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2nd Year - BOT 200

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SEMESTER 1

 

BOT 211:         Evolutionary Survey of the Plant Kingdom

 

Purpose:            The module will educate students as to the overarching theory of the evolutionary origin of the diversity of the major plant divisions, from viruses and bacteria through algae, mosses and  ferns to the seed-bearing plants.  Major themes, such as adaptations to life on land and the origin and development of important structures e.g. the flower, will be systematically developed.

Contents:            Theories on the origin of life; Viruses: structure, mode of life, HIV; Bacteria: structure, growth and ecological significance; Algae: comparative morphology and life cycles of Chlorophyta, Phaeophyta and Rhodophyta and Bacillariophyta, algae as precursors of land plants, ecological significance; Bryophytes: life cycle and reproductive structures; Seedless vascular plants: Psilophyta, Lycophyta, Sphenophyta and Pterophyta, lines of evolution; Seed Plants: Gymnosperms and Angiosperms: origins and development.

Instruction:         Lectures: 180 minutes per week. Practicals: one 3-hour session per week.

Credits:               24

Assessment:       Continuous assessment through class participation in lectures, through practical work and through at least two theory tests and one practical test. Summative assessment: one 3-hour theory examination paper.

Prerequisites:     BOT 112 and BOT 121

 

 

SEMESTER 2

 

BOT 221:         Genetics, Plant Ecology, Taxonomy and Physiology

 

Purpose:             Genetics: to advance the learner's knowledge of elememtary genetics to include the complexities of phenomena such as 'linkages', 'epistasis' and 'pleitrophy'. These concepts will be developed once the core principles of DNA replication, protein synthesis, meiosis and monohybrid and dihybrid crosses have been taught. 

                           Plant Ecology: this part will equip students with the knowledge of the extent of human impact on natural cycles and serve as introductory towards BOT 311.

                          Plant Taxonomy: this will equip students with knowledge of the taxonomy/systematics of higher plants and provide an understanding of the naming and hierarchical position of the different groups, which will find important applications in many other fields of study.   It will form the basis for further study in BOT 321 systematics.

                           Plant Physiology: will serve to impact the knowledge of various physiological processes that take place in higher plants. Will form the foundation towards physiology in BOT 321.

Contents:            Genetics: genetic terminology, nucleic acid and protein structure, meiosis and mitosis, dihybrid crosses, Mendel's laws, polygenic inheritance, epistasis, pleiotrophy, gene interaction, lethal alleles, essential genes, penetrance and expressivity.

                           Plant Ecology:  the carbon cycle and climate change, introduction to resource and environmental economics, environmental ethics. 

                           Plant Taxonomy: introduction to systematic botany, definitions, objectives, the need for names, phases of systematic botany,  critical problems and opportunities, historical background to classification, the influence of Darwin's theory of evolution on systematics, plant nomenclature, basis of scientific names, rules of nomenclature.

                           Plant Physiology: soil composition, formation and types and their importance to plants, micro and macro elements essential for the growth of plants, sources of water to plants, how water is absorbed and transported within plants, transpiration and various factors affecting it, stomata structure and functions, various experiments to determine the rate of transpiration.

Instruction:         Lectures: 180 minutes per week. Practicals: one 3-hour session per week. Practical filed trips where required.

Credits:               24

Assessment:        Continuous assessment through class participation in lectures, through practical work and through at least two theory tests and one practical test. Summative assessment: one 3-hour theory examination paper.

Prerequisites:     BOT 111 and BOT 121, and a semester mark of at least 40% for BOT 211