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Plant Physiology

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Spring 2012
Bolin Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

Lecture: TR 5:50-6:50 PM

Laboratory: W 5:30-8:20 PM

Dr. Magaly Rincon-Zachary (view Profile)


Writing paper in the Biological Sciences
Victoria McMillan. 2006. 4th ed. Bedford Books, Boston, Massachusetts
Plant Physiology
Taiz, Lincoln and Zeiger Eduardo (2006) Plant Physiology, 4th ed. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, Massachusetts.
Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, students will be able:

  • To describe the basic structure and composition of plants cells
  • To discern the basic functions of each plant cell organelle
  • To understand the genetic, hormonal, and environmental controls of plant development
  • To understand the genetic, hormonal, and environmental controls of physiological processes in plants
  • To recognize that the advances and breakthroughs in plant physiology are through the application of the scientific method
  • To evaluate experimental results objectively 
  • To critically evaluate the scientific literature in plant physiology
Course Expectations

Biol 3054, Biol 3064, and Chem 2003

Grading Standards

Since this course has a laboratory component, the lecture and laboratory grades are calculated separately.  The lecture and the laboratory weigh 50% each.   If a student fails the laboratory, he/she fails the course.

The final grade is based on the following scale:

90-100   A

80-89     B

70-79     C

60-69     D

< 60       F


Tests: There will be a total of three tests including the final examination.  The average of the three tests weighs 40% of your lecture grade.  A list of 10 to 15 questions will be handed out a week before the scheduled test date.  The test will consist of 3-4 questions selected by “lot” from the list.  The tests are not open-book tests. You should prepare concise, informative answers using your notes, textbook, journal articles, and handouts.

Test Calendar

Test 1 February 16

Test 2 April 19

Test 3  May 8, 8:00 -10 PM. Seniors are not exempt from taking the final exam unless they are graduating with honors.

Assignments and participation weigh 60% of the lecture grade.

·      Short assignments and participation 20%

·      Long assignment 40%

  • Reading and Evaluating the Scientific Literature in Plant Physiology


Quizzes weigh 20%

Lab notebook weighs 10%

Lab reports weigh 50%. Most lab reports are due a week after each laboratory except for those laboratory exercises that have multiple lab sessions.  The instructor will announce the deadlines accordingly. Lab reports must be typed in 12-point font (Times New Roman), in 1.5-line spacing and must not exceed six pages. All margins must be 1”.  I recommend keeping the lab reports in a three-ring binder after being graded. Your lab notes (modification of procedures, observations, results, calculations, etc.) must be kept in a notebook.

Lab reports must contain:

1)  Your name

2)  Name of the lab exercise

3)  Date (when the laboratory exercise is conducted)

4)  Introduction & objectives

5)  Materials and Methods -brief description of procedures

6)  Results

7)  Discussion:   significance of the results, answers to questions, your conclusions, etc.

8) Literature Cited



To earn graduate credit hours, graduate students must write a review article on a plant physiology topic in the same style, as it would be submitted for publication in a scientific journal. Students will choose a plant physiology journal and follow its style.  The Weblinks module of the course Blackboard contains Internet addresses of several journals for students’ perusal. In addition, graduate students will make a presentation based on their paper to the entire class at the end of the semester. The instructor will provide the guidelines for the outline and paper proper to students at a later time.

Final Exam 05/08/2012 8:00-10:00 PM
Submission Format Policy

Unless otherwise indicated, all assignments must be typed and followed the format below:

Line spacing: 1.5

Margins: 1" all around

Font: Times New Roman

Font size: not smaller than 10 point and not larger than 12

Proper English usage is required.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.
Late Paper Policy

1.  All assignments are handed in during class.

2.  No late assignments will be accepted unless the student has a compelling reason such as an injury, illness, or family emergency and informs the instructor of the situation in a timely manner (not later than 24 hours).

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

1. Students must attend lectures and labs.

2. Students must be punctual.  The instructor calls roll everyday.

3.  No make-up tests, quizzes or laboratory reports will be given except in cases of authorized absences (2011-2012) Student Handbook, p.39-40), injury, illness, or family emergency.  If the reason of your absence is a non-life threatening injury or illness or a family emergency, you must contact me without delay.  If the reason of your absence is a university activity (athletic, art, music, etc.), you must furnish a letter from the instructor indicating the reason for the absence. If you must be absent from class for a long period of time because of injury, illness, or family emergency, please contact the Dean of Students.

4.  Unexcused absences from tests, laboratory quizzes, and short assignments will be recorded as zero.

5. Three absences (excused or unexcused) in the laboratory will be grounds for failure of the laboratory.  Therefore, a student who accumulates three absences in the laboratory will receive an F in the course.

Other Policies

1.  Questions are strongly encouraged during class.  However, if you have questions and want to discuss course material or problems with me, please come by my office during my office hours or see your lab instructor during her scheduled office hours.

2.  Students must follow the lecture outline and read the material before coming to class.

3.  Students must follow the university standards of conduct (2011-2012 Student Handbook, p. 70-80).

4.  Graduating seniors are not exempt from taking the final exam unless they are graduating Summa cum laude.

5. YOU MUST TURN OFF CELLULAR PHONES before you enter the classroom and laboratory

6.  Electronic devices are not allowed during quizzes and tests.


8.  YOU SHALL NOT NAP during lectures and labs.

Cell Phone Etiquette

I personally consider answering a cell phone and text messaging in class very impolite. Students who answer their cell phone and engage in text messaging during class will be asked to leave the classroom and will be considered absent.  If a student needs to have a cell phone on because an extraordinary circumstance (e.g., having a family member sick at home or in the hospital), he/she must let me know about it before class.

Academic Honesty
MSU students demand of themselves the highest level of academic honesty as stated in their honor creed as described above.  In this course you will be asked to work together in groups on assignments and then show your understanding of the topic by writing a summary, answering questions, etc.  I want to be absolutely clear on this subject, while I strongly encourage students to discuss assignment materials among themselves, it is absolutely unacceptable to copy each other or share documents electronically.  In addition, academic honesty involves the submission of work that is wholly the student’s own work as well as giving credit or authorship by following the proper citation rules.

Students with Disability

In accordance with the law, MSU provides students with documented disabilities academic accommodations. If you are a student with a disability, please contact me and Disability Support Services, Clark Student Center, room 168, phone: 397-4140.

Intellectual Property

By enrolling in this course, the student expressly grants MSU a "limited right" in all intellectual property created by the student for the purpose of this course.  The "limited right" shall include but shall not be limited to the right to reproduce the student's work product in order to verify originality and authenticity, and for educational purposes.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at