Plant biochemistry is the study of the biochemistry of autotrophic organisms such as photosynthesis and other plant specific biochemical processes. Fundamental processes such as photosynthesis, respiration, plant nutrition, plant hormone functions, tropisms, nastic movements, photoperiodism, photomorphogenesis, circadian rhythms, environmental stress physiology, seed germination, dormancy and stomata function and transpiration, both part of plant water relations, are studied.
This course is very similar to Biochemistry (Animals) but with an emphasis on plants. There is no need to take both.
Note: Some secondary school chemistry will be helpful but not essential.
There are 9 lessons in this course:
- Lipids and proteins
- Nitrogen and the nitrogen cycle
- Photosynthesis and respiration
- Assimilation and transpiration
- Acidity and alkalinity
- Chemical analysis
- Biochemical applications
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
- Identify characteristics of common chemical compounds important in plant biochemistry.
- Explain the characteristics of major biochemical groups including; carbohydrates, lipids and proteins.
- Explain the characteristics of chemicals which control biological processes, including enzymes and hormones.
- Identify the role of nitrogen in plant biological processes, including the nitrogen cycle.
- Identify the role of photosynthesis in biological systems.
- Explain the role of respiration in plants.
- Explain characteristics of assimilation and transpiration in plants.
- Explain the effect of acidity and alkalinity on biochemical systems.
- Develop simple chemical analysis skills relevant to testing plants and soils.
- Identify applications and uses for biochemical processes and products.