Experimental Plant Science

Course content

The course offers the opportunity to gain experience in conducting experimental work with the aim of achieving advanced as well as practical insight in plant science. Previous acquired knowledge and skills will form the basis for the experimental work. The experiments cover a range of established methods, state-of-the art and cutting edge technologies used to study plants, their development and function. The course is placed at the beginning of the MSc education programme and runs over two blocks to allow studying the processes involved in growth and development of plants also over longer time periods.

The main focus is on how to apply acquired knowledge in an experimental setup; this comprises knowledge gained in earlier courses which will be combined with research topics in current plant science. The conducted experiments are research based and will include an array of tools and methodologies useful to analyse and examine plants in different settings and with different aims.

The aim of the course is to give students in depth knowledge and understanding of key physiological and molecular function of plants and plant organs, from molecular and cellular perspectives to whole plant level. Learning, understanding and practice is obtained by combining knowledge about plants within a number of selected themes with appropriate methods and technologies used to analyse plants and plant products. The methods and technologies acquired in this course are useful in research and plant production; they can be applied in the laboratory, in the field or in ecosystems. The methodology covers a broad range from molecular tools to measurement of physiological processes, growth and development.

The themes are:
• Genetic modification and gene expression
• Leaves, climate and photosynthesis
• Roots, water and nutrients
• Plant development and senescence

Education

MSc Programme in Agriculture

Learning outcome

The aim of the course is to give the students thorough knowledge and skills within modern plant science. The course intends to illustrate established methods and presents novel technologies within plant biology. The students will learn to work with a range of plants, from model plants to plants in a production context an in ecosystems. During the course they will use a number of tools to understand plant functions and to analyse plant growth and development. The students will become familiar with measurement of physiological and molecular processes e.g. photosynthesis, as well as genetic analyses e.g. genetic plant improvement and gene expression studies.

After completion of the course the students should be able to:

Knowledge:
- Describe basic and advanced analytical methods and techniques within plant science.
- Identify methods and approaches which can be used in the analysis of problems within plant science
- Describe methods and technologies used in research and in plant production to solve specific scientific problems
- Describe how to plan and conduct an experiment or research based project, from background and problem statement to interpretation of data and report writing.

Skills:
- Plan and conduct a scientific experiment within plant science
- Analyse, evaluate, discuss and come to a conclusion based on data obtained from own experiments or data and results obtained from others
- Interpret and evaluate the results presented in scientific articles and take a critical and creative standpoint to the presented scientific problems
- Present, analyse and communicate results from conducted experiments and critically set the results in a perspective
- Critically evaluate the limits and possibilities of new methods and technologies in relation to experimental evidence in a scientific context

Competences:
- Work independently and in a group to plan and conduct experiments related to research based problems and questions
- Transfer results and practice from experimental work to knowledge and understanding of scientific subjects
- Critically interpreter data, draw conclusions and present results to various target groups
- Reflect about obtained results and derived knowledge in relation to plant science, usefulness in plant production and relevance for industries and society

The teaching will be a combination of experimental work supplemented with introductory lectures and seminars. The teaching and several experiments are research based. Case studies, seminars and journal clubs, and excursions to e.g. ecosystems, field settings or companies will be included to give a complete and up-to-date picture of plant research. The core of the course will be conducted as a series of experiments, supplemented with theoretical background. Lectures and seminars are based on articles from the scientific literature or may arise from case studies.

Scientific research articles and review papers will be part of the curriculum

Cell biology; Biochemistry; Plant Biology; Soil, Water and Plants
or similar qualifications.

ECTS
15 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination
Description of Examination: Oral exam based on selected course literature, reports and other deliveries and activities during the course.
Aid
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners
Criteria for exam assessment

The assesment will be based on the learning outcome.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Excursions
  • 24
  • Preparation
  • 222
  • Lectures
  • 34
  • Theory exercises
  • 4
  • Practical exercises
  • 102
  • Colloquia
  • 24
  • Exam
  • 2
  • English
  • 412