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BB40125: Plant reproductive biology

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2013/4
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Biology & Biochemistry
Further information on credits Credits: 6
Further information on unit levels Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Semester 1
Further information on unit assessment Assessment: EX 60%, SM 40%
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
To provide a broad analysis of current understanding and importance of reproductive processes in plants with particular emphasis on developmental processes, underlying molecular mechanisms and evolutionary relationships. Flowering plants (angiosperms) now dominate the world’s flora largely due to highly successful reproductive adaptations such as the advent of a protected seed, complete miniaturisation of the male gametophyte (pollen grain) and acquisition of efficient out breeding mechanisms, such as complex flowers and self-incompatibility systems. The flower provides an excellent example of the development of a complex organ system and will be used to illustrate general developmental principals.

Learning Outcomes:
After taking this course the student should be able to:
* demonstrate an integrated, up-to-date knowledge of the key developmental, cellular and molecular processes in plant sexual and asexual reproduction.
* explain the molecular genetic control of flower development in both unisexual and hermaphrodite individuals.
* explain the significance of reproductive adaptations that have been central to the evolutionary success of plants.
* critically analyse the importance of angiosperm reproduction in human and animal nutrition, both in nature and through agriculture, and in other forms of commercial activity.

Learning and studying T/F/A, Written communication T/F/A, Oral communication T/F/A, Information handling & retrieval T/F/A, Working independently T/F.

Life cycles in both primitive plants and modern plant groups, with emphasis on reproduction. Alternation of generations between the haploid, gametophytic, and diploid, sporophytic, phases. Key reproductive adaptations for success of seed plants including extreme reduction of the gametophytic stage of the lifecycle, evolution of pollen, double fertilization, and the advent of the seed. Evolution of the angiosperm flower and importance of co-evolution with pollinators. Genetic control of flower development. Sex determination. Molecular genetics of pollen-stigma recognition and self-incompatibility systems. Pollen tube guidance mechanisms and fertilization. Seed development and the role of genomic imprinting in endosperm. Apomixis -'seeds without sex'. Plant reproduction in the production of food and other commodities.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

BB40125 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Biology & Biochemistry
  • USBB-AFB02 : BSc (hons) Biochemistry (Full-time) - Year 3
  • USBB-AKB06 : BSc (hons) Biochemistry with Professional Placement (Full-time with Thick Sandwich Placement) - Year 4
  • USBB-AFB03 : BSc (hons) Biology (Full-time) - Year 3
  • USBB-AKB07 : BSc (hons) Biology with Professional Placement (Full-time with Thick Sandwich Placement) - Year 4
  • USBB-AFB05 : BSc (hons) Molecular and Cellular Biology (Full-time) - Year 3
  • USBB-AKB08 : BSc (hons) Molecular and Cellular Biology with Professional Placement (Full-time with Thick Sandwich Placement) - Year 4
  • RSBB-AFM07 : Integrated PhD Postgenomic Biosciences (Biosciences Route) (Full-time) - Year 1
  • RSBB-AFM17 : Integrated PhD Postgenomic Biosciences (Molecular Plant Sciences Route) (Full-time) - Year 1
  • TSBB-AFM03 : MRes Biosciences (Full-time) - Year 1
  • TSBB-AFM17 : MRes Molecular Plant Sciences (Full-time) - Year 1
  • TSBB-AFM06 : MSc Biosciences (Full-time) - Year 1
  • TSBB-AFM07 : MSc Developmental Biology (Full-time) - Year 1
  • TSBB-AFM11 : MSc Molecular Plant Sciences (Full-time) - Year 1

* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2013/4 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2014/15 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2013/14.
* Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.
* Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.