The enormous variety of plant forms is a reflection of the need to adapt to a life lived with environmental extremes. Plants provide the air we breathe, the food we eat and the landscapes we love. Having diverged from animals prior to the evolution of multicellularity, plants also provide us with a unique opportunity to discover how environmental adaptability and productivity features are enabled at the molecular level. This unit of study explores the molecular mechanisms that give rise to plant form and function, focussing on higher plants. You will learn about plant genomes and the molecular tool kits that are used in the making of a plant, the signaling pathways that drive growth and responses to the environment, and how this deep knowledge is being used to improve plant performance and better manage ecosystems. By doing this unit, students will advance their knowledge of how plants grow, develop and adapt in the context of the molecular mechanisms controlling these processes. The new tools of biology are giving us an unprecedented understanding of life. The skills developed in this unit will enable you to play a role in designing better ways to manage plants and ecosystems.
Lectures 2hrs/week for 13 weeks, Practicals 1 x 3hr practical/week for 13 weeks
Laboratory eNotebook - (Week 5 x 5% + Week 13 x 5%, total = 10%), Research paper (2500 words, 20%), Oral presentation (20%), Final Exam (50%)
Schumann GL and Darcy CJ. 2010. Essential Plant Pathology (2nd ed.). APS Press, St Paul, Minn., USA.
6cp of BIOL2X23 or BIOL2X30 or BIOL2X31 or BCMB2X0X or GEGE2X01 or MBLG2X72 or GENE2002