397D—Topics in Plant Biology

We have two goals in this course. The first, and most important, is to introduce undergraduate Biology students to some of the many fascinating aspects of Plant Biology, especially as these differ from animal biology. For instance, did you know that plants are moving (on a large scale) all the time? It’s the truth, but in a very different time scale than we animals use. How do plants do that without the benefit of muscles and skeleton? Have you ever thought about how, in the absence of a pumping heart, plants’ circulatory systems work? After all, the water at the top of a tree got there from roots in the ground, but no pump was involved. Plants don’t have an immune system, and yet, they ‘stand and fight’—literally rooted to the spot—taking on all types of pathogens, as well insects and other predators. What strategies do plants use to overcome these attacks? Have you ever wondered about how biotechnology is used in agriculture? We have all heard news stories about GMO’s (genetically modified organisms). What are these and what makes them useful or dangerous? These are the types of topics we will be covering in this course. The second goal for this course is to provide a convenient way for UMass Biology majors to accomplish their plant biology course requirement. The course is open to any student who has successfully (with a C or better) completed the Introductory Biology series Biol 151, 152 & 153.

Fulfills biology core requirement area(s):

Miscellaneous

Fulfills plant requirement for biology majors?

Yes

Fulfills lab requirement for biology majors?

No

Fulfills general education requirement for non-biology majors?

No