, chemical and molecular levels. Students will become familiar with network complexity and its regulation through the use of the latest bioinformatics and analytical tools. Students will gain first-hand experience in the assessment of plant health and management of resource availability in both cropping and natural systems by participating in two x 2-day field trips to research institutes and field stations in rural Australia. Information will be captured and interpreted at a range of scales from the cellular to the whole plant, demonstrating the importance of metabolism to plants and to broader biospheric processes. At the completion of this unit, students will be able to articulate the major components of the plant metabolic network, its regulation in response to changes in resource availability and to make informed management decisions for the optimization of the productivity and resilience of Australian ecosystems.

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Further unit of study information


2x1-hr lectures, 1x1-hr tutorial, per week 4x 3-hr practicals plus 1 x 4 day field trip


1x 2hr final exam (50%), 1000w essay (30%), 1x practical report (20%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge

BIOL1001, CHEM1001

Assumed knowledge: Junior Chemistry and intermediate level Biology

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Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

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Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.

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