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Module

BIO2035 : Plant Biology

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Tahar Taybi
  • Lecturer: Dr Vasilios Andriotis
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

To deepen understanding and knowledge of the manner in which plants develop in their natural environment, how they perceive and respond to environmental stimuli, and how they make co-ordinated adjustments at the physiological, biochemical and molecular levels that facilitate survival under stressful and changing conditions.
To describe the evolution and diversity of higher plants.
To grow an appreciation of relevant background theory and the application of experimental methods. Practical classes develop core skills and encourage the formulation and testing of hypotheses.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module builds on the appreciation of the role and importance of plants in the natural world acquired in Stage 1. The majority of the module will focus on the mechanisms underlying the ways in which plants grow and differentiate, the ways they perceive signals and respond to environmental stimuli and the ways they co-ordinate and adjust at the physiological, biochemical and molecular levels to facilitate growth and survival in diverse environments. The module will also cover the evolution of plants and the diversity of plant life on the planet.
Practical classes aim at developing core cognitive abilities (e.g. the analysis and interpretation of datasets), and will facilitate the formulation and testing of specific hypotheses – skills that will be of direct relevance in the planning and execution of Stage 3 research projects.


Topics of lectures:
Plant growth and differentiation: seed germination, development of roots, shoots and leaves.
Flowering: flower development and reproductive growth and their control.
Metabolic coordination: allocation and transport of assimilates, coordination of carbon availability and growth, acute and acclamatory responses to starvation.
Plant responses to abiotic stress.
Physiology of stomata.
Communication within and between plants; plant hormones.
Mineral nutrition and the rhizosphere.
Origin and diversification of plants.
Lab practicals:
Effect of abiotic stress on plant growth
Physiology of stomata
Plant mineral nutrition

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials251:0025:00Online via Canvas - lecture materials including short video and audio recordings plus powerpoints
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials31:003:00Online via Canvas - Lab material provided to student in a form of a online documents to read plus po
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Home exam, to be submitted via Turnitin, the exam will consist of two problem solving/data
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion125:0025:00Revision of lecture material
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion23:006:00One assessed lab report (30%) plus one formative lab report
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading142:0028:00Online - module lecturers will give students relevant reading for module topics throughout the semes
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading931:0093:00reading of text books and online papers
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical33:009:00PiP - Students will be present in the laboratory for practical sessions
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk91:009:00Online - an online Zoom session given by a lecturer to recap a topic, answer student questions...
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Structured online lectures with focused topics will allow students to gain a thorough understanding of the mechanisms of plant development and survival in challenging environments, together with plant evolution and diversification from the molecular level to the whole plant level. The learning experience will constitute a strong foundation to pursue specialist 3rd year courses. Practicals based on Nuffield-style approaches will specifically encourage the formulation and testing of hypotheses. The content of the lab-based practicals will complement and enhance the formal lecture programme. Private study using recommended plant biology and physiology texts will provide further depth of understanding of the biological processes and systems involved.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
PC Examination1201A70Home Examination
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M30lab report
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Practical/lab report1MPractice in analysing and reporting on experimental results
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Lectures and practical exercises provide the basis for questions in the formal examination, which focuses on testing depth and breadth of knowledge and general understanding of the subject area. The practical reports which includes a formative assessment, are designed to assess the ability to design and perform hypothesis-driven research, record findings and interpret experimental results.

Study Abroad students may request to take their exam before the semester 1 exam period, in which case the format of the paper may differ from that shown in the MOF. Study Abroad students should contact the school to discuss this.

Reading Lists

Timetable