This course is an integrated introductory study of plants. Major themes include: plant form and function (anatomy, morphology, photosynthesis, respiration, transport systems, mineral nutrition); regulation of growth and development, especially in response to the environment; plant diversity (systematics, evolution, life cycles, New Zealand flora); and plants and people (crop domestication, plant breeding and production, Māori plant use).
This survey of the plant kingdom covers the evolution, diversity, and use of plants. A comparative approach is taken to study the morphological, anatomical, and reproductive features of major plant groups. Both native New Zealand and important agricultural/horticultural plants are used as examples. Modern principles of taxonomy and systematics are described, especially to address current biodiversity and biosecurity issues.
This course examines developmental and physiological responses that enable plants to cope with a changing environment and that occur daily, seasonally and over longer timescales; e.g. global climate change. Major topics include plant responses to light, carbon dioxide levels, mineral nutrition and abiotic and biotic stresses such as drought and pests. Emphasis is on mechanisms by which changes in the environment are perceived, signalling processes that are induced, and cellular and developmental changes that help the plant cope with the changed environment.
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.
The evolution of plant lineages has many potential outcomes, ranging from extinction to diversification and speciation. This course explores the processes that influence how lineages evolve and how we investigate and interpret patterns of diversity to better understand plant evolution and speciation. Lectures consist of critical discussion of topics including species concepts, local adaptation and diversification, morphological and molecular evolution, mating systems, and the roles of hybridization and polyploidy in plant evolution and speciation.
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
Diverse patterns of plant development that were initially described from anatomical and morphological perspectives now can be understood at a more mechanistic level as a result of advances in molecular and genetic techniques. This course provides a comparative approach, integrating classical and molecular methods, to study the dynamic patterns and processes of plant development across plant groups.
Traditional and 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 how natural and induced genetic variation can be harnessed for human use. Emphasis is on the dramatic progress being made in plant breeding, QTL analysis, marker-assisted selection, tissue culture and recombinant DNA technology. The course 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.