Plant, Cell and Environment (Advanced) (PLNT3901)


This unit of study of comprises lectures/workshops and practical sessions that will explore how plants function and interact with their environment. Classes will examine the mechanisms plants have evolved to adapt and acclimate to varied and variable environments. We will address how plants adapt to their light environment and how they respond to common abiotic stresses (e.g. drought, salinity) and biotic stresses (herbivory) and how they interact with other organisms. Emphasis will be placed on integration of plant responses from molecular through to whole plant scales. You will need to draw on knowledge from intermediate units of study and explore the published literature to successfully integrate information from areas unfamiliar to yourself. The purpose of this Unit of Study is to develop an understanding of current directions in Plant Science at an advanced level. When you have successfully completed this unit of study, you should be able to: be familiar with modern approaches of physiology, biophysics and molecular biology in the study of plant function; understand how domains of knowledge interact to describe plant function; understand how plants function in stressful environments; carry out a small research project; draft a manuscript for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

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Further unit of study information


Workshops and discussions 2 hr/wk; laboratories: alternate weeks 30 hr total (6 pracs; 5 hr each)


1x 2hr exam (40%), 2x reports (30%), 1x essay (15%), 1x group presentation (15%)


Students will be drawing on the current research literature for content. A Study Guide for the unit will be available for purchase during the first week of semester from the Copy Centre at a cost to be advised.

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge

12 credit points of Intermediate Biology, Plant Science, Molecular Biology and Genetics



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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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