The Biology of Plants and Fungi
Syllabus for Lecture, Fall 2012
9 to 10 AM M, W, F in Room 50 of the Agriculture Building or by appointment. Please make appointments by e-mail. I will respond to e-mail within 24 hours whenever possible.
Meeting times and places
Lecture meets at 8:00 to 8:50 AM on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in Room 214 of the Classroom Building
Lab sections meet at the times listed below in Room 223 of the Aven Nelson Memorial Building, which is immediately south of the Classroom Building.
LIFE 2023-10: Mondays from 2:10PM to 5:00 PM
LIFE 2023-11: Mondays from 7:00PM to 9:50PM
LIFE 2023-12: Tuesdays from 2:10PM to 5:00PM
LIFE 2023-13: Tuesdays from 7:00PM to 9:50PM
The Biology of Plants by Raven, Evert, and Eichorn, 7th edition, copyright 2005, ISBN 0-7167-1007-2
Supplementary materials for this text are available at http://www.whfreeman.com/Catalog/static/whf/raven/
This course includes required laboratory meetings. A separate laboratory syllabus covers the laboratory part of the course.
LIFE 2023 surveys the biology of non-animal life on Earth and includes topics ranging from molecular and cellular biology to ecology and evolution. The subject matter is vast and LIFE 2023 will necessarily cover only the most important facts and concepts. You must learn the following:
1. How plant cells are constructed and how they work. How they are different from animal cells and how these differences have affected the history and nature of plant life.
2. How plant cells are specialized and organized into the multicellular bodies of flowering plants and how these cells work together to carry out organismal functions.
3. The diversity of non-animal life, from bacteria to mushrooms to redwood trees.
4. The mechanisms of evolution and the evolutionary history of non-animal life.
5. The importance of plants and other non-animal life to human life.
Letter grades will be awarded based on the percentage of 600 total points earned in the course, as shown below. There will be no curving of scores.
Point values of exams and other assignments are as follows:
Lecture exams 1 through 4, 100 points each = 400 points total
(Please note that one half of Exam 4 will be comprehensive)
Short paper on plant or fungal biology topic = 100 points total
(Format will be provided)
12 Lab exercises, 10 points each = 120 points total
2 Lab practical exams, 20 points each = 40 points total
TOTAL POINTS POSSIBLE = 660
Exam questions will be multiple choice, matching, and short essay. Some questions may ask you to diagram a concept, work an equation, predict the outcome of an experiment, or explain the results of an experiment. Some questions may be synthetic, meaning that you will be presented with an unfamiliar situation and asked to analyze it using what you have learned in class. For short answer or essay questions, points will be awarded based on how much of the complete answer you convey clearly. For matching or multiple choice questions, points will be awarded for correct responses and subtracted for incorrect responses.
Exams 1 through 3 will cover lecture material since the previous exam. One half of Exam 4 will be comprehensive.
Short paper on Plant or Fungal Biology topic
Please submit a short paper on a topic of general interest that has a clear plant or fungal biology aspect. For example, the topic could be athlete's foot and the biology aspect could be how new medications affect the fungal pathogen that is the cause of the disease. Length of the paper should be 3 to 5 pages of single-spaced text plus references. Please use the following format:
Title - A short, descriptive phrase that describes the central topic of the paper as clearly and simply as possible.
Introduction - Describe the topic in less than one page. Include a short statement of how and why the topic is of interest with supporting data. For example, you could state that athlete's foot affects 40 million people in the US alone, can lead to more serious diseases in 5% of cases, costs $1 billion annually in lost productivity, and that the market for athlete's foot medication is worth $2 billion annually.
Plant or Fungal Biology - Discuss the plant or fungal biology aspect of your topic. For example, you could describe how the latest medications inhibit the polymerization of chitin in the fungal cell wall by binding to a specific polymerization enzyme that is absent in humans, making the medication relatively non-toxic. You could also describe how the biology of the fungus makes it especially difficult to cure or how forms that are resistant to medications are evolving. As much as possible, discuss biological mechanisms at the level of cells and molecules.
Future Significance - Predict the future significance of your topic. For example, you could describe how athlete's foot could be eradicated within 5 years by newly developed vaccines if production costs for the vaccine can be decreased.
References - Use the Wikipedia format to citing references. Include the digital object identifier (doi) and a link to your source whenever possible.
Please submit your topic for approval to the instructor by e-mail no later than November 9. Submit the paper itself to your lab instructor as a pdf attachment to an e-mail no later than November 30. Your paper will be graded by December 7. You may revise and resubmit your paper for a better grade no later than December 14.
Plagiarism and academic dishonesty
Plagiarism means presenting someone else's writing as your own. This includes copying with slight changes and using direct quotes without quotation marks. Plagiarism is a serious offense because it destroys the learning process. In this class, plagiarism will result in zero points awarded to all participants for the writing assignment in which the plagiarism occurred. Please note that I may use plagiarism detection software to determine if material has been taken from the internet without attribution. The following practices will help you avoid plagiarism.
Cheating on exams or other academic dishonesty will also result in zero points for all parties involved. Academic dishonesty and plagiarism are further defined in University Regulation 6-802.
If you have a physical or learning disability, we encourage you to speak with your lab instructor about appropriate accomodations. In addition, there other resources available to you across campus that may assist you. Contact the University Disability Support Services (UDSS) in Room 3300, Knight Hall and for more information.
Rescheduled exams, rescheduled labs and grades of incomplete
Exams and lab exercises may be rescheduled for individual students if they are in time conflict with an official university function, if the student has three exams on the same day, or in cases of family emergency. Rescheduled exams and lab exercises must be completed within 2 weeks of the regularly scheduled time, if possible.
Grades of incomplete will be awarded at the discretion of the instructor but only under extraordinary circumstances.
Schedule of lecture topics and reading
This schedule is subject to revision. Revisions will be indicated in red text. The recommended readings are pages from the required text and material available on the world wide web.
DATE TOPIC READING