Curriculum & Course Descriptions


BS3020 Plant Biotechnology

Course Coordinator: Adjunct Associate Professor Srinivasan Ramachandran (email: )

Academic Unit: 3 AU

Availability: Semester 1


Course Type: BS-Major-PE

Language of instruction: English

Teaching hours: Lectures: 19 hours ; Interactive sessions: 18.5 hours ; quizzes 2 hours

Learning Objective:

  • To provide students with insights on the Basics, Methodology and Applications of Plant tissue culture and genetic Transformation in science, agriculture and industry.
  • To make students devise concept, design experiments and analyze GM plants
  • To introduce students with current trend of synthetic biology using plant systems and modifying secondary metabolism of plants
  • To familiarize students with benefits and risks of GMO, issues and challenges in Regulatory approvals of GMOs and IP protection in the field of plant biotechnology
This course highlights the plant biotechnology key aspects which contains
  1. Plant genome analysis and marker assisted breeding in plant biotechnology
  2. Various methods of plant regeneration using different explants and genetic transformation using different methods such as particle bombardment, Agrobacterium mediated transformation etc.
  3. A number of methods to identify genes, such as genetic, molecular and biochemical approaches. This include mutagenesis with T-DNA and transposons, protein-protein interactions, bioinformatics approaches, to name a few
  4. Transgenic plants generation, characterization and field trials of these plants and GMO trial approvals for field trials and release and Intellectual Property Rights issues
  5. Synthetic biology using lower plants and cell cultures as model systems to engineer secondary metabolite pathway of plants
  6. GM crops development for human nutrition and pharmaceutical industries
Learning Outcome: 
  • Students will acquire a comprehensive knowledge on plant tissue culture, methods of gene identification, engineering of the identified genes and genetic manipulation of plants and GMO regulatory issues and IP rights in the field of Plant biotechnology.
  • In addition, this course will provide an overview of plant biotechnology in applications such as producing drugs and vaccines for pharmaceutical industry and creating GM crops for better human nutrition.
  • Also this course will give an introduction to the upcoming field of synthetic biology using plants as model systems.


  • Lecture hand-outs, class notes and reading materials provided or recommended by the lecturers will be suffice for the course
  • Though there are no prescribed text books the students can refer to the following books
    • Plant Biotechnolgy and Agriculture – Prospects for the 21st Century – Arie Altman and Paul Hasegawa - ISBN: 978-0-12-381466-1 - 624 Pages- November 2011
    • Plant Biotechnology and Genetics: Principles, Techniques and Applications - C. Neal Stewart, Jr. (Editor) - ISBN: 978-0-470-04381- 416 page - May 2008
    • John Maynard-Smith and Eörs Szathmáry. The Major Transitions in Evolution. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995) ISBN: 9780198502944