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BIO2202 Plant Physiology

Semester 2, 2021 External
Short Description: Plant Physiology
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Sciences
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 010903 - Botany
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 3 August 2021


Examiner: Keith Pembleton


Pre-requisite: BIO1101

Other requisites

Recommended co-requisite: BIO2103


The aims of this course are to relate the structure of whole plants and their tissues to their known functions and to explore a selection of the major physiological processes which occur during plant growth and development and their interaction with the external environment.


The course is designed to inform a broad spectrum of students in plant science, wine science, biotechnology, ecology and education. The course examines essential processes in the life of plants: water uptake and transpiration; the nutrient requirements of plants; the effects of nutrient deficiencies; the transport of salts, sugars and other biomolecules within the plant; cell growth and development; the roles of plant hormones and the strategies adopted by plants to withstand environmental stresses.

This course contains a highly recommended residential school for both external and on-campus students (non-attendance will mean the student misses both an element for assessment preparation and an element of assessment).


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of how the different tissues and organs enable the plant to function as an integrated system, responsive to the interaction of internal and environmental processes;
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles governing plant cell growth and the role of individual cell growth and development within the organism;
  3. demonstrate an understanding of the effects of major environmental stresses on normal plant functioning and the anatomical and physiological adaptations plants have evolved to tolerate these external factors;
  4. show skills in experimentation with plants in the laboratory and glasshouse;
  5. show improved skills in the written communication of scientific knowledge.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Plant water relationships: water potential and its components, the path of water through the plant, transpiration and water potential. 20.00
2. Plant Nutrition: essential minerals and their function in the plant, mineral deficiencies and availability, solute transport across cell membranes, membrane transport proteins, sugar transport, carbohydrate sources and sinks, the movement of phloem. 30.00
3. Plant Growth and Development: plant cell growth and differentiation, growth and development of vegetative tissues, plant hormones and their action. 30.00
4. Stress and Plant Ecophysiology: leaf surfaces and the role of stomates, adaptations to water stress and water logging, salinity and extremes of temperature. 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Taiz, L, Zeiger, E , Møller, I. M , Murphy, A 2014, Plant Physiology and Development, 6th edn, Sinauer Association, Sunderland, Mass.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Atwell, BJ, Kriedemann, PE & Turnbull, CGN 1999, Plants in action: adaptation in nature, performance in cultivation, MacMillan Education Australia, Victoria.
(Free on-line access for study or research purposes to this content is available at:
Buchanan, BB, Guissem, W & Jones, RL 2015, Biochemistry and molecular biology of plants, 2nd edn, American Society of Plant Physiologists, Rockville, MD.
Hopkins, WG & Huner, NPA 2008, Introduction to plant physiology, 4th edn, John Wiley and Sons, New York.
(ISBN 0 470 24766 5.)
Marschner P. (ed.) 2012, Marschner's Mineral Nutrition of Higher Plants, 3rd edn, Elsevier, London.
((ISBN: 978-0-12-384-905-2.)
Sanita, L & Pawlik-Skowronska, B 2003, Abiotic stresses in plants, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht.
(ISBN 1 4020 1648 4.)

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 62.00
Online Tutorials 26.00
Private Study 53.00
Residential Schools 24.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives Assessed Notes
Online Quiz 24 10 03 Aug 2021 1
Written Assignment 50 15 16 Sep 2021 1,2,3,5 (see note 1)
Practical Reports 50 25 14 Oct 2021 1,2,3,4,5 (see note 2)
Open Examination - Online 120 50 End S2 1,2,3 (see note 3)

  1. Examiner to advise the due date of the written assignment.
  2. This is a multipart assessment item that has multiple parts with separate submission due dates. The examiner will advise the due date of each part. The Residential School is highly recommended as the data collected is used in the completion of Practical reports A and B. The dates of the residential school are available from the Residential School Timetable (
  3. This will be an online exam. Students will be provided further instruction regarding the exam by their course examiner via StudyDesk. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the Alternate Assessment Schedule has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Both external and on-campus students are highly recommended to attend the residential school as the residential school is linked to an assessment or an element of assessment preparation. It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as the Residential School and tutorials (on-campus students)) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete the assignment satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for the assignment. To complete the examination satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for the examination. To complete the practical component satisfactorily, students must submit all practical reports and obtain at least 50% of the marks available.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle), and have satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), i.e. the end of semester examination by achieving at least 40% of the weighted marks available for that assessment item.

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items and has passed the Primary Hurdle but failed to satisfy the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), or has satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised) but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    An Online Examination is one in which candidates may have access to any printed, written, or online material as well as a calculator.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Deferred and Supplementary examinations will be held in accordance with the Assessment Procedure

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Attendance at the residential school is Highly Recommended for external and on-campus students (non-attendance will mean the student misses both an element for assessment preparation and an element of assessment).

Other requirements

  1. In order to attend laboratory classes, students must provide and wear appropriate personal protective equipment. This shall include a laboratory coat, closed in shoes, and safety glasses. Such equipment must be approved by supervising staff. Failure to provide and wear the appropriate safety equipment will result in students being excluded from classes.

Date printed 3 August 2021