Curriculum Guideline

Plant Biology

Effective Date:
Course Code
BIOL 3500
Plant Biology
Science & Technology
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Lecture/tutorial = 4 hours/wk Laboratory/field trip = 3 hours/wk
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction
  • Lecture
  • Practical laboratory work is integrated with the lecture material
  • Group discussions
  • Field trips/observations and/or video observation
  • Self-study via print or online materials
  • Reading assignments
  • Group projects
Course Description
This course will examine the origins, evolution, diversity, anatomy, physiology and ecology of non-vascular plants, vascular plants, protists and fungi. Laboratory exercises will emphasize form, function, and biological diversity.
Course Content

An Introduction to Botany

  • Evolutionary origins of plants
  • Evolution of plant communities
  • Human impacts on plant evolution and diversity

Biology of the Plant Cell

  • Molecular composition of plant cells
  • Structure of the plant cell
  • The cell cycle
  • Movement of substances in and out of cells

Plant Energetics

  • Enzyme activity and regulation
  • Respiration
  • Photosynthesis

Plant Genetics and Evolution

  • Asexual and sexual reproduction in plants
  • Heredity and gene expression
  • Recombinant DNA technology, biotechnology and genomics
  • The process of evolution
  • The tree of life

Fungal and Protist Diversity

  • Taxonomy, nomenclature and classification
  • Diversity of fungi
  • Diversity of protists

 Plant Diversity

  • Diversity of non-vascular plants (bryophytes)
  • Diversity of seedless vascular plants
  • Diversity of gymnosperms
  • Diversity of angiosperms
  • Evolution of the fruit and flower
  • The coevolution of plants and their pollinators

The Structure and Development of Angiosperms

  • Early development of the plant body
  • Cells and tissues of the plant body
  • Structure and development of the root
  • Structure and development of the shoot
  • Secondary growth in stems

Plant Physiology

  • Hormones and the regulation of plant development
  • External factors and plant growth
  • Plant nutrition and soils

Plant Ecology and Medicinal Plants

  • Remedial plants: inflammation and central nervous system
  • Psychoactive plants
  • Ecosystem energetics, nutrient and material cycling
  • Communities and ecosystems, global ecology and biomes
Learning Outcomes
  1. To examine the evolutionary origins of plants and the impacts humans have had on plant evolution and diversity.
  2. To describe the composition, structure and function of the plant cell.
  3. To explore the physiological processes of plants and their relationships to plant anatomy and structure.
  4. To study the genetics, systematics, and evolution of plants.
  5. To appreciate the diversity in form and function of the fungi, protists, and the major lineages of land plants.
  6. To understand the development and structure of the angiosperm plant body.
  7. To gain an understanding of the impacts plants have on humans.
  8. To explore the ecology of plant communities, ecosystems and biomes.
Means of Assessment
Lab Practical & Examination 15-30%
Class and Term Assignments 15-25%
Midterm Examination 20-30%
Final Theory Examination 30-40%
Total 100%


Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students:

Peter H. Raven, Ray F. Evert and Susan E. Eichhorn.  Biology of Plants, Current Edition.  W.H. Freeman and Company, NY.

or other appropriate textbook chosen by the instructor.


BIOL 1110 and BIOL 1210 with C- or better or BIOL 1310 with C- or better or permission of instructor