PPH-10806 Structure and Function of Plants


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Practical extensively supervised18
Practical intensively supervised50
Course coordinator(s)dr. D Vreugdenhil
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. HJ Bouwmeester
dr. AAM van Lammeren
dr. D Vreugdenhil
Examiner(s)prof. dr. HJ Bouwmeester
prof. dr. ME Janson

Language of instruction:


Continuation courses:

PCB-10803, EZO-22306, PCB-30306, PPH-30306, PPH-30806, NEM-21306


In this course, the structure, development and physiology of plants is studied at the level of the cells, the tissues and the whole plant. The first focus is on the form and function relationships with respect to the main functions of the plant i.e. photosynthesis, the transport of e.g. water, ions and sugars and the uptake of water and ions from the soil. Next to general principles also the diversity in the plant kingdom gets attention, e.g. differences between monocots and dicots, plants with and without secondary growth, and plants with C3-, C4- or CAM-photosynthesis.
Subsequently, the basal principles of regulation of growth and development by plant hormones and light (photomorphogenesis) will be discussed.
Structural and physiological aspects of the regulation of e.g. seed and bud dormancy and root and shoot growth will be treated, as well as regenerative capacity of cells, tissues and organs to illustrate plant developmental flexibility .
Aims of the course are the creation of a good knowledge of the relationship between structure and function of the various parts of the plant body, including processes that regulate growth and development of plants and their interrelationships and getting experience in the methods used to investigate and analyse the structural and physiological phenomena involved.

Learning outcomes:

After this course the students are able to:
- recognize and describe the various types of differentiated cells and tissues of a plant ;
- recognize patterns of tissue formation resulting from meristem activity;
- explain the relations between structure and function of various parts of the plant body;
- explain the basal mechanisms of the physiological processes, involved in photosynthesis, water-, nutrient- and assimilate- transport and nitrogen assimilation, as well as ecophysiological adaptations of these processes;
- explain, recognize, present and discuss the (theoretical) backgrounds of the processes that regulate growth and development of plants, both from an anatomical/cell biological and a physiological point of view;
- translate the effects of environmental changes on plant growth and development (both regarding structural and physiological aspects) in plant cell biological and physiological processes;
- recognize methods of investigation in cell biological, anatomical and physiological studies - obtain knowledge with regard to plant structure, growth and development by making and interpreting microscopical preparations of plant parts;
- design, carry out, interpret and present (in written and oral reports) experiments in the field of function, growth and development of higher plants, mostly from general prescriptions, extended with some individual set-ups.


The course consists of lectures and practicals. In the practical part physiological experiments will be performed and microscopical plant structure will be studied; this part also includes discussion sessions on the results of the practicals.


The theory will be tested by a computer-exam, in Dutch. Reports about some aspects of the practical work have to be written and will be evaluated.


A textbook, syllabi and a study guide will be used.

Compulsory for: BBIBiologyBSc5MO
BPWPlant SciencesBSc5MO