NEM-22306 Plants and Health 1


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work5
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. A Schots
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. IF Kappers
HA Overmars
dr. ir. A Schots
dr. ir. EM van Schothorst
dr. TA van Beek
prof. dr. HJ Bosch
RB Karlova
Examiner(s)dr. ir. A Schots

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety

Assumed knowledge on:

CBI-10306 Cell Biology
GEN-20806 Plant Biotechnology
NEM-10306 Introduction Plant Sciences
PBR-22303 Plant Breeding

ORC-13803 Bioorganic Chemistry for Life Sciences 

Continuation courses:

NEM-31806 Plants and Health 2


Plants play a crucial role in the diet as they provide macronutrients, many essential micronutrients (minerals and vitamins) and phytonutrients (compounds with health effects). This course will focus on the role of plants in relation to health and the possibilities to improve plants in the context of health. The course will start with the basics of food digestion and the role of macro-, micro- and phytonutrients for human health. Subsequently the focus will be on improving the nutritional value of food plants through biofortification. As plants also produce harmful plant compounds, such as toxins and allergens, the possibilities to obtain plants without harmful effects will next be treated. Finally, the focus will be on possibilities to produce small compounds and proteins with health benefits in plants. Throughout the course the applicability of agronomic, plant breeding and biotechnological approaches will be highlighted. Whenever relevant possibilities to improve crop plants in relation to health will be placed in a societal context.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- analyse the effect of different nutrients provided by plants on human health;
- explain how and why plants produce compounds that affect health;
- explain and interpret (metabolic) pathways leading to compounds affecting health;
- practice techniques to analyse the presence and effects of plant compounds on health;
- design basic strategies to improve crop plants in relation to health;


- tutorials (blended learning);
- g
roup assignment;
- p


- written exam (accounts for 55% or 70%);

- participation mark: active participation and assignments during tutorials (15%; when the mark of the written exam is higher than the participation mark the final mark will be based only on the written exam).

- assessment of group assignment (15%); 

- assessment of practicals (15%).

Each component needs a minimum mark of 5.5 to pass.


Will be provided on Brightspace.

Compulsory for: BPWPlant SciencesBScA: Spec. A - Plant Genomics and Health3WD
Compulsory for: WUPBTBSc Minor Plant Biotechnology3WD