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    The key cellular processes that facilitate plant growth and development; how these processes are regulated by the environment; how plants respond to stressful conditions; applications in conventional plant breeding, biotechnology and food production.

    In this paper we investigate, using a combination of laboratories, project based research, lectures and tutorials, the processes and factors that control plant growth and development, and how plants can be manipulated to sustainably satisfy the increasing global demand for crops, food and fuels.

    You will learn the mechanisms that plants use to control their growth and development, and how an understanding of these mechanisms enables more efficient production of crop plants that produce greater yields with fewer resources and a reduced environmental impact.

    You will learn how to culture plant cells and produce artificial seeds, how to extend the postharvest lives of fruit, vegetables and cut flowers, how plant cells can be used as green chemical factories and how to produce super-plants that can cope with the stresses associated with climate change.

    About this paper

    Paper title Plant Functional Biology and Biotechnology
    Subject Botany
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,173.30
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    One of BIOL 112, BIOL 113, BIOL 123, BTNY 111, CELS 191, ECOL 111, HUBS 191, HUBS 192, PTWY 131, PTWY 132 and 18 further points from Science Schedule C
    BTNY 221
    Schedule C
    Suitable for undergraduates, graduates and professionals of all disciplines interested in or working with plants or plants-based products.
    Teaching staff

    Convenor: Associate Professor David Burritt

    Lecturer: Associate Professor Paul Guy


    Paper Structure
    • Section I: The Development of Higher Plants: theory and biotechnological applications.
    • Section II: Plant Metabolism: designing better plants and Plant Responses to Stress: coping with climate change.
    Teaching Arrangements
    • 24 lectures
    • 4 laboratory experiments (run over 11 weeks)
    • 1 tutorial (run in lecture time)
    Taiz, L. & Ziegler, E. (2015) Plant Physiology and Development. Sinauer Associates Inc., 6th edition.
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Lifelong learning, Critical thinking.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete this paper will demonstrate in-depth understanding of the central concepts, theories, and current areas of debate.


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Tuesday 12:00-12:50 9-13, 15-22
    Thursday 12:00-12:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-22


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    Attend one stream from
    A1 Monday 14:00-17:50 9-13, 15-22
    A2 Thursday 14:00-17:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-22
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