An integrated study of the structure, function and diversity of plants. Topics include: anatomy and morphology; maintenance of the organism (nutrition, photosynthesis, respiration and transport); growth and development; co-ordination and regulation of growth; effects of environment on growth and development; reproduction; floral biology; plant systematics and plant diversity; plant breeding, biotechnology, and genetic engineering.
A study of the growth, development and functioning of plants and their interaction with the physical environment with reference to the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum and mineral nutrition. Plant responses to environmental extremes such as waterlogging, salinity, mineral toxicities, elevated CO2 and UV radiation will be covered.
The place of the New Zealand flora in a world context. This course considers the origins and relationships of the New Zealand flora, plant distributions, adaptive features, morphology, anatomy and reproduction, along with a consideration of plant communities.
Plants as sources of food and beverage, medicine, fibres and dyes, with emphasis on their origin, domestication and the role of plant breeding to improve plants for human use. The physiological effects of active plant compounds on the body. The cultural and geographic origins of commercially important plants.
Diverse patterns of plant development that were initially described from cytological and morphological perspectives are beginning to be understood at a mechanistic level through the use of molecular and genetic techniques. This course provides an introduction to classic literature pertaining to different aspects of plant development and integrates it with more recent molecular genetic studies. The role of plant hormones and other signalling molecules in plant developed is also covered.
This course begins with a historical perspective outlining classic problems of evolutionary biology that are important for understanding plant biodiversity. The nature of morphological variation is discussed, as are molecular marker systems and modern techniques currently being used to investigate the evolution of plant biodiversity. Research is highlighted from studies of genetic, morphological and ecological diversity. Hypotheses concerning patterns of plant species diversification and distribution are critically discussed. Model and non-model plants are considered in terms of the insight that their study is providing into understanding morphological and ecological diversification. The relevance of these findings for historical questions, understanding and conservation of biodiversity is discussed.
An overview of modern methods by which plants can be modified to provide new genetic material for use in agriculture, horticulture, forestry and industry. This course links basic and applied science and focuses on the dramatic progress being made in plant tissue culture, recombinant DNA technology, QTL analysis and marker-assisted selection. Emphasis is on both prospects and limitations, and includes discussion of environmental, ethical and regulatory issues
120.713 Advanced Topics in Plant Biology30 credits
The course will involve use of the current literature to critically examine the experimental systems used to advance knowledge in Plant Biology.