PLNT*6290 Physiological and Developmental Genetics in Plants

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The following description is for the course offering in Fall 2018 and is subject to change. It is provided for information only. The course outline distributed to the class at the beginning of the semester describes the course content and delivery, and defines the methods and criteria to be used in establishing the final grades for the course.

A lecture and discussion course examining classical and molecular genetic investigations to understand the genetic basis and regulation of physiological and developmental processes in plants.


Teaching Assistant:

Credit Weight:


Course Level:

  • Graduate

Academic Department (or campus):

Department of Plant Agriculture



Semester Offering:

  • Fall

Class Schedule and Location:

Please refer to Web Advisor for class schedule and location.

Learning outcomes:

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  1. Critically analyze primary literature in plant genetics at the level required to be an ad hoc anonymous peer reviewer for scientific journals
  2. Determine the logical flow of experiments to answer a scientific question
  3. Determine the optimum methodology when designing experiments
  4. Be aware of the state-of-the-art methodologies currently used in plant research
  5. Understand the molecular basis of fundamental physiological and developmental phenomena in plants

Lecture Content:

Topics to be covered in lectures include:

  • Auxin perception and signaling (development)
  • Nitrogen signaling (nutrition)
  • ABA perception and signaling (abiotic stress)
  • Plant-symbiotic microbe interactions (biotic)
  • Small RNA and epigenetics
  • Flowering pathway
  • Chloroplast retrograde signaling
Labs & Seminars:

Course Assignments and Tests:

Assignment or Test Contribution to Final Grade

Participation - weeks 1-6


Manuscript Review 1


Participation - weeks 7-12


Manuscript Review 2


Additional Notes (if required): Late Penalty 20% per day, except with medical note. 


Final examination:

Course Resources:

Required Texts:


Recommended Texts:


Lab Manual:


Other Resources:

Course materials will be posted in Courselink

Field Trips:


Additional Costs:


Course Policies:

Grading Policies:

A missed class will result in loss of participation except if the student speaks to the instructor in advance with a legitimate reason (e.g. conference) and/or has a medical note. In these situations, extra weight in participation will be assigned to other class sessions.

Course Policy on Group Work:

All written work is an individual effort.  Students are not permitted to collaborate or discuss take-home assignments.

Course Policy regarding use of electronic devices and recording of lectures:

Electronic recording of classes is expressly forbidden without consent of the instructor.  When recordings are permitted they are solely for the use of the authorized student and may not be reproduced, or transmitted to others, without the express written consent of the instructor.

Cell phones and electronic devices (except laptops) are prohibited during class.

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:

Course Evaluation Information

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