PLANT SC 7225WT - Foundations of Plant Biotechnology
Waite Campus - Semester 1 - 2015
General Course Information
Course Code PLANT SC 7225WT Course Foundations of Plant Biotechnology Coordinating Unit School of Agriculture, Food and Wine Term Semester 1 Level Postgraduate Coursework Location/s Waite Campus Units 6 Contact Up to 17 hours per week for 6 weeks Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Incompatible PLANT SC 7220WT Restrictions Available to GradCertPHB, GradDipPHB, MHB students only Course Description This course involves teaching sessions that may be attended by both Undergraduate and Postgraduate students.
In this course, students will explore the basic concepts central to understanding how genotype contributes to phenotype in plants. The emphasis will be on how factors at the cellular level contribute to the expression of genotypes and hence to phenotypic variation, and how plant breeding can be used to exploit genetic variation to develop and/or select genotypes that are superior for specific purposes. The course will provide an introduction to plant physiology, molecular biology, basic genetics and plant breeding. Students will learn how to use biotechnology to study genotypic and phenotypic variation with particular reference to the impact of the environment on resource capture, growth, development and reproduction in plants. Case studies for plant breeding strategies, gene expression/regulation and post-translational modification will be provided. The course will also include a description of appropriate biometrical methods needed to design, summarise and analyse experiments and an introduction to the different forms of scientific communication available to present results to different target audiences.
Course Coordinator: Professor Amanda AbleCourse staff include Professor Amanda Able, Dr Chad Habel, Jessica Scott, Dr Olena Kravchuk, Professor Diane Mather and Professor Mike Wilkinson. Guest lecturers who are active researchers in plant biotechnology on the Waite Campus provide case studies.
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.Students will be given details of each session at the start of classes.
Course Learning OutcomesSuccessful students will be able to:
1. explain the basics of the physiological and molecular processes that occur during plant growth and development
2. understand and explain the structure of a gene and the role that genome structure plays in gene expression
3. evaluate the ability of genomes to evolve and the impact on phenotype
4. use basic biotechnological techniques to explore molecular biology of plants
5. use basic biometric and statistical methods to design and analyse experiments
6. communicate effectively using oral and written means for both scientific and non-technical audiences
7. cooperate and work effectively as a member of a team to solve problems.
University Graduate Attributes
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:
University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s) Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-5 The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 5-7 An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 7 Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 6,7 A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 4 A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 6 A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1-7 An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 7
Required ResourcesLab coats and closed-in shoes are required for laboratory work.
Recommended ResourcesThe lecturers use various textbooks as a guide but rely heavily on scientific journals and bioinformatics databases/websites for their lectures. Details will be provided in class. TURNITIN is also used as an educational tool. The DVD ‘Introduction to Molecular Techniques: Theory and Practice’ is also useful (see www.moleculartechniques.com.au).
Online LearningTeaching materials and course documentation will be posted on the MyUni website. MyUni will also be used extensively by academic staff and students through the use of blogs, wikis and online discussion forums.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThis short intensive course combines elements of biometrics and professional development skills with scientific learning by using problem-based learning. Traditional practical and lecture exercises are also used. Full details will be provided at the start of the course.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.A student enrolled in a 6 unit 6 week contact-time course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 48 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).
Learning Activities Summary
Lectures: Plant resource capture; basics of molecular biology techniques
Practicals: Plant anatomy and function
Class Exercises: Concordancing; phenotypic variation in plants; personal learning and leadership styles and groupwork; deconstructing scientific text and argument mapping; finding scientific information
Lectures: Phenotypic variation in plants; plant reproduction and genetic variation; generation of genetic variation; genome structure and roles
Practicals: Biometrics, phenotypic variation in plants
Class Exercises: Deconstructing scientific text; finding scientific information; basic genetic principles in plants
Lectures: Gene structure, gene expression, protein expression and regulation
Practicals: Biometrics; practical project (RNA and protein extraction)
Class Exercises: Writing and critiquing a scientific paper; interpreting figures; presentation of a scientific poster; using endnote; molecular biology techniques
Weeks 4 & 5
CONTACT BREAK except meetings scheduled to provide feedback on critical review drafts.
Practicals: Bioinformatics (introduction to internet resources for use in transcriptomics, designing primers); Practical project (protein quantification); Biometrics
Class Exercises: Effective oral presentation
Lectures: Genome maps; genetic improvement of plants
Practicals: Practical project (RNA quantification, measuring RNA expression and cDNA, measuring protein activity); Biometrics
Lectures: Introduction to regulation and ethics; case studies of plant biotechnology
Class Exercises: Assessment of group oral presentations, How to do an exam and exam revision
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment SummaryAssessment will be by written examination and project work based on group activities, individual projects and practical exercises. The project and practical work will use a problem-based learning approach.
Type of assessment
Percentage of total assessment for grading purposes
Outcomes being assessed
Critical review and experimental design
1, 2, 4
Group powerpoint presentation
Assessment DetailThe critical review will be prepared by the students in conjunction with a number of professional development exercises to develop their work. Formative feedback will be provided prior to the submission of the summative assessment. The on-line submissions and biometrics exercises will be a mixture of open-ended and multiple choice questions which will need to be answered within a certain timeframe. The prac report will use data from the practical project exercises and will require the student to write a short scientific paper style report about their data. They will also need to analyse that data. Students will also work in groups to analyse a given set of plant biotechnology data and then present that data as a group to their class mates. The final exam is a 3 hour summative examination held at the end of the course.
SubmissionSubmission is generally via email to the academic responsible or through TURNITIN.
If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days or more late without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the mark.
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme) Grade Mark Description FNS Fail No Submission F 1-49 Fail P 50-64 Pass C 65-74 Credit D 75-84 Distinction HD 85-100 High Distinction CN Continuing NFE No Formal Examination RP Result Pending
Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.
Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.
Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.
The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.
SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.
- Academic Support with Maths
- Academic Support with writing and speaking skills
- Student Life Counselling Support - Personal counselling for issues affecting study
- International Student Support
- AUU Student Care - Advocacy, confidential counselling, welfare support and advice
- Students with a Disability - Alternative academic arrangements
- Reasonable Adjustments to Teaching & Assessment for Students with a Disability Policy
- LinkedIn Learning
Policies & Guidelines
This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.
- Academic Credit Arrangement Policy
- Academic Honesty Policy
- Academic Progress by Coursework Students Policy
- Assessment for Coursework Programs
- Copyright Compliance Policy
- Coursework Academic Programs Policy
- Elder Conservatorium of Music Noise Management Plan
- Intellectual Property Policy
- IT Acceptable Use and Security Policy
- Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment
- Student Experience of Learning and Teaching Policy
- Student Grievance Resolution Process
Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.
The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.