Lectures in Plant Biology

I began teaching an introductory plant-biology course in 1985 as a faculty member at Florida State University. Plant biology in this context means filling in the non-animal-related and systems-level physiology gaps left by the four introductory courses. Thus, fungi are surveyed and discussed briefly although these organisms are more closely related to animals than to plants. Prokaryotes are also discussed, but primarily in the context of cyanobacteria and evolution of eukaryotes. On the other hand, ordinary photosynthesis is not reviewed since energy transduction is more or less apportioned to the basic introductory courses. Of course, given the limitation of only 24 or so lecture periods, everything is covered superficially and, certainly, as I caution throughout the notes, I have taken short cuts to paint the best general picture to non-specialists that I can in the time allotted.

I have taught this subject alone at least once a year in various formats (BOT 2013C, BSC 4933, BOT 3150 and, presently, as BOT 3015), although I have been influenced by other instructors, Imre Friedmann and Loran Anderson, particularly in the laboratory that has always been offered as part of the course or as a stand-alone co-requisite, as present. These lectures, therefore, do not comprehensively cover the discipline of plant biology, but focus on selected topics. The lecture topics and powerpoint presentations were last updated in 2006. (The model exams were not and will not be updated.)

A unique value of these notes, I hope, is found in footnotes where I share a human perspective on plants, which in all ways are dear to me.