Spring 2020 - BISC 337 D100

Plant Biology (4)

Class Number: 2637

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, We, Fr 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM
    WMC 2220, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 23, 2020
    8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    BISC 101 and 102 with a grade of C- or better.



An introductory course covering many aspects of plant biology including the origin and evolution of plants, basic anatomy, plant growth and development and the utilization and impact of plants in human society.


This course is designed to introduce the world of plants. The course will be divided into two parts.

In the first part the major groups of extant plants that comprise the seedless and seed plants will be examined. This part of the course will be covered from an evolutionary perspective, spanning from the first appearance of plants on the planet to the major groups present today. Emphasis will be placed on the origin and evolution of the angiosperms and the factors that allowed them to achieve world-wide dominance.

The second part of the course will focus on contemporary angiosperms and will have two themes. The first is the form and function of plants and will cover the organization of the plant body, the shoot and root systems and the different organs, tissues and cells that make up the plant. The origin of the major organ and tissue systems, through the activity of the meristems, will be examined as well as the major roles they play during the plant life cycle. This part of the course will establish a sound understanding of the fundamentals of plant biology. The second theme will concentrate on the relationship between humans and plants. Various aspects of human dependence on plants will be examined. Plants provide us with our food (agriculture) and this fact drives much of the research conducted on plants and has more recently spawned an active biotechnology industry. Plants also provide us with wood, an economically important resource in British Columbia (forestry). We will explore the utility of plants as a source of medicinally active compounds (e.g. salicylic acid) and their importance in providing us with both legal (e.g. caffeine) and illegal substances (e.g. cocaine). This part of the course strives to place plants in context by demonstrating how they relate to human society and our day-to-day lives.


  • Lecture Midterm Exam 12%
  • Lab Midterm Exam 12%
  • Lab Final Exam 18%
  • UBC Trip journal 4%
  • Plant project 6%
  • Lab Assignments 8%
  • Lecture Final Exam 40%



A Photographic Atlas for the Botany Laboratory, 7ed,  by Samuel R. Rushforth, Robert R. Robbins, John L. Crawley, Kent M. VanDeGraaff
*Copies will be available in the library in the reference section.


A Photographic Atlas for the Botany Laboratory, 7ed,  by Samuel R. Rushforth, Robert R. Robbins, John L. Crawley, Kent M. Van De Graaff


Raven Biology of Plants (loose leaf): Ray F Evert & Susan E Eichhorn 8th ed., W.H Freeman & Co.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html