General Botany

BIOL 1411

Updated January 14, 2011

  • State Approval Code: 2603015103
  • Semester Credit Hours: 4
  • Lecture Hours per Week: 3
  • Lab Hours per Week: 3
  • Contact Hours per Semester: 96

Catalog Description

A general survey of the plant kingdom. Emphasis upon important aspects of cytology, morphology,taxonomy, natural history, life cycles, and ecology. Laboratory
work with representatives of the principle plant groups.(Lab fee)(2603015103)Lecture hours = 3, Lab hours = 1

Course Curriculum

Basic Intellectual Compentencies in the Core Curriculum

  • Critical thinking

Perspectives in the Core Curriculum

  • Recognize the importance of maintaining health and wellness.
  • Develop a capacity to use knowledge of how technology and science affect their lives.
  • Use logical reasoning in problem solving.
  • Integrate knowledge and understand the interrelationships of the scholarly disciplines.

Core Components and Related Exemplary Educational Objectives


  • To recognize the limitations of mathematical and statistical models.

Natural Sciences

  • To understand and apply method and appropriate technology to the study of natural sciences.
  • To recognize scientific and quantitative methods and the differences between these approaches and other methods of inquiry and to communicate findings, analyses, and interpretation both orally and in writing.
  • To identify and recognize the differences among competing scientific theories.
  • To demonstrate knowledge of the major issues and problems facing modern science, including issues that touch upon ethics, values, and public policies.
  • To demonstrate knowledge of the interdependence of science and technology and their influence on, and contribution to, modern culture.

Instructional Goals and Purposes

Panola College's instructional goals include 1) creating an academic atmosphere in which students may develop their intellects and skills and 2) providing courses so students may receive a certificate/an associate degree or transfer to a senior institution that offers baccalaureate degrees.

General Course Objectives

1. To help prepare students who wish to pursue upper division coursework in biology or biology-related fields.
2. To help students develop an appreciation for the history and development of science.
3. To help students become better informed citizens by providing opportunities to learn the differences between science as a way of knowing and other disciplines such as art, philosophy and religion
4. To provide students an opportunity to understand and appreciate the complexity and relationships of living systems.
5. To help students become better informed regarding the role of plants in the environment and the use of plants by humns.
6. To make students aware of changing technologies in science and the responsibilities and ethical decisions that come with the use of various technologies.
7. To help students become better informed regarding environmental issues.

Specific Course Objectives


Unit 1: Importance of Plant Study, the Nature of Life

The History, Development and Importance of Plant Study

  1. list ways in which plants are important to the "fabric of life".
  2. list the ways in which plants currently impact everyday life and how they might do so in the future.
  3. briefly explain what the scientific method is and what hypotheses are.
  4. name and or identify a contribution to the development of botany as a science madeby each of the following: Theophrastus, Hooke, Janssen, Faber of Bamburg, Leeuwenhoek, Malpighi, Grew, van Helmont, Linnaeus, Schleidan, Shen Nung and Aristotle the Stagirite are and what there contribution to plant study involved.
  5. identify the authors of and explain the significance of the Pun-tsao, History of Plants, Causes of Plants, Historia Naturalis, Materia Medica, Doctrine of Signatures, herbals, Species Plantarum, Origin of Species, Flora Antarctica, and Silent Spring.
  6. list the major botanical disciplines and briefly indicate the particular aspect of botanywith which each is concerned.
The Nature of Life
  1. discuss the difficulty in defining life
  2. identify and briefly explain and/or define the characteristics of life
  3. define matter and describe its basic state; describe the characteristics of matter
  4. identify some basic bonds between atoms
  5. explain the significance of valence
  6. define various types of ions
  7. distinguish molecules, compounds, mixtures
  8. describe acids, bases, and salts and briefly explain the meaning of the pH scale
  9. identify the various forms of energy
  10. identify the elements and the proportions in which they are found in cytoplasm
  11. identify the essential elements used as building blocks in plants.
  12. differentiate between micronutrients and macronutrients for plants
  13. identify and describe by form and function the 4 major groups of macromolecules(organic compounds)found in living systems
Unit 2: Water in Plants; Metabolism

Water in Plants
  1.  in simple terms, explain diffusion, osmosis, turgor, imbibition, and active transport
  2. discus the pressure-flow hypothesis and the cohesion-tension theory
  3. know the pathway, movement, and utilization of water in plants
  4. explain the regulation of transpiration
  5. explain how a stoma opens and closes
  6. ist some adaptive modifications of leaves and their surfaces relative to the regulation of transpiration

