AGRI06004 2019 Plant Science

General Details

Full Title
Plant Science
Transcript Title
Plant Science
75 %
Subject Area
AGRI - Agriculture
ESCI - Environmental Science
06 - NFQ Level 6
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Frances Lucy, Guy Marsden, Noel Connaughton, Ana Vale, Dolores Byrne
Programme Membership
SG_SAGRI_B07 201900 Bachelor of Science in Science in Agri-Food Science SG_SSUST_C06 201900 Higher Certificate in Science in Sustainable Food Production SG_SAGRI_H08 201900 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Science in Agri-Food Science SG_SAGRI_H08 202000 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Science in Agri-Food Science

This module describes how plants grow and reproduce and how they provide a source of food for animals and man. It describes the structures of plants that provide for growth, photosynthesis and reproduction. It explains the factors that affect plant growth in terms of environmental conditions and how plants are affected by disease caused by fungi and viruses. It describes the classification and features of plants of agricultural importance including weeds.


Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Explain how plants (including higher and lower plants, fungi and algae) are classified and the main families of plants of agricultural importance including weeds.


Compare the morphological differences between monocot and dicots and give examples of plants belonging to each group


Outline plant cellular structure and functions 


Explain the mechanisms and factors affecting plant growth and processes, such as plant hormones, photosynthesis, respiration, water and nutrient uptake, transpiration and disease.


Explain the process of plant propagation, pollination and fertilisation, seed dispersal and seed germination.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module will be delivered full-time.This will include lectures and laboratory practicals augmented by independent learning and directed learning. This approach is expected to address student learning needs. Moodle will be used as a repository of educational resources and as a means of assessment (e.g. quizzes, uploading assignments and journals).

Module Assessment Strategies

The students will be assessed by 100% continuous assessment (50% theory and 50% practical). Theory assessment includes short answer questions, MCQs and assignments. Practicals will be assessed by laboratory reports, maintenance of a laboratory notebook and MCQ's/short answer questions.

Repeat Assessments

Repeat Continuous Assessment and/or Final Exam.

Indicative Syllabus

Theory - may change at the discretion of the lecturer to meet the learning outcomes

  1. Composition of plant cells and function of plant organelles

  2. Cellular anatomy of roots, vascular tissues, leaves, flowers and seeds

  3. Modifications of root and stems in terms of vegetative propagation and storage of reserve food material

  4. Plant growth stages of grasses

  5. cereals, root crop, vegetable and fruit

  6. Sexual reproduction, pollination, fruit and seed development, seed dispersal and germination

  7. Differences between annual, biennial and perennial plants

  8. Plant biochemistry, carbohydrates, hexoses and pentoses, mono-, di- and polysaccharides. Nucleic acids and protein synthesis

  9. Metabolic pathways in relation to respiration and photosynthesis (C3 and C4 carbon fixation)

  10. Environmental factors affecting plant growth

  11. Transport of water, nutrient and pesticides in plants by osmosis, active transport, transpiration and translocation

  12. Classification of plants (algae, mosses, liverworts, horsetails, and ferns), conifer and angiosperms, differences between monocots and dicots

  13. Use of keys for identifying plants. Features of plant families of agricultural significance

  14. Role of plant breeding/genetics in producing new varieties to enhance crop yield, quality, tolerance to environmental factors, and resistance to pests and disease

  15. Role of bacteria and fungi in the biodegradation of organic matter. Carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulphur cycles

Practicals - a selection of the following will be undertaken

Main diagnostic features for for plant, algae and fungi identification - including use of dichotomous keys 

Morphological features of plant families of agricultural significance

Cellular anatomy of roots, vascular tissues, leaves, flowers and seeds

Environmental factors affecting plant growth (e.g. light, temperature, water, pH, oxygen, carbon dioxide and nutrient requirements)

Characteristics of fungi and selected plant pathogens and Kock’s postulates


Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Theory MCQ/short answer questions Continuous Assessment Multiple Choice 30 % OnGoing 1,2,3,4,5
2 Written assignments Continuous Assessment Written Report 20 % Week 6 5
3 Practical reports - lab report and written special topic report Practical Written Report 50 % End of Semester 1,2,3,4

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Not Specified Lecture 2 Weekly 2.00
Laboratory Practical Science Laboratory Practical 2 Weekly 2.00
Independent Learning Not Specified Independent learning 3 Weekly 3.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 4.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
2018-03 Plant Physiology and Development
ISBN 1605357456 ISBN-13 9781605357454

Published by Sinauer Associates, an imprint of Oxford University Press. Throughout its twenty-two year history, the authors of Plant Physiology and Development have continually updated the book to incorporate the latest advances in plant biology and implement pedagogical improvements requested by adopters. This has made Plant Physiology and Development the most authoritative, comprehensive, and widely-used upper-division plant biology textbook.

Recommended Reading
2012-04-30 Functional Biology of Plants Wiley-Blackwell
ISBN 0470699396 ISBN-13 9780470699393

Functional Biology of Plants provides students and researchers with a clearly written, well structured whole plant physiology text. Early in the text, it provides essential information on molecular and cellular processes so that the reader can understand how they are integrated into the development and function of the plant at whole-plant level. Thus, this beautifully illustrated book, presents a modern, applied integration of whole plant and molecular approaches to the study of plants.

It is divided into four parts: Part 1: Genes and Cells, looks at the origins of plants, cell structure, biochemical processes and genes and development. Part 2: The Functioning Plant, describes the structure and function of roots, stems, leaves, flowers and seed and fruit development. Part 3: Interactions and Adaptations, examines environmental and biotic stresses and how plants adapt and acclimatise to these conditions. Part 4: Future Directions, illustrates the great importance of plant research by looking at some well chosen, topical examples such as GM crops, biomass and bio-fuels, loss of plant biodiversity and the question of how to feed the planet.

Throughout the book there are text boxes to illustrate particular aspects of how humans make use of plants, and a comprehensive glossary proves invaluable to those coming to the subject from other areas of life science.

Recommended Reading
2005-01-10 Plant Pathology, Fifth Edition Academic Press
ISBN 0120445654 ISBN-13 9780120445653

This fifth edition of the classic textbook in plant pathology outlines how to recognize, treat, and prevent plant diseases. It provides extensive coverage of abiotic, fungal, viral, bacterial, nematode and other plant diseases and their associated epidemiology. It also covers the genetics of resistance and modern management on plant disease.

Plant Pathology, 5th Edition, is the most comprehensive resource and textbook that professionals, faculty and students can consult for well-organized, essential information. This thoroughly revised edition is 45% larger, covering new discoveries and developments in plant pathology and enhanced by hundreds of new color photographs and illustrations.

* The latest information on molecular techniques and biological control in plant diseases
* Comprehensive in coverage
* Numerous excellent diagrams and photographs
* A large variety of disease examples for instructors to choose for their course

Module Resources

Journal Resources

Including but not limited to:

Plant Science 

Frontiers in Plant Science

Plant Physiology


URL Resources

Teagasc -

Plant diseases (USA) -

Plant diseases (EU) -

General wildflower identification -

Crop Science companies (updated regularly)

Kew Gardens -


Other Resources

Additional resources will be placed on the Moodle course page at the discretion of the lecturer.

Additional Information