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3rd Year - BOT 300

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SEMESTER 1

 

BOT 312:        Plant Anatomy

 

Purpose:            The module will equip the learners with a broader knowledge about anatomy of specialization in the angiosperms. Such knowledge will be vital and important in understanding the other disciplines of Botany.

 

Contents:           Cell wall, classification of meristems, differentiation, unusual (analomous) secondary development, leaf initiation, histogenesis and leaf development, anatomical leaf specialization with respect to photosynthetic C3-, C4- and CAM species, plasmodesmata with respect to structure and function, pathway of translocation.

                          

Instruction:          Lectures: 180 minutes per week over 7 weeks. Practicals: one 3-hour session per week. Students may be required to undertake practical projects.

Credits:               16

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

Prerequisites:     BOT 211 and BOT 221

 

 

BOT 313:        Plant Ecology

 

Purpose:            Will equip students with the knowledge of the extent of human impact on natural cycles, provide an overview of South African vegetation types and their conservation, acquaint them with tools used in ecological economics and their ethical basis, and explore descriptions of primary productivity and plant community patterns in space and time. In addition to the theoretical studies, learners will be required to plan, execute, and present (in written and oral form), a research project dealing with a topic of ecological interest.

Contents:            Human Impacts on natural systems: the carbon cycle and climate change, introduction to resource and environmental economics, environmental ethics.  Plant community ecology:  biodiversity, diversity indices, South African plant diversity, community patterns in space, community patterns in time, patterns in primary productivity.

Instruction:         Lectures: 180 minutes per week over 7 weeks. Practicals: one 3-hour session per week. Students may be required to undertake practical projects.

Credits:               16

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

Prerequisites:     BOT 211 and BOT 221

 

 

SEMESTER 2

 

BOT 322:        Plant Biochemistry

 

Purpose:             To teach students photosynthesis in C3 plants and cellular respiration. Biochemistry of photorespiration and carbon concentrating mechanisms and Crassulacean Acid Metabolism are dealt with in this module. Students will also be familiarized with the basic carbohydrate metabolism, the hexose monophosphate junction and sink-source relation in the cytoplasm and compartmentalization of carbohydrate metabolism, nitrogen fixation: the nitrogen cycle, nitrogenase, and genetics of nitrogen fixation, nitrogen metabolism: uptake of nitrate and its conversion to ammonia; regulation of plant development: role of hormones and their biochemistry, photoperiodism and phytochrome, introduction to biotechnology: tissue and cell culture; recombinant DNA.

 

Contents:           Photosynthesis: carbon reactions, Calvin cycle, photorespiration, CO2-concentrating mechanisms, C4 metabolism, crassulacean acid metabolism, physiological and ecological considerations. Assimilation of nutrients: nitrogen in the environment, nitrate assimilation, ammonia assimilation, biological nitrogen assimilation. Secondary metabolism such as:phenolic compounds and alkaloids.

                          

Instruction:         Lectures: 180 minutes per week over 7 weeks. Practicals: one 3-hour session per week. Students may be required to undertake practical projects.

Credits:               16

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

Prerequisites:      BOT 211 and BOT 221, plus PAC 110 & PAC 121; and a semester mark of at least 40% for BOT 312 and 313.

 

BOT 323:        Plant Systematics

 

Purpose:             Two main objectives: i) to teach basic botanical facts as applied to higher vascular plants and ii) to relate these facts to systematic principles. These will provide an understanding of the naming and hierarchical position of the different groups, which will find important applications in many other fields of study.   Some of these, to name but a few,  include: studies in plant breeding for crop production (including genetic studies);  the naming and classification of medicinal plants and other Ethnobotanical studies; the compilation of desperately needed inventories of ecosystems before they are destroyed by human practices.  In addition to theoretical studies, students will be required to practice techniques of plant collection, identification and preservation.

 

Contents:          Introduction to Systematic Botany, definitions, objectives, the need for names, phases of Systematic Botany, critical problems and opportunities, historical background to classification, a survey of systems developed through the ages, the influence of Darwin's theory of evolution on systematics, plant nomenclature, basis of scientific names, rules of nomenclature, principles of plant taxonomy, sources of taxonomic evidence, higher plant evolution, variation and biosystematics, sources of variation, natural selection, formation of new species, hybridization.

Instruction:         Lectures: 180 minutes per week over 7 weeks. Practicals: one 3-hour session per week. Students may be required to undertake practical projects.

Credits:               16

Assessment:       Continuous assessment through class participation in lectures, through practical work and through at least two theory tests and one practical test.

                            The projects may also be assessed. Summative assessment: one 3-hour theory examination paper.

Prerequisites:      BOT 211 and BOT 221, plus PAC 110 & PAC 121; and a semester mark of at least 40% for BOT 312 and 313.