Metabolism in Plants

  1. contrast the generalized equations of photosynthesis and respiration
  2. describe the significance in photosynthesis of various parts of the visible light spectrum
  3. describe the significance of the various types of chlorophyll and the types of light they absorb and reflect
  4. describe the significance of the carotenoids and phycobilins
  5. explain the events, locations and principal products in the lights and dark reactions of photosynthesis
  6. explain the events, locations and principal products in glycolysis, pyruvic acid conversion, the Krebs cycle, and the electron transport chain of aerobic respiration
  7. distinguish between aerobic respiration and fermentation
  8. identify the events photosynthesis, aerobic respiration and anaerobic respiration in which ATP is created and/or used.
  9. compare assimilation and digestion

Unit 3: Growth, Meiosis and Alternation of Generations


  1. distinguish between growth, differentiation, development
  2. distinguish between enzymes, hormones, and vitamins in form, function, origin
  3. identify the types of plant hormones, and describe the major functions of each
  4. discuss the commercial applications for the various types of plant hormones
  5. compare and contrast the various types of plant movements
  6. explain the forces behind the various types of plant movements
  7. explain photoperiodism and distinguish between short-day, long-day, intermediate day, and day-neutral plants
  8. explain what phytochrome is and how it functions
  9. describe the importance of florigen
  10. discuss the role of temperature in plant growth
  11. explain dormancy and stratification giving examples of each
Meiosis and Alternation of Generations
  1. distinguish between sexual and asexual reproduction
  2. name the phases of meiosis and describe the important events in each
  3. compare and contrast meiosis and mitosis
  4. explain the significance of crossing-over
  5. indicate the points in the alternation of generations where the following occurs: a change from n to 2n; a change from 2n to n; initiation of the gametophyte generation
  6. relate meiosis and alternation of generations to the process of DNA replication
Unit 4: Genetic, Plant Breeding and Propagation
  1. explain Mendel's selection of peas for genetic experiments
  2. explain the significance of Mendel's experiments with peas
  3. define allele, dominance, phenotype, genotype, homozygous, heterozygous, monohybrid cross, dihybrid cross, backcross, linkage, chromosomal mapping, and
  4. the Hardy-Weinberg law
  5. differentiate between genotype and phenotype
  6. list the genotypes of possible gametes produced by parents of a particular genotype
  7. give the phenotypic and genotypic ratios of the first two generations in monohybrid cross and a dihybrid cross
  8. demonstrate the use of Punett squares and the Product Rule (solve simple genetic problems)
  9. explain the different types of gene interactions
  10. describe the kinds of RNA and their respective functions
  11. compare and contrast replication, transcription, translation
  12. compare and contrast the role of DNA and RNA in heredity and protein synthesis
Plant Breeding and Propagation
  1. explain the functions of enzymes involved in the development of recombinant DNA
  2. describe several applications of genetic engineering
  3. explain the roles of hybridization, polyploidy and mutations in traditional plant breeding
  4. explain the positive and negative aspects of the "Green Revolution:
  5. explain tissue culture, mericloning, and related techniques
  6. list some recent developments in plant biotechnology
Unit 5: Evolution
  1. explain how introgressive hybridization may lead to the development of new species
  2. describe the contributions of Charles Darwin and others to theories of organic evolution and the tenets of natural selection
  3. explain the significance of mutation and reproductive isolation to evolution
  4. list reasons, past and present, for the controversy over evolutionary theory
Unit 6: Flowering Plants and Civilization; Ecology; Biomes

