|| BS34120 |
|| PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY |
|| 2003/2004 |
|| Dr Ian M Scott |
|| Semester 1 |
|| C Howarth, Dr Gerard J Bishop, Dr H J Ougham, Dr I S Donnison, Dr Luis A J Mur, Dr M Humphreys |
|| BS22520 or, BS21520 or, BS21920 or, BS22120 or, BS22620 or, BS22820 |
| Course delivery
|| Other || 5 Hours Up to 5 workshops |
|| Lecture || 30 Hours |
|Assessment Type||Assessment Length/Details||Proportion|
|Semester Exam||3 Hours One 3-hour theory exam ||70%|
|Semester Assessment|| Continuous Assessment: Continuous assessment of workshop oral and written presentation To be submitted on December 12th 2003.||30%|
|Supplementary Assessment||3 Hours 3 hour theory exam (plus resubmission of failed coursework or an alternative) || |
On completion of the module, the student should appreciate
the nature and scope of genetic modification in plants
the current limits of our understanding of how important plant developmental and physiological processes are controlled and the methodologies that are used to study these processes
the nature and significance of research approaches to the many aspects of plant biology in which new advances are needed.
The module is intended to provide an up-to-date insight into an area of biology which presents many challenges and opportunities, and in which a number of innovative new approaches are producing advances (and media controversy). The module will explore topics in plant development and physiology that present opportunities for genetic manipulation, with emphasis on local research expertise in IBS and IGER. Topics will be reviewed so as to be understandable to students with a range of interests and backgrounds.
The module will commence with an overview of the techniques of plant biotechnology, which are themselves of fundamental interest. These include the behaviour of plant cells cultured in vitro, and their requirement for auxin and cytokinin for growth and shoot regeneration. The natural transfer of auxin and cytokinin genes to plant cells in crown gall tumours induced by Agrobacterium tumefaciens will be covered, and will lead to the use of this bacterium for genetic modification of higher plants. Direct methods of plant cell transformation will be discussed, along with the plant material to which they are applied, such as embryogenic cultures.
Features of plant biology with the potential for genetic modification will be reviewed from the whole plant to the molecular levels. Developmental aspects of plant physiology will emphasize plant hormones, which have been involved in the earliest examples of plant genetic modification. A range of topics relating to stem elongation will be covered. The role of gibberellins and the newly discovered brassinosteroids in stem growth will be reviewed with particular emphasis on genes and their isolation. Some of the most important breeding genes in wheat and rice, responsible for the so-called Green Revolution, are involved in gibberellin signal transduction and have recently been cloned.
The nature of senescence as a programmed phenomenon is outlined, together with a discussion of examples of its conventional genetic and transgenic modification, for example using the Agrobacterium cytokinin biosynthesis gene ipt.
Plant responses to stresses such as heat, cold and drought have immense agricultural importance, and projections of climate change emphasize the urgency of improving crop tolerances of these abiotic stresses. Considerable research progress has been made in recent years in the isolation of genes that may contribute plant stress tolerance.
Workshops will enable students to focus on topics of particular interest in preparing an advanced essay and seminar presentation.
** Recommended Text
Taiz, L. & Zeiger, E. (1998) Plant physiology
This module is at CQFW Level 6