PLANT SC 2510WT - Foundations in Plant Science II

Waite Campus - Semester 1 - 2024

This course provides an introduction to the structure and function of plants with a specific focus on plants of agricultural and horticultural importance, but may also include native species when appropriate. Attention will be given to how plants respond and adapt to their environment and the consequences of these interactions to productivity and quality. The link between an understanding of plant science and the management of plants will be highlighted.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PLANT SC 2510WT
    Course Foundations in Plant Science II
    Coordinating Unit Agricultural Science
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s Waite Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 6 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites BIOLOGY 1101, BIOLOGY 1101ND, BIOLOGY 1202, BIOLOGY 1401 or BIOLOGY 1001
    Course Description This course provides an introduction to the structure and function of plants with a specific focus on plants of agricultural and horticultural importance, but may also include native species when appropriate. Attention will be given to how plants respond and adapt to their environment and the consequences of these interactions to productivity and quality. The link between an understanding of plant science and the management of plants will be highlighted.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Beth Loveys

    Lecturing and Support Staff

    Prof. Amanda Able
    Location: Room GN12, Waite Building
    Telephone: 8313 7245

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Describe the photosynthetic pathway and explain the role of environmental controls on photosynthetic rates
    2 Discuss the factors that determine water use efficiency
    3 Explain how plants acquire, transport, and use mineral nutrients
    4 Describe the life cycle of plants, important environmental and hormonal controls of growth and development
    5 Identify the basic anatomy of plants as it relates to the physiology
    6 Explain the physiological responses to mycorrhizal infection and rhizobium symbiosis
    7 Design and manage experimentation, develop and test an hypothesis and to analyse and present the data clearly
    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)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

    Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    There is no single textbook that is used for the course but the ones listed below are useful reference books:

    Taiz L, Zeiger E (2010) Plant physiology. (Sinauer Associates Inc.: Sunderland, Massachusetts).  [additional on-line material is found at]

    Atwell B Kriedemann P, Turnbull C (1999) Plant in Action: Adaptation in Nature; Performance in Cultivation (MacMillan Education Australia: Melbourne) [available online at:

    Lambers H, Pons TL, Chapin FS (2008). Plant Physiological Ecology (Springer: New York) [available as an e-book through the library catalogue]

    Marschner H (1995) (2nd edition) Mineral nutrition of plants. Academic Press; London.

    A useful website on abiotic stress (salt, drought, heat, frost, mineral nutrient stress) is:  Plant stress:

    You may also find the following website useful for preliminary information on some aspects of plant science:

    Communication and report writing

    Cargill M and Bellotti M (2004) Written Communication in the Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, The University of Adelaide.

    Online Learning
    Foundations in Plant Sciences uses MyUni as the primary route of commumication with students. Announcements will be posted to alert students of any changes to course timetable and information about assessment items. TURNITIN is also used for the submission of assignments.

    Online tests within MyUni are also used to assess students knowledge after practical classes.

    Articulate Storyline activities are used for pre-practical engagement. These can be accessed via the My Uni course.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course is delivered using lectures, practials and tutorials.

    Lectures: 2 hours per week

    Practicals: 2 hours per week

    Tutorials: 2 hours per week

    The students will undertake an independent group research project guided by an academic mentor. Both tutorial and practical time slots are used for the project

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The contact time for Foundations in Plant Science is 6 hours per week. It is expected that a student will spend a further 6 hours outside of this contact time preparing for the next weeks classes, revising the previous weeks material and preparing reports for assessment.
    Learning Activities Summary
    The course is made up of lectures, tutorials (face-to-face and online), practicals and a small group discovery experience in the form of a research project.

    Tutorials prepare students for project work and develop research skills.

    The four set practicals through the semester give students the opportunity to learn new laboratory skills and gain exposure to the types of measurements commonly performed in plant science research. The skills learnt in the set practicals can then be used by the students in their research projects.

    Students gain experience in presenting their work in the form of reports, laboratory note books and oral presentation.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Learning Outcome
    Practical report Formative and Summative

    week 8

    15% 3
    Practical exams Formative and Summative throughout semester 15% 1,2,3
    Group research project Formative and Summative throughout semester 25% 7
    Final examination Summative 45% 1-7
    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.

    Practical reports will be submitted via Turnitin through MyUni.
    Course Grading

    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.

  • Student Feedback

    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 ( 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.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    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.

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