Plant Structure and Function - 2017

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 1
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Web Dependent
  • Prerequisites: No
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: SP2 , SP4
  • Availability for 2018: SP2 , SP4
  • Assessment: Invigilated Exam - Theory Examination (50%) , Mid-study period test - Mid Study Period Test (10%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 1,931.00
HECS 1,131.00
International 2,181.00

Examine plant structure and function in this vocationally focused unit. You will review the morphology and anatomy of plants (how they are constructed), and the physiology of plants (how they work, in particular the processes of acquisition of water and ions, photosynthesis, and control of growth and development). Topics include: Morphology and anatomy of stems, roots and leaves; Water relations; Ionic relations; Nutrition; Photosynthesis; Translocation, Plant growth and development: and their relationships to plant ecology.

Please note the dates below for the compulsory requirements for this unit to attend laboratory classes at RMIT University's City Campus in central Melbourne:

2017, Study Period 2:

  • June 26 - 30, 2017 - PM*

2017, Study Period 4:

  • Jan 15 - 19, 2018 - PM*

*More details will be provided at the commencement of the relevant Study Period and available on Blackboard.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. outline and explain the structure of plants, including their tissues and organs, and the functions of each
  2. explain the way in which plants take in water and mineral nutrients, transport them to sites where they are used and metabolise them to allow the plant to survive and grow
  3. explain the role of soil in water and mineral nutrition
  4. explain the process of photosynthesis and the way in which the products are used and translocated by the plant both locally and throughout the plant
  5. explain the mechanisms by which plants regulate growth and development, and the economic applications of this knowledge, including tissue culture
  6. relate the physiology of a plant to its ecology and potential uses in bioremediation
  7. conduct experimental work, analyse the data and draw appropriate conclusions
  8. know and use basic information services available in the library, including computer-based services, eg. catalogues, databases, to find specific information relevant to topics
  9. use computer applications for word-processing (Word), spreadsheet/database/graphics (Excel) and statistics (Minitab) in written reports
  10. write adequate practical reports in standard biological format.
  • Invigilated Exam — Theory Examination (50%)
  • Mid-study period test — Mid Study Period Test (10%)
  • Report — Practical Report (30%)
  • Test — Online Test (10%)
For more information on invigilated exams see Exams and results

There are no prerequisites for this unit.

  • Some on campus attendance — Mandatory Practicals of five half days in Melbourne

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Plant anatomy - cells and tissues
2Plant anatomy - stem and root
3Plant anatomy - leaf
4Water relations - transpiration stream and control
5Water relations - cellular aspects, stress physiology
6Ionic relations - mineral nutrition, fertilisers, N and P cycles, ion uptake/transport
7Photosynthesis - light reactions, C3 plants
8Photosynthesis - C4/CAM plants, ecophysiology
9Phloem translocation
10Plant hormones and control of development 1+2
11Plant hormones and control of development 3+4

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Online materials

  • Online Assessment
  • Quizzes
  • Resources and Links

This unit is an approved elective in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

  • Plant Physiology

    By:Taiz & Zeiger

    ISBN: 9781605352558


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

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