EFB 427: Plant Developmental Biology

(Shared Resource with EFB 627)

3 credits (2 h lec and 3 h lab per week)

FALL 2005

Instructor: Dr. Danny Fernando E-mail: fernando@esf.edu

461 Illick Hall Tel: 470-6746 Office hours: Tue/Thu 8-10:30 or by appointment


Howell, S.H. 1998. Molecular Genetics of Plant Development. Cambridge University Press, NY.

Course Description and Objectives:

This course is an introduction to Plant Developmental Biology. It offers a dynamic approach to the study of plant structure and development by integrating the advances in Genetics and Molecular Biology. At the end of the course, the students should be able to describe: the internal structures of plant organs, how the organs are formed, the genes involved in organ development, the mechanism behind the transition between vegetative and reproductive development, and the interplay between genes and environment. The students will also gain skills through hands-on experience on techniques such as tissue culture, histology, analysis of transgenic plants, and protein electrophoresis.

Course Requirements:

A. Lecture (60%) B. Laboratory (40%)

1. Exam 1 20% 1. Lab Reports 20%

2. Exam 2 20% 2. Class Participation 10%

3. Exam 3 20% 3. Term Paper 10%

In addition to your text, I will refer to Raven et al. (Biology of Plants, 2005) for background information and use a few journal articles for current topics. A few speakers will be invited to talk on special topics. Student participation during lectures and seminars is strongly encouraged. Topics discussed in the lectures will be emphasized in the exams.

For the laboratory, we will meet regularly as scheduled, but there will be times when we will only have to do a few things, so the lab work will be shorter than the scheduled time. On the other hand, there will be times when you need to continue or have to follow-up lab experiments outside of the regular lab period, which unfortunately cannot be avoided, especially if you really want to get actual experience in all aspects of the lab work.

Read the exercises prior to the laboratory periods to make sure that you understand what you are doing and know the reason why you are doing it. This will not only help you to intelligently interpret and discuss your lab results, but also to appreciate and enjoy the lab work.

Course Schedule and Outline




Week 1

Aug 29 Overview of Plant Developmental Biology 1-18

Aug 31 Model Plant Systems 18-20

Lab 1A Demonstration of Totipotency: Culture of Explants

Lab 2A Paraffin Method: Fixation

Week 2

Sep 05 Labor Day (no lec and lab) ******

Sep 07 Generation of Developmental Mutants 20-23

Week 3

Sep 12 Regulation of Gene Expression Raven et al .197-231

Sep 14 Zygotic and Somatic Embryogenesis 55-59, 75-80

Lab 1B Demonstration of Totipotency: Analysis of Callus Growth

Lab 2B Paraffin Method: Dehydration, Infiltration and Embedding

Week 4

Sep 19 Genes Affecting Embryo Development 59-72

Sep 21 Seedling Development 83-100

Lab 1C Demonstration of Totipotency: Analysis of Callus Growth

Lab 2C Paraffin Method: Sectioning

Week 5

Sep 26 Seedling Development 83-100

Sep 28 First Lecture Exam - Exam 1

Lab 2D Paraffin Method: Sectioning

Week 6

Oct 03 Organization of Shoot Apical Meristems 103-108

Oct 05 Genes Affecting Activities of Meristems 108-117

Lab 2E Paraffin Method: Staining

Lab 1D Submission of First Lab Report

Week 7

Oct 10 Origin of Leaves 136-142

Oct 12 Trichome and Stomate Development 157-166

Lab 2F Paraffin Method: Microscopic Analysis of Sections

Week 8

Oct 17 Transition to Flowering 169-189

Oct 19 ABC Model of Flower Development 192-200

Lab 2G Submission of Second Lab Report

Week 9

Oct 24 Floral Homeotic Genes 200-210

Oct 26 Male Reproductive Development 222-228

Lab 3A Characterization of Genetically Transformed Arabidopsis

Week 10

Oct 31 Mechanism and Importance of Male Sterility 228-232

Nov 02 Second Lecture Exam - Exam 2

Lab 3B Submission of Third Lab Report

Week 11

Nov 07 Female Reproductive Development 232-242

Nov 09 Directionality of Pollen Tube Growth 244-252

Lab 3C Submission of Lab Report

Lab 4A Protein Gel Electrophoresis: Protein Extraction

Week 12

Nov 14 Mate Choice in Plants 252-260

Nov 16 Seed Germination and Dormancy 263-280

Lab 4B Protein Gel Electrophoresis: Running and Staining of Gel

Week 13

Nov 21 Genes Affecting Seed Development 263-280

Nov 23 No Lecture (Thanksgiving Break) *******

Lab 4C Protein Gel Electrophoresis: Gel Documentation and Analysis

Week 14

Nov 28 Development of Primary and Lateral Roots 289-309

Nov 30 Development of Root Hairs 289-309

Lab 4D Submission of Fourth Lab Report

Week 15

Dec 05 Vascular Tissues (Xylem and Phloem) 312-334

Dec 07 Programmed Cell Death 312-334

Dec 09 Submission of Term Paper


December 13, 2005 2:45-4:45 pm (same room) - Exam 3


Graduate TA: Lin Gao (ligao@syr.edu)

Phone: 470-6786

Office: 457 Illick Hall

Consultation hours: By appointment

Undergraduate TAs:

Jonathan Fuller (jdfuller@syr.edu)

Andrew Stergio (aastergi@esf.edu)