In this course plant development in the context of their environment is central. You will learn how plant development is regulated and how the incredible flexibility of their development is used by plants to adjust to their highly dynamic environment. You will learn to understand at several levels or organisation how signalling molecules, genes and physiology are interconnected to control developmental plasticity to survive threatening environmental conditions. This course will prepare you both practically and theoretically for scientific research in the domain of plant Science. To this end, the scientific cycle of defining research questions and hypotheses, designing and performing experiments, analysing data and drawing conclusions, is a central aspect of the course.
At the end of the course you should be able to:
- Describe how plants develop and how development is regulated,
- Describe the characteristics of different environmental stresses,
- Describe the mechanisms of the most important developmental adjustments to environmental stress,
- Explain variation between plants for developmental plasticity to stress. In other words, understand why some species are able to adjust and others are not,
- Explain how external stress stimuli are translated at a cellular level into an adjustment of the plant developmental program,
- Describe the most important functions of plant hormones in signal transduction in plant development and developmental plasticity,
- Design, plan, perform and analyse scientific experiments.
- Analysing scientific literature,
- Analysing a complex biological phenomenon using scientific literature,
- Planning and time management,
- Going through the cycle of scientific research,
- Analysing, interpreting and discussing scientific data,
- Formulating a research question,
- Reporting plans and results orally and in writing.
Plant Biology (niveau 1), Plant Physiology (niveau 2)
Plants are continuously challenged by sometimes life-threatening changes in their environment. These can severely impact their development and even kill plants. Interestingly, plants can flexibly adjust their development to deal with these environmental changes. They can for example adjust root anatomy to resist drought, overall root architecture to forage for nutrients, and shoot architecture to escape from shade or submergence. In order to ascertain optimal development, plants have evolved a broad variety of mechanisms of developmental plasticity.
In this course we discuss the following aspects:
You will be learning to combine knowledge from molecular genetics, physiology and ecophysiology to understand plant organismal development and the interaction with the environment. This course combines rather guided elements, such as lectures and practicals, with more independent elements, such as presentation and writing tasks.
- How do plants control their development?
- How do plants sense the important environmental factors light and water?
- How does environmental signalling control plant development?
- Computer data analysis
- Writing assignments
Active participation in practicals and presentation-associated assignments is mandatory. Your final grade will be composed of two exams, practicals and writing assignments. The minimal score for each component is 5.5.
- Lab coat
- Lab journal
- Literature as provided to you during the course