Run by School of Natural Sciences
10.000 Credits or 5.000 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Dr Anil Shirsat
Overall aims and purpose
Please note: This module is only available to students on College of Natural Sciences Degree Programmes
This module aims to cover aspects of plant biotechnology from transformation to societal issues to do with genetically modified crops. Agrobacterium biology will be covered in detail, including the construction of Ti plasmid vectors and how these are used in plant transformation. The biology of transgenic tomatoes will be covered in detail as well as some examples of transgenic crops designed to impart health benefits (increased antioxidant content). This module will also cover modern methods of plant breeding including QTL analysis and marker assisted selection with respect to breeding for abiotic stress resistance. The importance of this to sustainable agriculture (particularly with respect to developing world issues) will be explored. Finally, the lecture course will address the current controversy regarding the growth of genetically modified crops. Associated practicals will link in to the lecture series.
This module will cover plant transformation technology in detail, including the development and use of plant transformation vectors based on the Ti plasmid. The development and use of transgenic tomato crops will be studied in detail, and future transgenic crops in the "pipeline" will be examined. Plant biotechnology as applied to modern plant breeding including the use of marker assisted selection and QTL analysis will be studied with respect to abiotic stress resistance. Finally, the controversies which have arisen with respect to transgenic crops will be examined.
C- to C+ Pass - (52-58%). Written answers to examination questions should demonstrate at least a basic knowledge and understanding of the essential facts and key concepts of all the subjects covered in this module
B- to B+ Good (62-68%). Thoroughly competent appreciation of the subject with no major errors or misunderstandings. Presentation of the material in a logical and ordered manner. The answer would usually be expected to show evidence of gleaning information from background reading, although an excellent synthesis of the lecture material could gain marks towards the lower end of this category. No demonstration of great originality.
A- to A* Distinction (74 - 95%) Complete familiarity with the subject, showing confidence in handling pertinent facts and arguments. Demonstration of assimilation and understanding of the material gleaned from a variety of sources including lectures, books, reviews and articles in the scientific literature. Ability to present material with a strong element of originality, individuality and insight and to integrate it into a broad biological context. Conveys a convincing impression of being an authority on the subject.
A knowledge of Agrobacterium and its development as a transformation vector.
Knowledge of how tomatoes can be transformed with respect to altering their ripening characteristics
Knowledge of how tomatoes can be transformed with respect to increasing anthocyanin contents
An understanding of the inheritance of quantitative traits underlying the adaptive responses of crops to abiotic stress.
Understanding how breeding strategies can be targeted to crops and ecosystems including knowledge of examples of marker assisted selection.
Ability to critically assess various plant genetic modification strategies.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
Students will be directed to web based resources and textbooks. All lectures will be available as powerpoint presentations and all lectures will also be recorded via Panopto.
|Practical classes and workshops||
Practical on QTL analysis supervised by Dr. Steele
11 x 1 h lectures (5 from Dr. Steele, 6 from Dr. Shirsat)
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
- Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
- Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in
Subject specific skills
- Engagement with current developments in the biosciences and their application.
- Appreciation of the complexity and diversity of life processes through the study of organisms.
- Engage in debate and/or discussion with specialists and non-specialists using appropriate language.
- Undertake field and/or laboratory studies of living systems.
- Undertake practical work to ensure competence in basic experimental skills.
- Demonstrate awareness of the importance of risk assessment and relevant legislation
Resource implications for students
Pre- and Co-requisite Modules
- BSM-4104: Tech. of Mol Biol & Biotech.
- BSM-4105: Env. & Indust. Biotechnology
- BSM-4101: Marine Biotechnology
Courses including this module
Compulsory in courses:
- C7AA: MSc Molecular Biology with Biotechnology year 1 (MSC/MBB)