Skip to main content

Module

BIO3052 : Global challenges in plant science research

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Anne Borland
  • Lecturer: Dr Vasilios Andriotis, Professor William Willats, Dr Maxim Kapralov, Professor Neil Boonham, Dr Tahar Taybi
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

Plants serve as the conduit of energy into the biosphere, provide food and materials used by humans, and they shape our environment. This module aims to show how plant science research underpins and is helping to tackle current global challenges of food security, renewable energy, conservation of resources and climate change. The module considers; i) fundamental aspects of plant science which encompass photosynthetic physiology and biochemistry, seed development, cell wall biochemistry and plant-pathogen interactions and ii) explores how new technologies can exploit and manipulate these fundamental aspects of plant science in order to improve the productivity, health and quality of plants and plant-derived products in a changing climate. The module’s teaching is research-led, using up-to-date scientific literature and interactive teaching sessions. Students will read research papers and learn how to critically analyse them to facilitate learning.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module content will include:
• The importance of photosynthesis and implications for food and energy security
• RuBisCO structure and function
• Evolution of carbon concentrating mechanisms and alternative modes of photosynthesis
• Engineering photosynthesis to enhance plant productivity in a changing climate
• Seed development and maternal plant-seed communication
• Exploiting and manipulating seed development
• Nature of plant diseases, pathogen discovery and emerging diseases
• Plant disease resistance: mechanisms and applications
• Integrated pest management and biocontrol
• International biosecurity and plant health
• Global plant disease case studies
• Plant cell wall diversity: applications for bioengineering and bioprospecting
• Below ground plant/microbe interactions
• Group poster presentations/mini conference to consider how new technologies and developments in a particular aspect of plant science research can tackle ‘real-world’ challenges

Teaching Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Assessment Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Reading Lists

Timetable