• Learning Outcomes

    By the end of this course unit, the student should be able to explain the physiological concepts and principles of plant functions in relation to growth and development.


    Course Contents

    Chemical basis of life. Water as the solvent of life. pH scale, buffers and Henderson-Hasselbalch equation. Membrane structure and functions. Water relations: water potential concept, cell and plant water relations. Stomatal physiology. Photosynthesis: photochemistry and electron transport, photophosphorylation, carbon reduction cycle, C3, C4 and CAM pathways, photorespiration. Phloem transport. Mineral nutrition: concept of essentiality, functions and deficiency symptoms, principles, characteristics and general mechanisms of solute absorption. Growth and Development: growth and growth kinetics, auxins, gibberellines, cytokinins, ethylene and growth inhibitors. Photoperiodism. Vernalization.

  • Learning Outcomes

    By the completion of this course unit, you should be able to (i) explain the principles of the scientific method and its application, (ii) demonstrate a series of generic and disciplinary skills listed in the Lab Manual BOTA 21022 and (iii) demonstrate skills in writing a scientific report.

    Course Contents

    Preparation of aqueous solutions and buffers. Using the scientific method in laboratory experiments. Determination of water potential and solute potential. Measurement of transpiration. Stomatal movement. Separation of photosynthetic pigments. The Hill reaction. Acid accumulation of CAM plants. Shoot morphology and leaf anatomy in relation to photosynthetic efficiency: determination of leaf area, leaf dry weight and specific leaf area (SLA), measurement of stomatal conductance and irradiance levels at different heights. Demonstration of photosystem II activity. Differentiation between C3 and C4 plants by detection of starch. Studies on membrane permeability. Mineral deficiency symptoms in plants (Coconut, Rubber, Rice). Hormonal action. Seed viability and germination tests. Description of data using statistics.

  • Learning outcomes:

    At the end of this course unit, the student should be able to explain how plants have evolved and phylogenetic relationships amongst diverse groups of organisms.


    Course contents:

    Biological classification and evolutionary relationships of organisms. Prokaryotes: archaebacteria, eubacteria, in their environments. Origin of the eukaryotic cell, fungi, lichens, algae, green alga as common ancestor of plants, non vascular plants, seedless vascular plants, seed plants. Plants as pioneers of the terrestrial environment. (Computer assisted assignments to study the phylogeny of plants.


    Method of teaching and learning:

    Lectures, presentations, computer assisted learning and tutorials.



    Continuous assessment and end of course written examination.


    Recommended reading:

    1.Campbell, N A and Reece, J B (2005). Biology. Benjamin Cummings.

    2. Ernest, M G and Adriane, S Foster (1989). Morphology and Evolution of Vascular Plants.W H Freeman.

    3. Purves, W K; Orians, G H; Heller, H C and Sadava, D (1998). Life: The Science of Biology.W H Freeman.

    4. Raven, Peter H; Evert, Ray F and Eichhorn, S F (2005). Biology of Plants. Worth Publishers.

    5. Webster, J (1993). Introduction to Fungi. Cambridge University.

  • Learnining Outcomes

    At the end of this course, the student should be able to, (i) distinguish between diverse groups of bacteria, algae, fungi, bryophytes, pteridophytes, gymnosperms and angiosperms using their characteristic features (ii) demonstrate skills in plant diversity assessment and reporting through group work.


    Course Contents

    Laboratory exercises to identify and illustrate the distinguishing features, reproductive and vegetative structures, growth habits of bacteria, algae, fungi, bryophytes, seedless vascular plants (pteridophytes), seed plants (gymnosperms and angiosperms). Web based laboratory exercises to study the phylogenetic relationships.

    Method of Teaching and Learning

    Laboratory, CAL (Computer Assited Learning) and field exercises.


    Continuous assessment and end of course practical examination. (Lab reports assessment)

    Recommended Reading

    1. Perry, J W and Morton, D (1996). Photo Atlas for Biology. Wadsworth.
    2. Raven, P H; Evert, R F and Eichhorn, S F (2005). Biology of Plants, Worth.
    3. Sharma, O P (1990). Practical Algae and Fungi, Pragati Prakashan.
    4. Sharma, O P (1993). Practical Botany, Pragati Prakashan.

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