Flowering Plants and Civilization
  1. Give reasons for basing scientific evaluation on more than a single sampling.
  2. List the major regions of distribution of cultivated plants and identify several plants from each region
  3. List the characteristics of 10 flowering plant families
  4. Identify which families have flowers with many separate parts and superior ovaries
  5. Identify five useful plants in the Laurel, Rose, Legume, and Spurge Families
  6. Identify medicinal plants in the Poppy and Nightshade Families.
  7. Construct a simple, original key to five flowering plant families.
  1. List at least 10 ways in which humans have disrupted ecosystems.
  2. List the functions of producers, primary consumers, secondary consumers, and decomposers in an ecosystem.
  3. Describe energy flow through an ecosystem.
  4. Describe how nitrogen and carbon are cycled.
  5. Define succession and describe a succession that begins with bare rocks and one that begins with water.
  6. Define ecotype, secondary succession, eutrophication, and climax vegetation.
  7. Describe an environmental problem in your “immediate” area and provide documentation (news articles, government postings, etc) of that problem.
  1. List the major biomes of North America and describe the characteristics and principal living members of each.
  2. Select a biome in North America and locate another biome of the same type on another continent.
Laboratory Objectives
Microscopy and Lab Safety
  1. identify the parts of the compound microscope
  2. describe the function of the parts of the compound microscope
  3. calculate the magnification of various lens combinations
  4. define resolution, field, and depth of field
  5. trace the path of light through the compound microscope
The Cell
  1. distinguish the components of living or preserved cells with a light microscope
  2. compare and contrast prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells
  3. characterize parts of eukaryotic cells according to their structure and function
  4. explain the difference between cyclosis and independent movement of microscopic objects
  1. describe the cell cycle
  2. list the phases of mitosis in sequence
  3. describe the “big events” for each phase of mitosis
  4. explain the significance of mitosis to a living organism
  5. explain the nature, structure or function of spindle fibers, poles, equator, homologues, chromatids, chromatin, DNA, chromosomes, centromeres, kinetochore, cell plate, phragmoplast, root cap, meristematic region (apical meristem), region of elongation.
Meiosis and Alternation of Generations
  1. list in sequence the phases of meiosis and describe the big events in each
  2. demonstrate the phases of meiosis in a concrete model (pipe cleaners, clay)
  3. explain or recognize where gametophyte and sporophyte phases of the life
  4. cycles of plants begin and end.
  5. identify tissues and structures as haploid or diploid
  6. compare meiosis and mitosis
  1. define F1, F2, genotype, phenotype, homozygous, heterozygous,
  2. dominant, recessive, gene, and hybrid
  3. demonstrate the ability to calculate probability
  4. diagram monhybrid and dihybrid crosses
  5. explain the effects of recessive and dominant genes
Water in Plants
  1. explain how water passes through a living plant
  2. explain the role of transpiration in the movement of water
  3. explain the nature of guttation
  4. summarize the process of cellular respiration and the by-products of the process
  1. define photosynthesis
  2. using appropriate form, write a scientific report of the experiment
  3. used to demonstrate the correlation between the presence of starch and photosynthetic activity in a Coleus leaf
  4. list the sequence in which plant pigments separate on chromatography paper
Cell Components and Products
  1. explain/identify tests for the presence of starch, sugar, protein and be able to
  2. use the tests to determine the presence or absence of these substances in unknown solutions
  3. identify a simple test for the presence of fats or oils
  4. identify a simple technique for removing oils from leaves
Diffusion, Growth and Hormones
  1. explain what Brownian movement is and why it occurs
  2. explain diffusion, osmosis, dialysis, and plasmolysis
  3. explain transpiration and turgor movements
  4. explain how auxin and gibberellin affect stem growth
  5. explain what tropisms are and why they occur
  6. explain etiolation
  7. explain the effect of ethylene on leaf abscission
Roots, Tissues
  1. match descriptions and images of plant tissues with the appropriate names and categories
  2. explain the difference between root hairs and lateral roots
  3. identify the locations and functions of root tissues such as epidermis, cortex,
  4. Endodermis, pericycle, phloem, and xylem
  5. identify the various regions of a root
  6. identify the location and composition of Casparian strips
  7. compare dicot and monocot roots
  1. recognize the externally visible parts of a woody twig in winter condition and describe their derivations or functions
  2. in a young alfalfa stem, recognize the locations and describe the functions of epidermis, cortex, primary phloem, primary xylem, and pith
  3. explain the differences and similarities between herbaceous and woody dicot stems
  4. compare dicot and monocot stems
  5. in a woody dicot stem, locate and identify the following: cork, cork cambium, phelloderm, cortex, primary phloem, secondary phloem, vascular cambium, secondary xylem, primary xylem, broad phloem ray, narrow phloem ray, broad xylem ray, narrow xylem ray, fibers, tracheids, vessels, annual ring of xylem, and pith
  1. compare simple and compound leaves
  2. identify the parts of a complete leaf
  3. compare upper epidermis and lower epidermis
  4. identify guard cells, compare them to other cells, and describe their function
  5. locate veins (vascular bundles), palisade mesophyll, spongy mesophyll, stomata
  6. describe the functions of various leaf cells and tissues
  7. compare a pine leaf and a dicot leaf with respect to form and composition of tissues
  8. compare dicot and monocot leaves
Kingdom Survey, Plant Names and Classification
  1. in descending order, list the 7 major taxa developed by Linnaeus
  2. Explain why the following kingdoms might be studied in a beginning botany course: Archaea, Eubacteria, Protoctista, Fungi, Plantae
  3. describe several problems associated with the application of common names to organisms; provide examples with which you are familiar
  4. describe Binomial System of Nomenclature, how it developed and how it is currently used
  5. give several reasons for recognizing more than two kingdoms of living organisms
  6. explain the bases for the 3-domain, 6-kingdom system.
Kingdoms Archaea, Eubacteria, Protoctista
  1. explain the significance of gram positive and gram negative in the identification of bacteria
  2. contrast bacterial cells with those of the Kingdom Protoctista
  3. explain the difference between heterocysts and akinetes
  4. compare Ulothrix, Spirogyra, and Oedogonium with respect to reproduction and chloroplasts
  5. explain how a diatom is constructed and how it moves
  6. identify the parts and structure of a dinoflagellate and of a kelp or other  large seaweed
  7. explain how a slime mold plasmodium moves and the structure of slime mold sporangia
Kingdom Fungi and The Lichens 
  1. describe the sexual life cycle of the black bread mold Rhizopus, and how it reproduces asexually
  2. label the various parts of the reproductive structures of a sac fungus
  3. compare the production of asexual spores in Penicillium with the production of asexual spores in Rhizopus
  4. explain the structure of a lichen
  5. describe the 3 basic forms of lichens
  6. explain how lichens reproduce
Kingdom Plantae: Bryophytes and Ferns
  1. compare the development of gametangia and zygotes of members of the plant kingdom with the development of gametangia and zygotes in members of other kingdoms
  2. compare the form and structure of bryophytes with the form and structure of more complex plants
  3. identify the haploid and diploid phases of a moss life cycle by describing the structures and processes in each phase
  4. identify the haploid and diploid phases of a liverwort life cycle by describing the structures and processes in each phase
  5. compare the asexual and sexual reproduction of thalloid and “leafy” liverworts  that of the mosses
  6. compare the sporophytes of ferns and mosses
  7. label a diagram of a typical fern life cycle or list the stages of the life cycle
  8. explain or recognize the roles played by prothallus and sorus in a fern life cycle
Kingdom Plantae: Gymnosperms
  1. compare the two types of leaves produced by pines
  2. compare pine leaves to those of other conifers
  3. label the life cycle of a pine tree and indicate where meiosis, fusion of gametes, development of an embryo, and sperm production occur
  4. compare the structure and functions of male and female pine cones
  5. identify and describe or recognize the functions of a pine micropyle, integument, pollen chamber, and nucellus
  6. explain or recognize the function of the bladders or wings on pine pollen grains
  7. using preserved or living specimens, distinguish between a pine, a cycad, Ginkgo, Gnetum, Ephedra, and Welwitschia
Kingdom Plantae: Angiosperms (flowering plants— Division Magnoliophyta)
  1. identify the parts of a complete flower and explain or recognize the function of each part
  2. describe the basic variations in ovary position and general structure of flowers
  3. compare compound and simple ovaries
  4. describe or label the life cycle of a flowering plant
  5. explain how an immature ovule becomes a seed
Fruits, Spices, Survival Plants, and Poisonous Plants
  1. distinguish between the various types of fruits
  2. identify at least 2 representatives of each fruit type
  3. identify parts of plants that are used for specific purposes
  4. list several representative survival plants and indicate how they are used
  5. give examples of some toxic plants and how they poison humans
  1. explain succession and describe its various forms
  2. describe the anatomical modifications of hydrophytes and xerophytes
  3. explain what a transect is and how it can be used for analysis of vegetation

