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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

BLGY3252 Plant Developmental Biology

10 creditsClass Size: 200

Module manager: Professor Brendan Davies

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is not approved as a discovery module


By the end of this module students should appreciate the appropriate experimental approaches to understand development in general and plant development in particular. Students completing this course will see how the combination of modern molecular techniques with classical genetics has produced advances that would have been unimaginable without these methods.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module students should;
- Understand and demonstrate coherent and detailed subject knowledge informed by recent research/scholarship in biology;
- Demonstrate a conceptual understanding which enables the development and sustaining of an argument;
- Describe and comment on particular aspects of recent research;
- Appreciate the uncertainty, ambiguity and limitations of knowledge in developmental biology;
- Make appropriate use of scholarly reviews and primary sources.


Many of us have a rather poor impression of Plant Science, usually acquired from drawing endless cross-sections of different plant tissues in school. This module is Plant Science for the post-genomic age. Assuming no previous knowledge of plant anatomy or development, the module will begin with an introduction to the most successful experimental strategies in the study of development. Concentrating on Arabidopsis, the world's favourite model plant, we will attempt to understand how just 35000 genes can specify the size, shape and vital functions of an organism that lives on sunlight, adjusts its development to fit the local conditions and sustains life on earth. The framework for the course will be based on mechanisms and comparisons will be drawn with animal development. The different mechanisms will be illustrated by experimental evidence, mainly looking at the consequence of mutating key genes involved in developmental processes.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours84.00
Total Contact hours16.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Coursework preparation and revision for exam

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- reading for lectures, participation in NBB discussion forum, revision for exam

Methods of assessment

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 05/08/2019


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