Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LISS1036 Genetic Engineering and Genetically Modified Plants

10 creditsClass Size: 25

Module manager: Dr Chris West

Taught: 1 Jul to 31 Aug View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

GPA of 2.8 (US) or equivalent and enrolled at a university’

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

In the next 50 years, we will have to produce more food than we have produced so far in all human history to feed a global population of more than 10 billion. This is against the background of climate change and reduced land for arable cultivation. We also have increasingly limited resources. Phosphate reserves will be depleted in 50-100 years. Current production of nitrogenous fertilisers is heavily dependent on fossil fuels. Plant biotechnology has an important role in meeting these challenges. It can aid in the production of high yielding, stress tolerant, nutrient rich new crop varieties that need fewer inputs. This module will discuss these challenges to global food security and the potential solutions. This will include the role of GM plants. You will develop practical skills in the synthesis of a recombinant DNA and insertion into a plant cell. You will gain first-hand experience of developing a GM plant and you will assess current projects to engineer enhanced crops. You will consider their potential to provide greater food security in the decades to come.


This module will introduce students to molecular biology and genetic engineering of plants, providing a theoretical and practical framework, and placing GM plants in the wider context of sustainable agriculture

Learning outcomes
By the end of the course, students should understand and be able to describe:
1) how to use recombinant DNA technology
2) bacterial cloning
3) plant transformation and analysis
4) the use of GM plants in agriculture.

Skills outcomes
Laboratory skills in recombinant DNA technology, plant transformation and analysis


Current use of GM plants in agriculture and threats to food security
Plant biotechnology and principles of recombinant DNA technology
Cloning in bacteria
Transformation and analysis of plants
Prospects of GM technologies for future crops

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours15.00
Private study hours42.00
Total Contact hours43.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Students will be expected to complete pre-course preparatory work. This will include reading of academic literature and introductory material for working in the teaching laboratories. Online formative MRQs will be deployed to assess understanding and engagement of the cohort, and inform on material to include during taught sessions.
Private study will be used to reinforce learning in formal teaching sessions, and to prepare the practical report and oral presentation which form the summative assessment for the module.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Formative feedback will be provided during practical classes and seminars.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Practical ReportReport based on first practical. Max 5 pages60.00
PresentationGroup presentation40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

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

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 30/06/2021 16:24:23


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019