BIOL352-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024

Plant Development and Biotechnology

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 February 2024
End Date: Sunday, 23 June 2024
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 3 March 2024
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 12 May 2024


Biotechnology for industries using plants and plant products. The principles and applications of advanced cell biology, plant tissue culture and genetic engineering. Use of natural products in industry.

In this course, the connections between developmental processes and plant biotechnological applications will be discussed. In the first section of the lecture course, students will be introduced to the basic principles and applications of plant engineering with examples from research and industrial applications. In this respect, public concerns about genetic engineering will be discussed. In the second part of the course, we will focus on plant tissue culture research, the biology of cultured plant cells andconnections with agricultural biotechnology and genetic engineering of plants. In the third section of the lecture course, we will have external researchers from Plant and Food Research to discuss work done on plant pathology and breeding in New Zealand. Besides lectures, students have the opportunity to participate in a plant tissue culture research project and a computer-based tutorial activity gaining first insight into the use of the Geneious software for plant specific cloning. In addition, all students are required to prepare a written scientific report based on a library-based research project.

Goal of the Course
To introduce the principles and applications of plant breeding and plant tissue culture research and to develop an understanding of the biology of cultured plant cells; to introduce the principles of genetic engineering and gene editing of plants and to examine issues associated with its potential use including metabolic engineering and its application to horticulture and agriculture; to examine the role of translocated signals in plants, to investigate aspects of plant cell walls important in biofuel production, and to provide selected skills used in plant biotechnology research.

Learning Outcomes

As a student in this course, I will develop the ability to:
1. Access and utilise the scientific literature on plant biotechnology and genetic engineering/gene editing of plants.
2. Synthesise primary scientific literature to provide background and context for understanding and interpreting experimental data.
3. Connect knowledge of biotechnology and use of New Zealand native plants.
4. Get familiar with molecular cloning concepts and techniques.
5. Have a better understanding of the concepts and associated research progress from selected advanced topics in plant development and their connections to biotechnology.

Transferable Skills Register
As a student in this course, I will develop the following skills:
1. Synthesising information. In many science jobs it is necessary to read the literature on a topic and write a literature review. We will discuss literature searching and the essential elements of a sound literature review.
2. Designing experiments, collecting and analysing data: This is an important skill required for research in governmental and non-governmental organisations. An integral part of the lab sessions is to facilitate the development of these skills.
3. Reporting findings: Clear communication skills are essential for most professional careers. We will discuss the elements of effective presentations of findings from experimental work and library-based research.


Timetable 2024

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 14:00 - 15:00 Meremere 105 Lecture Theatre
19 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 14:00 - 15:00 Rehua 101 Lectorial
19 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
Computer Lab A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 08:00 - 10:00 Ernest Rutherford 464 Computer Lab
29 Apr - 19 May
Lab A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 10:00 - 12:00 West 433
19 Feb - 10 Mar

Timetable Note

It is compulsory to wear a lab coat in the laboratory and can be purchased at the beginning of the year.

To purchase approved safety glasses, lab or coats go to

The collection point for purchases is inside the southern entry to the Ernest Rutherford Building.
Ernest Rutherford, Chemistry Stores, 130A
Note: Covered shoes must be worn in the stores areas.

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

David Leung


Claudia Meisrimler

Guest Lecturer

Dr Grant Smith (Plant and Food Research, Lincoln)

Lab Technician

Reijel Gardiner


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Plant tissue culture literature (library-based research) 30% One 2 page ( max.) written report providing an analysis and discussion of a recently published reserach paper on a topic of plant tissue culture.
Plant tissue culture lab project 26 Apr 2024 15%
Plant engineering literature (library based research) 10 May 2024 40% Short oral presentation / pair of students on a topic of genetic engineering of plants ( or gene editing of plants) AND 1 page Summary of the presentation written individually.
Computer lab on molecular cloning 03 Jun 2024 15%

Textbooks / Resources

No textbook has been recommended to be purchased. However, the textbook used in BIOL254 (Taiz, Zeiger, Møller and Murphy, Plant Physiology and Development, 6th Ed) is a key text for several aspects of the course. In addition, students are advised to study relevant online library resources and selected reading materials recommended by the teachers of the course.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $978.00

International fee $4,988.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see School of Biological Sciences .

All BIOL352 Occurrences

  • BIOL352-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024