HORT*3150 Principles and Applications of Plant Propagation

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The following description is for the course offering in Fall 2021 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.

Plant propagation is the art and science of multiplication of plant material involving the application of the principles of plant growth and development and the techniques of mass production. This course will explore biological, commercial, environmental, and social dimensions of plant propagation systems with emphasis on global trends in the plant production industry.

Pre-Requisite(s): AGR*2470 or BOT*2100

Restriction(s): HORT*3230, HORT*3350



Teaching Assistant:

Mohsen Hesami mhesami@uoguelph.ca

Credit Weight:


Course Level:

  • Undergraduate

Academic Department (or campus):

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, you should be able to:

  1. Explain the process and the biological basis of various propagation techniques.

  2. Develop appropriate propagation strategies for a range of plants species based on their biology and existing scientific literature.

  3. Evaluate scientific papers on concepts, technologies, and global perspectives on plant propagation and conservation.

  4. Conduct scientific experiments in plant propagation, collect data, write reports, and present the findings in a seminar format.

  5. Demonstrate proficiency at selected propagation techniques with a range of plant species.


Lecture Content:

Order and topics subject to change

  • Intro to Vegetative Plant Propogation
  • Propogation
  • Environmental control for plant propogatoin
  • Vegetative propogation from specialized structures
  • Leaf Cutting
  • Leaf and stem cuttings
  • Layering
  • Grafting
  • Introduction to grafting
  • Grafting continued
  • Introduction to Plant tissue
  • Intro to Plant tissue culture
  • Plant Tissue Culture
  • Applications of Plant Tissue Culture
  • Applications of Plant Tissue Culture Continued
  • Seed development
  • Seed Development
  • Seed Development continued
  • Seed Conservation
  • Seed Dormancy and Conservation
  • Pollination and Hybrid Seed Production
  • Seed Germination
  • Seed Germination
  • Commercial Seed Production
  • Cryopreservation
  • Case Study 1: Breadfruit
  • Case Study 2: Sugar Maple


Labs & Seminars:

Lab dates are subject to change.

Lab 1: Lab introduction.  Tour greenhouse, tissue culture labs, and cryopreservation facility
Lab 2: Propagation techniques – Stem Cuttings, Division and Leaf Cuttings
Lab 3: Student directed lab 1: Stem cuttings
Lab 4: Propagation techniques – Plant tissue culture and micropropagation
Lab 5: Student directed lab 2: Micropropagation
Lab 6: Propagation techniques - Grafting  & Layering, demo and practice
Lab 7: Student directed lab 3: Grafting
Lab 8: Propagation techniques: Seed viability testing and  propagation
Lab 9: Student directed lab 4: Seed propagation 
Lab 10: Data collection from previous labs
Lab 11: Field Trip: St. William’s Nursery (date could be changed)
Lab 12: Oral Presentations


Seminars may be given by visiting scientists, industry representatives, and other faculty members on special topics related to plant propagation. Student requests will be accommodated whenever possible.

Course Assignments and Tests:

Assignment or Test Contribution to final mark  
Student led lab proposal (Group assignment) 5 %  
Mid-term exam 20%  
Research paper 25%  
Lab reports 10%  
Research paper presentation (Group assignment) 10%  
Final exam 30%  

Final examination:

Please confirm time and date using WebAdvisor. Final Examination regulations are detailed at: Examination Regulations


Course Resources:

Required Texts:

No required text.

Recommended Texts:

Plant Propagation Principles and Practices. 8th Edition (2011).  H.T. Hartmann, D.E. Kester, R.T. Davies and R.L. Jeneve. Prentice-Hall Inc.

Lab Manual:

Instructions for each lab will be provided ahead of each lab session.

Other Resources:

Recommendations will be made in class and labs for specific papers published in Plant Research Journals such as  Hort Science,  In Vitro Cell Dev Biol, Plant Cell Tiss Org Cult, Plant Growth Regulation and others available in the library and on line.



Course Policies:

Grading Policies:

All exams are due on dates indicated unless other arrangements are made ahead of time. 10% mark will be reduced for each day of late submission for assignments. All submissions will be made by email as word files attachment.

Course Policy on Group Work:

All students are expected to contribute to group projects equally.  A common grade will be given to all members of the group for the project.

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

Electronic recording of classes is expressly forbidden without consent of the instructor. 

Other Course Information:

Email Communication

As per university regulations, all students are required to check their e-mail account regularly: e-mail is the official route of communication between the University and its students.

When You Cannot Meet a Course Requirement

When you find yourself unable to meet an in-course requirement because of illness or compassionate reasons please advise the course instructor (or designated person, such as a teaching assistant) in writing, with your name, id#, and e-mail contact. The regulations and procedures for Academic Consideration are detailed in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Drop Date

Courses that are one semester long must be dropped by the end of the fortieth class day; two-semester courses must be dropped by the last day of the add period in the second semester. The regulations and procedures for Dropping Courses are available in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Copies of Out-of-class Assignments

Keep paper and/or other reliable back-up copies of all out-of-class assignments: you may be asked to resubmit work at any time.

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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