Plant Growth and Development

TPSS 674


Richard Criley, Michael Muszynski, Robert Paull, Kent Kobayashi

Semesters taught:

Fall 2016


Contemporary literature is used as the basis for understanding the physiology for whole plant growth and development. Aspects covered include evolution of plant physiological systems in vegetative and reproductive development, seed dormancy, senescence, abscission, and relevant biochemical and molecular processes.

Expected Outcomes:

Demonstrate fundamental knowledge of biological processes (e.g., life cycles, growth and development, water relations, mineral nutrition, respiration, photosynthesis, reproduction, source-sink relations, dormancy, photoresponses, biotic and abiotic stress responses) and be able to use this knowledge to interpret crop domestication, agronomic practices and the production of quality safe crops.
Speak effectively and write concisely on subject matter within the professional curriculum.
Realize the need for continuing education in the professional discipline through professional societies, short courses, conferences, use of the internet, and reading.
Work effectively in a team situation either as a leader or participant to define problems and identify resources and solutions.

Skills and knowledge to be acquired:

Be able to answer basic questions relating to plant biology from molecules to whole organism as to: How do structures of plants enable life functions? How do plants grow and develop? How do plants obtain and use matter and energy to live and grow? How do plants detect, process, and interpret information from the environment? How does genetic variation among plants affect survival, reproduction and the evolution of plants? How does the environment influence populations of plants over multiple generations?


Integrate crosscutting discipline- and thematic-specific knowledge of basic and applied plant and soil sciences to its application, analysis, and evaluation in the production, management, and improvement of managed and natural ecosystems.


TPSS 470 and MBBE 402, or consent


We will be using the series of lectures available on line from Cell Biology - “Teaching Tools in Plant Biology”:
Students can also refer to the following:
Plants in Action 
On-line text book, Australian and New Zealand Societies of plant sciences, 
Web Site
The Molecular Life of Plants
Russell L. Jones, Helen Ougham, Howard Thomas, Susan Waaland, 2013
Wiley-Blackwell & American Society of Plant Biologists
Plant Physiology
Lincoln Taiz and Eduardo Zeiger,  2015, 6th Edition. Sinauer Associates, Inc.,
Web Site:

Course organization:

The course will be taught in both lecture, discussion and student presentation format. A lecture topic will be provided for each period plus reading materials. For each period, all students will be expected to have read assigned chapters/papers and to be prepared to discuss them cogently.
Readings will be assigned for a number of the periods. Students will be expected to read and analyze the assigned papers, lectures and PowerPoints  and contribute towards the discussion. The discussion will be guided either by one of the professors or by one of the other students so that a general understanding of the topic results. Participation will be graded over the whole course. Missing class or failing to contribute to the discussion will adversely affect the final grade.
The Cell Biology Teaching Tools covers various topics that you can access through Hamilton library - e-journals. Each topic has the following - PowerPoint Slide Presentation (PPT), Slide Handout (PDF), Lecture Notes (PDF) and Teaching Guide (PDF).


A Relative Grading Method is used based upon the mean + SD
Participation in discussions                              15% of grade
Presentations                                                        20% of grade
Term Paper                                                            15% of grade
Mid-Term                                                                25% of grade
Oral final                                                                 25% of grade


Updated - 2016 April 05