Botany II

Course CodeBSC204
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Learn How Plants Grow

  • What causes flowering to occur?
  • What causes fruit to develop?
  • What causes roots to form?
  • What causes plant growth to speed up or slow down?

Learn the principles and practices of plant physiology for a deeper insight into how plants function, their growth, factors that promote development and which hinder growth. 

 

ACS Student comment: "I find the course quite interesting! At first glance, the reading material and questions look so simple, but they actually require quite a bit of thinking and probing.  The course is very well designed!"  - Joanne McLeod, Australia - Botany II course.

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Flower physiology
    • Introduction
    • The flowering response
    • Genes control flowering
    • Physiological age
    • Minimum leaf number
    • Photoperiodism
    • Terminology
  2. Phytochrome
    • Light sensing systems
    • Blue light responses
    • Red light responses
    • Other light responses
    • Phytochrome
    • Photoreceptor forms: Pr, Pfr
    • How molelcules changeRelevance to commercial horticulture
    • Controlling light
    • Terminology
  3. Phytoperiodism
    • Light
    • Measuring light
    • What wavelengths do plants need
    • Typical photoperiod responses
    • Photoperiodic responses in seasonal flowering plants
    • Photoperiodic classification of plants: short day plants, long day plants, day neutral plants
    • Detection of photoperiod
    • Critical photoperiod and flowering
    • Research facts
    • Other photoperiodic effects
    • Terminology
  4. Control of flower bud initiation and development
    • Stages in flower bud growth
    • What can affect flower bud initiation
    • Differentiation
    • Dvelopment
    • Anthesis
    • Effect of temperature on growth and flowering
    • VernalisationThermoperiodism
    • Research reports or reviews of specific plants
    • Terminology
  5. Dormancy
    • Dormancy in plants
    • Abscisic acid and dormancy
    • Breaking dormancy
    • Dormancy in seeds
    • Factors affecting seed dormancy
    • Breaking seed dormancy
    • Terminology
  6. Effects of plant associations and competition
    • Introduction
    • Competition
    • Parasitism
    • Coevolution
    • Mutualism
    • Plant herbivore and pathogen interactions
    • Crop spacing and crop yeilds
    • Crop canopy and plant density
    • Impact of weeds
    • Protected environments
    • Greenhouses
    • Shadehouses
  7. Respiration and post harvest physiology
    • Respiration
    • Glycolysis
    • Aerobic respiration
    • Anaerobic respiration
    • Bioluminescene and Fluorescence
    • Post harvest respiration
    • Terminology
  8. Post harvest storage, transport, retailing and shelf life
    • Effect of growing conditions on post harvest life
    • Controlled storage conditions: temperature, atmosphere, humidity
    • Normal atmospheric conditions
    • Controlled and modified atmospheres
    • Effect of oxygen levels Effect of carbon dioxide levels
    • Ethylene
    • Controlling ethylene levels
    • Modified Atmosphere Packaging
    • Commodity transport
    • Retailing and shelf life
  9. Endogenous and synthetic growth regulators
    • Nature of plant hormones
    • Auxins: IAA, IBA, NAA
    • Gibberellins: natural and synthetic
    • Cytokinins: over 130 different types
    • Abscisic acid
    • Ethylene
    • Other homones: anti auxins, growth inhibitors, growth retardants, defoliants, growth Stimulators, non standard hormones
    • Controlled ripening and degreening
    • Waxing
  10. Risks involved with plant growth manipulation
    • Commercial risks
    • Human health and safety risks
    • Plant pathology risks
    • Ecological risks
    • Genetic modification
    • Benefits
    • environmental hazards
    • Human hazards
    • Terminology

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Investigate the physiology of growth development and flowering.
  • Examine the nature of phytochrome and its effect on flowering in the phytochrome reaction.
  • Examine the photoperiodic responses of flowering plants to differing dark and light periods.
  • Examine the effect of temperature on the onset of flowering and flower development.
  • Understand and describe the causes of dormancy in seeds and plants and describe the methods of breaking dormancy.
  • Understand plant associations and competition and their effects on quality and marketable yield.
  • Explain the process of respiration in plant cells and its effect on post-harvest storage and transportation of crops.
  • Describe physiological processes in post-harvest crops in relation to the storage conditions.
  • Investigate the effect on plants of endogenous and synthetic growth regulators.
  • Understand risk assessments relevant to plant growth manipulation.

How Do Plants Grow?

Plant growth is the process by which a plant increases in size, creating more leaves and stems. Plant development is the process by which plants change from one stage of growth to the next. These stages include juvenility, maturity, flowering and seeding. Plant development involves differentiation of the plant into specialised parts. This may include visible changes such as the structural organisation of the plant and new patterns of growth as well as less visible changes such as localised biochemical and metabolic activity.

Growth and development are characteristics not only of the entire plant, but also of each cell within that plant. Active cell division occurs in parts of the plant called meristems. Cell division results in growth in length and diameter of the plant, and in the differentiation of specialised plant organs. Differentiation results in the development of individual plant parts such as stems, leaves, new shoots, flowers, fruits, seed and other structures.

WHO IS THIS COURSE FOR?

This course is for people who work or wish to work with plants like:

  • nursery personnel
  • technicians
  • researchers
  • science students wishing to further their knowledge in plant physiology.

Enrol and study this course for a deeper understanding of how plants grow!