This course examines the physiological basis of crop yield determination, with emphasis on phenomena that express themselves at the whole canopy (rather than single plant) level of organization. It covers canopy scale measurements of crop growth, development, and solar radiation capture; photosynthesis, beginning at the level of biochemistry and working up to the whole canopy scale; how photoassimilates are used in the processes of respiration, growth and yield formation; and crop - environment interactions, including water stress, nutrient uptake and utilization, and light quality effects on photomorphogenesis.
This course examines the anatomical, physiological and biochemical traits that have evolved in plants emphasizing the mechanisms of energy capture, nutrient concentration, compartmentalization and signal transduction that allow plants to dominate the landscape. Using examples from crop and horticultural plants the course will emphasize how evolutionary adaptations and life strategies of plants are utilized in managed systems to optimize the usefulness of plants to humans in field and controlled environment production systems. Case studies and labs will emphasize skills needed to measure physiological responses and problem solve.
This course examines and discusses the principles, protocols and utilization of plant cell tissue culture systems. In vitro propagation and regeneration, mutagenesis and selection, secondary metabolite elicitation and cell transformation techniques including protoplast fusion, direct DNA uptake and plant bacterial co-cultivation will be emphasized.
This course examines molecular and cellular aspects of the interaction between plants and microorganisms such as mycorrhizae, pathogenic fungi, Agrobacterium, pathogenic bacteria, and plant viruses. Topics include microbial virulence, signaling, gene expression, and disease resistance in plants.
This course explores current concepts and approaches to managing plant pathogens and diseases in crops and natural plant communities by measures that have minimal impact on the environment. Topics include naturally-occurring biological control such as suppressive soils and induced host resistance, use of microbial agents and their modes of action, transgenic disease resistance, use of organic soil amendments and mulches to promote microbial diversity and suppress pathogens, and effects of sanitation, crop sequences, tillage, flooding, soil solarization and other cultural practices on microbial communities, including pathogens and on disease epidemics.
This course examines the molecular and cellular processes that underlie cellular differentiation and organ formation in plants. The roles of homeotic genes, gene regulation, cell polarity, morphogens and environmental effects in development will be discussed. Subjects will be introduced by a lecture and examined in detail in discussions of pertinent research papers.
This course covers the essential biology and biochemistry of cannabis (Cannabis sativa), as well as the science and technologies of propagation, cultivation, harvest and postharvest the plant, and the potential environmental impacts and related remediation technologies. It will also discuss the history of cultivation and uses of cannabis, and current legislation of cannabis production and consumption in different cultures/countries. Students will learn through lectures (including guest lectures), hands-on laboratory practices, site visits, literature research, presentations, and group discussions.
This course analyzes the environmental pollution effects on physiological and ecological processes of plants, in both managed and unmanaged ecosystems. Pollutants under study include contaminants of air (such as ozone, sulphur dioxide, NOx ) and soil (such as metals). This course also covers how to use plants to improve air (both indoor and outdoor), water and soil environment. The format includes both lecture and presentation/discussion of current and historical peer-reviewed literature.
This course provides an examination and discussion of the principles, protocols and applications of molecular biology and transformation technology to the genetic improvements of plants.