Study Abroad and Exchanges



BGM3037 : Plant and Animal Biotechnology (Inactive)

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


Biotechnology is growing very rapidly and this course aims to give a broad picture of exciting developments in the subject. It will highlight those areas where the fundamental information of molecular genetics, molecular biology and biochemistry acquired in other BGM modules is being applied to the improvement of crops. The animal component of the course will provide knowledge about the commercial application of molecular genetic techniques in whole animals; how the genetic modification of animals can be exploited to understand the role of specific genes in mammalian physiology and biochemistry and finally we will discuss the biology and potential therapeutic uses of adult stem cells and stem cells derived by nuclear cloning.

Outline Of Syllabus

Genetic manipulation techniques and targets for crop manipulation
The Ti plasmid and methods of plant transformation.
Transposon mutagenesis.
Antisense technology.

Crop plant protection
Insect resistance: Bt-toxin-&-CPTi-based insect resistance. Progress towards generating nematode resistance.
Herbicide resistance: Properties of herbicides, selectivity and Engineering herbicide tolerance. Changing target protein, introduce detoxifying enzyme.

Improving crop quality
Engineering improved crop quality or enhanced productivity.
Novel uses and Progress towards meeting these targets.
Controversies of using GM plants

Stem Cells
Stem cell hierarchy (totipotent, pluripotent, multipotent, unipotent)
Adult stem cells in the context of general mechanisms of tissue renewal
Sources of stem cells
Current research on aspects of the therapeutic potential of stem cells, including the treatment of ischaemic heart disease and beta cell replacement for type 1 diabetes.
Aspects of basic stem cell biology, including evidence for transdifferentiation/reprogramming; asymmetric division

Engineering of Genetically Modified animals
Transgenic animals defined
Engineering transgenic animals by microinjection
Use of transgenics to knock out genes
Generation of transgenic animals by nuclear cloning
Reprogramming differentiated DNA for cloning
Lymphocytes, neuronal cells

Application of nuclear cloning
Autologous organ transplant
Primate nuclear transfer

Medical and Agricultural applications of transgenic animals
Pharmaceutical “Pharming”
Designer milk and meat production
Enhancing disease resistance in livestock
Xenomouse – humanising antibodies for clinical applications
Enuiro – friendly agricultural livestock
Transgenics as a mechanism to study human disease focusing on Alzheimers.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture181:0018:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching13:003:00Assessed seminar
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study179:0079:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures are used to impart information in a concise manner, to introduce concepts, to highlight areas of importance and to interrelate with directed reading and self-directed study. The seminar task develops the skills outcomes of oral presentation, critical review of a scientific paper, inter-personal communication and team-working, as students are required to work in groups to develop and deliver a 15 minute presentation on a research paper. Related to this task students are also required to produce a written summary of a research paper, and this task supports the development of the skills of written communication.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination902A80Two essay questions to be answered from a choice of four.
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research paper1M20Oral presentation of research paper 60%; answering questions 10%; written summary 30%
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination primarily assesses students' knowledge and understanding. The research paper task is focused around the assessed seminar and tests skills of oral presentation, team-working, and the ability to review critically a piece of scientific research. The associated written summary assesses students' ability to write clearly and succinctly about scientific research.

FMS Schools offering Semester One modules available as ‘Study Abroad’ will, where required, provide an alternative assessment time for examinations that take place after the Christmas vacation. Coursework with submissions dates after the Christmas vacation will either be submitted at an earlier date or at the same time remotely.

The form of assessment will not vary from the original.

Reading Lists