BIOSCI 205 : Plant, Cell and Environment


2020 Semester Two (1205) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Unlike animals, plants cannot move to respond to changes in their environment. Plants have evolved diverse signaling systems and the ability to grow towards their essential resources. Explores the intricate ways plants function, how they are able to respond to developmental and environmental signals at the whole plant and cellular level.

Course Overview

This paper explores the intricate and complex ways that plants function - including how they are able to respond to developmental and environmental signals at the level of the whole plant and also in the cellular and molecular sense. The skills learned prepare students for understanding the challenges plants are facing in a changing world, both for producing crops and conservation.

Despite the diversity in plants you can observe all around you, all plants carry out fundamentally similar processes and are based on the same architectural plan. To have a correct appreciation of how a plant grows and reacts to its environment you will first need to learn more about the structure of the plant and how a single cell divides to give an embryo which will then grow and develop into a mature plant. A plant needs energy to grow; you will discover how it uses solar energy to generate carbohydrates and oxygen from carbon dioxide and how a plant assimilates mineral nutrients. Finally, plants in both natural and agricultural conditions are frequently exposed to environmental stress; you will learn what mechanisms plants have developed to survive to this stresses and how it can impact food production.

A remote version of the course will be provided to students located overseas.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 101, 108

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Describe what the basic structure of a plant apply their knowledge of plant structure to interpret, through microscopy, sections of plant material. (Capability 1 and 2)
  2. Describe how plant hormones affect plant development and apply this knowledge to reprogram plant development in vitro. (Capability 1)
  3. Explain the metabolism that is special to plants. (Capability 1)
  4. Prepare plant extracts, determine enzymatic activity, interpret and present data. (Capability 1, 2 and 4)
  5. Describe how plant adapt their growth to changing environmental conditions and climate change. (Capability 1 and 6)
  6. Analyse and interpret the effect of different stressor on plant transpiration and stomata aperture on which they will write a report. (Capability 2, 4 and 5)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Laboratories 30% Individual Coursework
Test 30% Individual Test
Final Exam 40% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Final Exam

The practical component (Laboratories) and Theory component (Test and Final Exam) must be passed separately.


For more information and to find contact details for the current BIOSCI 205 Tuākana coordinator, please see

Learning Resources

Textbook: Plant physiology and development (2015) Taiz, L., Zeiger, E., Møller, I. M., & Murphy, A. S.

Special Requirements

Attendance at all six laboratories is compulsory. Students who are approved to take this course remotely (only for overseas students) will have alternative arrangements made (contact the course coordinator for access to the remote version).

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 30 hours of lectures, 15 hours of labs, 5 hours of tutorials, 40 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 40 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website at

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page:

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter (


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 07/07/2020 04:36 p.m.