Feb 12, 2009

Conservation of Plant Genetic Resources

Ex situ Conservation of Plant Genetic Resources
Instructor: Cecilia McGregor
1119 Plant Sciences Building
Office phone: 542-0782
Email: cmcgre1@uga.edu
Office Hours: tba

Guest lecturer: Dr. Dorset Trapnell (School of Ecology)

HORT 8390 is designed to:
1. improve one’s understanding of the conservation and utilization of plant genetic resources;
2. clarify the role of molecular techniques in analyzing and exploiting diversity;
3. elucidate the use of genetic resources in plant breeding, the pharmaceutical industry and other areas of scientific research;
4. create awareness of the controversies involved in intellectual property rights applied to plant genetic resources.
5. develop one’s communication skills through class discussions;
6. improve one’s ability to critically read and interpret scientific literature.

Class format: This class will meet even years during the spring semester. This is a 3-hour course. The class will consist of lectures and discussions. Discussions will focus on important research papers and topics covered in class.

Attendance policy: Attendance is required. If a student has to miss class, make up work will be assigned by the instructor. Note: In-class participation will make up 10% of your final grade.

Prerequisite: Undergraduate prerequisite: GENE 3000 or equivalent. Instructor will waive prerequisite if student has had reasonable exposure to population genetics in another course.

Course outline: The goal of this course is to give students an understanding of the importance of plant diversity and the ways it is conserved and utilized. This course will focus on ex situ conservation, molecular tools used for analysis of plant diversity and the use of genetic resources in agriculture, conservation and the pharmaceutical industry.

Lecture Topics:
Plant Conservation Genetics: Importance, Options, and Opportunities
Importance of Plants in Life
Role of Genetics
Options and Strategies for Plant Conservation
Opportunities for Application of Plant Conservation Genetics
Overview of Plant Conservation Genetics
Strategies for in Situ Conservation
Impact of Habitat Fragmentation on Plant Populations
Techniques for ex Situ Plant Conservation
Strategies Employed to Collect Plant Genetic Resources for ex Situ Conservation
The Role of Genetic Resources Held in Seed Banks in Plant Improvement
Botanic Gardens and Conservation
Conservation of Plant Genes and the Role of DNA Banks
Molecular Analysis of Plant Genetic Resources
Analysis of Nuclear, Mitochondrial, and Chloroplast Genomes in Plant Conservation
Genomics and Plant Biodiversity Management
Intellectual property rights

Grading policy:
Grades will be based on in-class participation (10%) and three exams (including the final) (90%, each exam counts for 30%). Exams will cover all materials covered in class, including discussion topics, papers and online resources.

Policy for make-up of examinations:
Please let me know in advance if you are going to miss an exam. Missing exams without prior notification and/or a legitimate reason will result in a zero grade for that exam. All make-up exams will be in the form of a one-on-one oral exam.

Required course material: Plant Conservation Genetics by Robert J. Henry (Editor). CRC, 1 edition (June 20, 2006). ISBN: 9781560229971. Students will be supplied with additional electronic and online materials as the class progresses.

All academic work must meet the standards contained in “A Culture of Honesty.” All students are responsible to inform themselves about those standards before performing any academic work. See: (http://www.uga.edu/honesty/)

Note: The course syllabus is a general plan for the course; deviations announced to the class by the instructor may be necessary.

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