Principles of Plant Physiology (B-3402)

Course outline

Lab Demonstrator: Amrita Ghosh

Class Objectives:To gain a comprehensive view of major physiological and biochemical processes in plants, and how they are influenced by environmental factors.

Lecture outline

Photosynthesis and respiration

The capture of light energy and its conversion into organic compounds

Photosynthetic electron transport

The Calvin cycle


Photosynthetic efficiency: C3 and C4 plants

Respiration: mechanisms and function

Factors affecting respiration

Leaf anatomy and light absorption

Canopy architecture and light penetration

Resistance to carbon dioxide in leaves and canopies

Photosynthetic responses to carbon dioxide: the greenhouse effect

Water balance of plants

Properties of water

Water, osmotic and pressure potentials

Soil-plant-air continuum


Mineral nutrition

Essential nutrients for plant growth

Ion uptake

Soil, roots, and microbes

Nitrogen fixation and its environmental regulation

Phosphorus assimilation and response to fertilizers

Movements of nutrients and assimilate through plants

Membrane transport processes

Source-sink relationships

Seed physiology

Seed structure and composition

Physiology and biochemistry of seed dormancy

Bioenergetics and metabolism of germinating seeds

Degradation and utilization of fat, protein and starch reserves

Embryogenesis and seed development

Development and plant hormones

Cell walls: structure and biogenesis

Stomatal movements

Phytochrome and light control of plant development





Abscisic acid

Physiology of flowering

Stress physiology

Water deficit and drought resistance

Heat, chilling and salinity stresses

Flooding and hypoxic stress

Evaluation scheme:

Lab reports 20%

Presentation and term paper 15%

Midterm 30%

Final exam 35%

Laboratory attendance is mandatory: reports will not be accepted if a person is not in the lab. A medical certificate is necessary if a lab is missed and a lab report still required.

Lab reports must be individual contributions, although lab experiments will be carried out in small groups.

Laboratory reports are due 7 days after the completion of the lab. Lab reports passed after this time will be deducted by 20% per day.

Required textbook:L. Taiz and E. Zeiger, Plant Physiology, Fifth Edition, 2010 (available at the bookstore)


Andrei Igamberdiev

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000