|03241091||Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences|
|Duration of study: 1 year||Total credits: 135|
The programme consists of compulsory modules and elective modules. Students may register for modules to the maximum of 20 credits presented by another department, which forms part of the elective modules.
The following fields are presented in the BScHons in Plant Science programme:
Apart from the compulsory and elective modules, a project, leading to a research report (60 credits), forms an essential part of the training programme. One seminar (15 credits) must also be written and presented. Field excursions are undertaken.
In addition to the compulsory modules, electives are selected in consultation with the supervisor.
Suitably qualified candidates may also apply for the interdepartmental BScHons in Biotechnology degree (Code 02240392) with a supervisor in the Department of Plant Science.
Please consult Prof P Bloomer, Tel: +27 12 420 3259, for further details.
Renewal of registration
In calculating marks, General Regulation G.12.2 applies.
Apart from the prescribed coursework, a research project is an integral part of the study.
BSc in Plant Science, or a recommendation from the head of the department if the candidate did not major in Plant Science. Preference will be given to applicants with the highest final grade point averages for their preceding degree and qualifying applicants may be subjected to an entrance evaluation examination. Admission is furthermore contingent on the availability of supervisors and/or research projects within the participating departments.
The curriculum for the balance of the credits will be determined by the heads of department of the interdepartmental BScHons (Biotechnology) degree programme (Code 02240392).
Minimum credits: 135
Teaching and planning, execution and documentation of a research project.
Literature study, discussion and oral presentation of a subject related to the main discipline.
Literature study of recent publications in a subject related to one of the elective disciplines.
The regulations of the International Code for Botanical Nomenclature. Principles of nomenclature. History of plant collecting. Type specimens.
Regeneration of plants from seed under natural conditions. Early stages in the life of a plant from ovule to established seedling: seed production; seed predation; seed dispersal; seed germination and dormancy, seed bank dynamics and seedling establishment.
Speciation in flowering plants; plant variation. Sex determination in flowering plants. Reproductive systems in flowering plants.
Plant genome: structure and composition of the plant genome (nuclear, mitochondrial and chloroplast); applications in plant biotechnology: plant tissue culture (microproagation, somatic embryogenesis and cell suspension cultures). Genetic manipulation and gene transfer technology (Agrobacterium-based and other) and DNA-marker technology.
Regulation and interaction of primary plant metabolic pathways on the sub-cellular and whole plant level.
Classification, identification and nomenclature, methodology of a revision study, analysis and presentation of taxonomic information, evolution, phylogeny and cladistics.
Sources of taxonomic information; morphology, anatomy, chemotaxonomy, cytogenetics, reproductive biology, plant geography, palynology, ethnobotany and paleobotany. Importance of different characteristics, methods to obtain information and interpretation of observed patterns in variation.
Creation of genetically modified plants and their impact on modern agriculture.
Metabolism and functions of secondary compounds such as tannins, alkaloids, terpenoids, flavonoids and free amino acids. Importance of secondary compounds in the defence mechanisms of plants. Isolation and identification of medicinal bioactive compounds from plants. Their current scope and potential applications in ethnobotany. Strategies to discover new pharmaceuticals from ethnomedicine.
Principles of identification, classification and nomenclature; identification of plants; family recognition; collection of plant specimens for identification; herbarium as a source of information. Variation in seed plants and breeding systems. Practical work involves an excursion.
Mapping and analysing spatial data. Theory and basic techniques of analysing and manipulating spatial data using geographical information systems. Mapping of vegetation types, species distributions and diversity, species traits. Understanding the spatial drivers of biodiversity patterns. The influence of scale on biodiversity analyses. Relevance for conservation planning for mapping biodiversity risk and prioritsing conservation, especially in a South African context.
Introduction to the principles and realities of working in the field of biotechnology. Discussions on various aspects, including entrepreneurship; intellectual property; patent rights; financial management; grant applications and product marketing. The module will be assessed by way of a simulated grant application for the development of a hypothetical biotechnological venture.
Students are guided through the methodology of research planning and data handling. They are offered hands-on experience in a range of advanced techniques employed in molecular research and analysis.
Applications of plant ecology principles in plant conservation: species-distribution modelling, alien plant invasions, conservation planning, threatened ecosystems, South African environmental legislation. Experimental design and vegetation survey techniques. Discussion of relevant topics in plant ecology. This module includes a compulsory 5-day field component.
Applications of plant ecology principles in plant conservation: species-distribution modelling, alien plant invasions, conservation planning, threatened ecosystems, South African environmental legislation. Discussion of relevant topics in plant ecology.
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