Hbio 206: Plant Physiology module details module Lecturer: J. Makaure Office: Number 32 first floor Phone

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HBIO 206: Plant Physiology
Module Lecturer: J. Makaure Office: Number 32 first floor

Phone: +263 777283181 E-mail: makaurej@msu.ac.zw

Semester: 1 Credits: 4
Office hours: Monday-Friday (0800-1645hrs) (or by appointment)

If you have a problem with specific academic material, such as lecture content, and you can’t solve it for yourself, please feel free to speak to me at the end of a lecture or come to see me during my office hours.

The module focuses on functions and life processes of plants. The main objective is to gain an understanding of some of the processes important to the normal functioning of plants. Although most of these processes are common to algae, fungi, and non-vascular plants (e.g. photosynthesis and mineral nutrition), the physiology of the flowering plants (angiosperms) will be emphasised. By the end of the module students should have a good idea, at least generally, of how plants work.

  • The scope of plant physiology, branches of plant physiology

The architecture of plants

  • Cells, tissues and organs

Plant nutrition

  • Mineral nutrition in plants, Functions of macronutrients and micronutrients,

  • Nutrient deficiency symptoms and solution cultures

The Ecophysiology of photosynthesis

  • Structure and organisation of photosynthetic apparatus, Photosynthetic pigments, Absorption of light, Structure and mechanism of the photosynthetic electron transport chain, Photosynthetic photophosphorylation.

  • Regulation of photosynthetic machinery, Mechanism and regulation of the CO2 fixation and reduction, C3, C4 and CAM cycles, Photorespiration, Influence of environmental factors on photosynthesis.

Plant-Environment interaction

  • Plant-water relations, water potential, water transport in the xylem, transpiration and stomata control, effect of temperature on plant development and distribution, plant stress physiology, plant stress, signal transduction in plants.

Plant growth and development

  • Morphogenesis and differentiation of plant organs, intercellular regulation of plant growth and development, transport and physiological function of plant hormones- auxins, gibberellins, cytokinins, abscissic acid, and ethylene.

Internal and external stimuli

  • Mechanism of plant motions- gravitropism, phototaxis, chemotaxis, physiology and regulation of germination, physiology of flower and fruit development, physiology of dormancy



% of formal assessment

Submission deadline




Essays, tests and presentations


Final examination


19 May – 6 June 2014

A course assessment practical (CAP) mark will be drawn from three practicals. Attendance to all practicals is COMPULSORY whether the practical is assessed or not. Practical reports in the usual scientific format will be required for all assessed practicals.
Students are expected to take all assignments, tests and presentations seriously. Essays should be thoroughly researched using both paper and electronic sources available in the university library. Students are advised to submit individual work as plagiarism either from other students or from published sources will attract heavy penalties in line with the University’s strict code of practice. Where group presentations are done, all members of the group are to participate and contribute ideas before and during the presentation.






206Lab 7Practical


206Lab 7Lecture


206Lab 6 PRLecture

Students are expected to attempt ALL of the following questions
1. Write an essay on macronutrient functions and deficiency symptoms (Due- 14/03/14).

2. Comment on the role and physiological function of phytohormones in plant growth

and development (Due- 04/04/14).

3. Discuss the influence of environmental factors on the rate of photosynthesis (Due- 21/04/14).

  • Essays should be scientific (rather than journalistic or conversational) in nature. Please restrict yourself to a maximum of 2000 words (excluding references and figures), 11/2 spacing, font size 12 and font type – Arial. Essays will be marked for the quality of English and presentation, correct referencing of source material as well as scientific content. All written assignments must be submitted by 1200hrs on the due date. Under no circumstances will deliberate late submission of assignments be tolerated.

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