Advanced: Level III Courses (Botany)

Revised and offered as 3-credit courses as of 2012/13 Academic Year:

BOTN3401 - PRINCIPLES OF PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY

  • 3-credits
  • Semester I
  • Level III
  • Duration: 6 weeks
Pre-requisite:
  • BOTN2402 Physiology of Plants or BIOL2312 Molecular Biology 1

The course will provide an overview of plant biotechnology with focus on applications in agriculture, forestry, pharmaceuticals, bio-fuels and the production of new materials. It includes studies of plant tissue culture, gene transfer, methods of plant transformation, development and analysis of genetically modified plants, and ethical, safety, social, legal and environmental issues associated with the technology. This course will impart understanding of the basic principles of plant sciences, molecular biology and the integration of these disciplines, to provide healthy plants for food, non-food, feed and health applications. It will also give students a better understanding of the ethical, ecological and legal aspects of plant biotechnology. It further aims to equip students with skills to enable them to pursue a career in research, plant breeding or teaching related to plant biotechnology and molecular biology.

Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • describe the underlying principles of plant tissue culture
  • explain the use of plant cell culture techniques in plant science research, agriculture and industry
  • explain the principles and methods of plant genetic transformation including their specific advantages and applications in agriculture, forestry, pharmaceuticals, bio-fuels and the production of new materials
  • evaluate the ethical, ecological and legal aspects of plant biotechnology
  • devise strategies to solve problems relating to plant biotechnology by using fundamental principles in plant biotechnology and genetics.

BOTN3402 - PLANT BREEDING (Not offered 2017/2018)

  • 3-credits
  • Semester I
  • Level III
  • Duration: 6 weeks
Pre-requisite:
  • BIOL2404 Molecular and Population Genetics

This course will expose students to the achievements of plant breeding efforts from several countries and crops; discover the genetic basis of crop plant phenotypes; explore the wild and domesticated ancestors of our modern field crops as well as fruit and vegetable crops; design improvement strategies for self-pollinating, cross-pollinating and asexually propagated crops; run, or work in, a successful crop breeding program; develop molecular tools that will directly assist in the crop breeding process; formulate conservation strategies of the world’s crop biodiversity through gene/germplasm banks.

Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • design crop breeding strategies in agricultural/horticultural industries to increase crop production and profitability for the growers
  • use plant breeding to mitigate the impact of pests and diseases avoiding pesticide damage to the environment
  • formulate crop breeding methods in the development of sustainable agricultural production systems that would satisfy the ever-increasing human population’s demand for food, fiber and plant based industrial products.

BOTN3403 - FUNDAMENTALS OF HORTICULTURE

  • 3-credits
  • Semester II
  • Level III
  • Duration: 6 weeks
Pre-requisites:
  • BOTN2401 Plant Form and Systematics and BOTN2402 Physiology of Plants

The course presents fundamental concepts underlying the science of crops and ornamentals production and management, including abiotic and biotic environmental factors relative to their effects on plant physiology. This course will give students an understanding of plants, plant growth requirements, geographic distribution of major plant types, the importance of soil, climate, topography and other factors on plant growth, pest control, food crops, landscape plants, floriculture, soil degradation, control, and the impact of plants on the social structure.

Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • utilize scientific nomenclature used in horticulture
  • explain the effect of environmental factors on plant growth
  • explain plant propagation techniques and propagate plants
  • select plants suitable for propagating by suitable asexual method (herbaceous, softwood, hardwood, and leaf)
  • carry out tissue culture procedures
  • describe ripening, harvesting and storage technologies of fresh crops including flowers
  • identify and give the economic importance of fresh crops and ornamentals in different regions
  • examine the major objectives of landscaping
  • appraise the use of computers in horticultural science.

BOTN3404 - ECONOMIC BOTANY

  • 3-credits
  • Semester II
  • Level III
  • Duration: 6 weeks
Pre-requisites:
  • BOTN2401 Plant Form and Systematics and BOTN2402 Physiology of Plants

Critical thinking and creativity within a scientifically ethical framework are skills promoted through the learning experiences throughout the integrative and collaborative laboratory sessions, field work and consultative learning experiences. Students will be required to develop and execute laboratory investigations on non-food plant utilisations and then effectively communicate experimental findings and evaluate results from simulations during learning activities.

Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • identify and assess the economic importance of commonly occurring plants.
  • evaluate the hypotheses on the origin and evolution of agricultural crops.
  • analyse the relationships involved in the anthropological incorporation of plant resources.
  • assess the potential pharmaceutical, social and industrial importance of plant secondarymetabolites
  • illustrate the ways in which plants may be sustainably exploited to facilitate human health and welfare
  • setup laboratory investigations to assess the efficacy of plant extracts as antimicrobials
  • analyse and interpret data generated from laboratory investigations as well as published research on the pharmaceutical activity of secondary plant metabolites
  • communicate experimental findings orally and in writing in a concise and scientifically coherent manner.

BOTN3405 - PLANT ECOPHYSIOLOGY

  • 3-credits
  • Semester II
  • Level III
  • Duration: 6 weeks
Pre-requisites:
  • BIOL2402 Fundamentals of Biometry and BIOL2403 Principles of Ecology

The course describes the range of physiological specializations demonstrated by plants as they colonise the range of environments across the world. Tropical plants receive special focus as these plants are responsible for the start of most tropical ecosystems, much of the agriculture in feeding the world, especially in harsh climatic conditions. At the end of this course students should be able to critically re-evaluate their knowledge of plants and re-examine them as highly specialized physiological species evolved over time to combat climate, location and even the consequences of modification for human needs.

Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • identify and describe the physiological characteristics of plants found in the tropics
  • investigate interactions between plant species and their various locations and climatic zones
  • describe and explain the physiological function facilitated by specific anatomical adaptations of selected plants
  • evaluate the growth, reproduction and geographical distribution of plants as influenced by their physiological ecology
  • analyse, interpret and present ecophysiological investigations in a laboratory or field report.

BOTN3406 - TROPICAL FOREST ECOLOGY

  • 3-credits
  • Semester I
  • Level III
  • Duration: 6 weeks
Pre-requisite:
  • BIOL2403 Principles of Ecology

The course provides an overview of floristics, structure and regeneration dynamics of tropical forests world-wide. The course also covers the important services provided by these ecosystems such as their role in the hydrological and nutrient cycles. The course covers the impacts human activities such as deforestation, habitat fragmentation and global climate change on tropical forest ecosystems. Additionally, the course covers different ways in which the services provided by these ecosystems can be valued.

Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • distinguish between different forest types, where they occur and how environmental factors influence forest type
  • appraise the role of natural disturbance in forest dynamics and the maintenance of species diversity
  • explain the importance of forests in the hydrological and nutrient cycles and the effects of anthropogenic disturbance on these cycles.
  • assess how deforestation and habitat fragmentation affects tropical forest diversity.
  • assess the value of tropical forest ecosystems
  • critically evaluate the postulated impacts the postulated impacts of global climate change.

Getting More Information

For more information about the courses offered by the Department, please visit the Courses page or additionally, you may download the Handbook in PDF.*

 

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