Unit Code: AGR503
Unit Title: Introduction to Plant Biology
The unit introduces students on plant biology and covers various areas of plant classification, the use of the binominal system for plant identification and naming different cell types, including eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells, and the basic plant life cycles. Plant cell structure and cell division will be examined, focusing on the processes of mitosis as compared to meiosis, and their roles in growth and heredity. Students will learn about intercellular and intracellular transport of water, nutrients and gasses through mass flow (bulk flow), osmosis and diffusion. Major plant hormones will be studied regulating growth and development of plants. Plant hormones will be examined with the emphasis in the reactions of plants to environmental factors (e.g. tropism). Students will observe field trials using synthetic and commercially made chemicals to induce and initiate plant cell growth. Photosynthesis, respiration, water and nutrient uptake will be examined, with an emphasis on the acquisition mechanisms and deficiency symptoms. Plant defences to diseases and pests will also be briefly introduced. Plant genetics and hereditary will also be introduced in this unit to prepare first-year diploma students for the AGR807 course unit on Plant Genetics and Breeding.