PLNT*6800 Special Topics in Plant Science

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A study of selected contemporary topics in plant science. Proposed course descriptions are considered by the Department of Plant Agriculture on an ad hoc basis, and the course is offered according to demand.


Teaching Assistant:

Credit Weight:


Course Level:

  • Graduate

Academic Department (or campus):

Department of Plant Agriculture



Semester Offering:

  • Fall
  • Winter

Class Schedule and Location:

Please consult WebAdvisor.

Meeting will be used to discuss topics - date & time TBA


Learning outcomes:

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to critically analyze and understand significant breakthroughs and advances in selected topics of plant science.
  2. Critically assess scientific journals, papers, review articles, and methodologies used in the selected topics of plant science.
  3. Analyze the potential limitations of methodologies used in plant science and assess the impact of these limitations.
  4. Prepare a formal written assignment, including the correct use of bibliographic citation.
  5. Deliver an informative presentation on a selected topic in plant science.

Lecture Content:

Meetings will be used to discuss topics  (virtual or in-person, date/time TBA).

Selected readings will be assigned.

Labs & Seminars:


Course Assignments and Tests:

1.  Proposed topics for written assignment and informative presentation (5% of final mark) Due: Jan. 24, 2022 @ 4:00 pm

Topic for the written assignment and informative presentation should be briefly described in a paragraph (4-8 sentences). 

2.  Written assignment (55% of final mark) 
A rubric will be developed through discussion between the instructor and student.

  • Draft 1 due Feb. 4, 2022 (15% of final mark)
  • Draft 2 due Mar. 4, 2022 (15% of final mark)
  • Final Draft due Apr. 8, 2022 (25% of final mark)

3. Informative oral presentation on a topic in plant science (30% of final mark)
Date:  TBD  

The presentation will be 30-45 min. in length. A rubric will be provided to the student.

4.  Participation (10% of final mark)

Final examination:

There is no final exam in this course.

Course Resources:

Required Resources


Recommended Resources

There is no required textbook for this course.  The students are expected to use peer-reviewed scientific information for this course.  Some examples of Journals include: Phytopathology, Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology, Molecular Plant Pathology, Plant Biotechnology.  Journals are available on-line through the University of Guelph’s library subscription.  In addition to these resources, students can consult the following for respective background information on cell biology and pathogens:

  • Alberts et al. 2014. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 6th Edition, Garland Science, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. New York, NY, USA.
  • Harveson RM. 2015. The bacterium of many colors. APS Press, St. Paul, MI, USA.
  • Hull R. 2001. Mathews’ Plant Virology. 4th Edition, Academic Press, USA.
  • Kendrick B. 2000. The Fifth Kingdom. 3rd Edition. Focus Publishing. Newbury, MA, USA.
  • Urry et al. 2016. Campbell Biology, 11th Edition, Pearson Publishing, New York, NY, USA.

Course Policies:

Other Course Information:

University Policies

Academic Consideration

When you find yourself unable to meet an in-course requirement because of illness or compassionate reasons, please advise the course instructor in writing, with your name, id#, and e-mail contact. See the academic calendar for information on regulations and procedures for Academic Consideration:

Academic Misconduct

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University of Guelph students have the responsibility of abiding by the University's policy on academic misconduct regardless of their location of study; faculty, staff and students have the responsibility of supporting an environment that discourages misconduct. Students need to remain aware that instructors have access to and the right to use electronic and other means of detection. Please note: Whether or not a student intended to commit academic misconduct is not relevant for a finding of guilt. Hurried or careless submission of assignments does not excuse students from responsibility for verifying the academic integrity of their work before submitting it. Students who are in any doubt as to whether an action on their part could be construed as an academic offence should consult with a faculty member or faculty advisor.

The Academic Misconduct Policy is detailed in the University Calenders:


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For more information, contact CSD at 519-824-4120 ext. 56208 or email or visit the Student Accessibility Services website:

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