Practical title Type Description

Purification of polyphenol oxidases from fruit

biochemistry, cell biology, plant biology Polyphenol oxidase (PPO) enzyme is of great commercial interest because it is related to the browning of fruits. In this practical spanning two weeks, we will use classical biochemical techniques to extract a PPO enzyme from a banana or apple, perform an assay for PPO activity and protein content, and assess data to discuss reproducibility in science.

Photoreceptors and flowering time: gene level identification

cell biology, plant biology We will discuss the roles that environmental sensors, such as the phytochromes and cryptochromes, play in the onset of flowering. We will use molecular genetic techniques to detect mutations and discuss how this approach can assist in unravelling biological problems.
Organelle and nucleus interdependence cell biology, plant biology, genetics These are three practicals which can be carried out together as one or independently. It focuses on chloroplast biology and uses Arabidopsis. It visualises (1) a genetic defect (arc6 mutant) in chloroplast division and (2) a change in a nuclear reporter gene expression (pLHCB::GUS) when chloroplast translation is inhibited. Lastly (3), a bioinformatic exercise asks students to explore the origin, from cyanobacteria, through endosymbiosis, of a higher plant chloroplast division gene, ARC6.
Flower evolution & genes of flower development

plant biology, genetics

The huge diversity, yet essential commonality, of flowers is demonstrated by examining three very different monocot flowers, one of which can be easily cultivated, the other two obtained from florists. The genes underlying development, and therefore potential evolutionary change, is visualised through examination of Arabidopsis floral homeotic mutants, obtained from a stock centre.
Tobacco regeneration (four media) plant biology, cell biology, developmental biology Material of tobacco seedlings grown aseptically is used to test to observe in vitro regeneration and to test to impact of concentrations of different hormones, including one which visualises the difference between transportable and untransportable auxin.



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