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BB40125: Plant reproductive biology

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2019/0
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Biology & Biochemistry
Further information on credits Credits: 6      [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 120
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 Summary: CW 60%, SM 40%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Seminar (SM 40%)
  • Coursework (CW 60%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
BB40125 Re-assessment Essay (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 (Year 3)
  • USBB-AKB06 : BSc(Hons) Biochemistry with Professional Placement (Year 4)
  • USBB-AFB03 : BSc(Hons) Biology (Year 3)
  • USBB-AKB07 : BSc(Hons) Biology with Professional Placement (Year 4)
  • USBB-AFB05 : BSc(Hons) Molecular and Cellular Biology (Year 3)
  • USBB-AKB08 : BSc(Hons) Molecular and Cellular Biology with Professional Placement (Year 4)
Programmes in Natural Sciences
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Chemistry stream) (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Pharmacology stream) (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Physics stream) (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Biology stream) (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Physics with Biology stream) (Year 4)