- Academic Registry
Programme & Unit Catalogues

BB20030: Plant physiology & biochemistry

[Page last updated: 02 August 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
Owning Department/School: Department of Biology & Biochemistry
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Intermediate (FHEQ level 5)
Semester 1
Assessment Summary: EX 80%, PR 20%
Assessment Detail:
  • Practical (PR 20%)
  • Examination (EX 80%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Requisites: Before taking this module you must take BB10006 OR take BB10264
Learning Outcomes: After taking this course the student should be able to:
* explain how plants (by definition static) are able to utilise light energy for the biosynthesis of important biomolecules, respond to the quality of light in order to maximise energy capture and simultaneously cope with extremes of temperature and water availability.
* explain how plants, through the action of signalling pathways, respond not only to internal developmental cues but also to external stimuli.
* explain why and how plants produce such a vast and diverse array of complex chemical compounds (secondary metabolites) a great many of which are of great importance to humankind.

Aims: To introduce some important aspects of plant metabolism and their role in the functioning of the whole plant.

Skills: Learning and studying T/F/A, Written communication T/F/A, Laboratory skills T/F, Information technology T/F, Information handling & retrieval T/F/A, Working independently T/F.

Content: Utilisation of light energy in photosynthesis; CO2 incorporation; carbohydrate synthesis, storage and breakdown; nitrogen fixation and metabolism; function and metabolism of lipids; plant growth regulators (hormones); plant signal transduction; secondary metabolism, its role in plant defence and biotechnological importance; photomorphogenesis.
Practical sessions provide experience in the use of a variety of techniques for the study of plant processes and will complement topics covered in the lecture course.

Programme availability:

BB20030 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Biology & Biochemistry


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change 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.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.