General Description of Each Lecture or Discussion

Course content will be taken from the adopted text and lab manual, scientific journals, current popular periodicals, appropriate online sources and pertinent reference literature.

Methods of Instruction/Course Format/Delivery

Instruction for this course will include formal instructor lectures, question/answer sessions, small group discussions, videos and interactive software.


Lecture assessment may include face-to-face and online testing including multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, short answer and short essay questions as well as short reports. Lab assessment may include observations of student work, written and/or oral quizzes, graded exercises and/or reports.

50% from average of Unit Exams (5 or 6 exams)
30% from the Final Exam (comprehensive over all but the last unit)
20% from the Laboratory Average (50% from quizzes, 50% from written or observed activities)

Service Learning: Students are expected to complete a course-related service learning project which they select and have approved by the instructor.  Points will be awarded based on the nature of the project, quality of the effort, the number of hours required by the project and the appropriate completion of the required documentation and reflection paper.  Points will be added to a low unit test score.  Failure to complete the service learning project will result in 10 points being deducted from a unit test score.

Text, Required Readings, Materials, and Supplies

Text: Stern's Introductory Plant Biology 12th Ed.; James Bidlack, Shelley Jansky; 2011;McGraw-Hill Companies
Lab: Stern's Introductory Plant Biology Lab Manual 12th Ed.; James Bidlack; 2011;McGraw-Hill Companies

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