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Department of Plant and Microbial Biology

https://pmb.cals.ncsu.edu

The instructional program in Plant Biology provides classroom, laboratory, and field experience in the fundamental areas of the plant sciences. Undergraduates majoring in plant biology select major courses that are tailored to their interests within the discipline and are required to have a supervised research or teaching experience that allows them to work closely with departmental faculty. Majors, as pre-professionals in the plant sciences, are prepared for advanced study in plant biology and other biological fields, as well as in the applied plant sciences, such as horticulture, crop science, plant pathology, natural resource management, and conservation.

Opportunities

The undergraduate degree is an excellent pre-professional degree in the plant sciences. Graduates are employed as researchers in academic, government, or industrial labs, as field botanists and conservationists in state and natural parks, and as employees of environmental education, or public service organizations. Many majors continue with graduate studies in a plant science discipline, after which they are qualified for teaching positions in community colleges, prominent colleges and universities, for research positions in major federal and state government laboratories, and in private industry. Research technician positions in many life science areas in governmental and industrial laboratories are also career possibilities. The field of plant biotechnology provides additional opportunities with several graduates seeking employment in the biotechnology industry including companies in nearby Research Triangle Park. Graduates are also well qualified for professional training in the health professions.

Curricula

The Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Plant Biology is offered under the science curriculum of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Students can choose to pursue a general major with courses in different areas of Plant Biology, or can specialize their study in one of the following areas: Ethnobotany; Plant Biotechnology and Molecular Biology, and Plant Systematics and Ecology. The Bachelor of Science in Plant Biology with a double major in another life science or applied plant science is possible, as is a double major in a humanities and social sciences discipline (anthropology, English, history, philosophy, psychology, or political science). Selected faculty in Plant and Microbial Biology also work with the Biological Sciences faculty in the College of Sciences to offer the B.S. degree in Microbiology, details about which are located at: http://next-catalog.ncsu.edu/undergraduate/collegeofsciences/biology

Minor in Plant Biology

The minor in Plant Biology is available to all degree-seeking students at NC State University who are not enrolled in the plant biology major. The minor requires 15 hours comprised of a 4 credit hour introductory course (PB 200 or PB 250) and 11 hours of plant biology elective coursework. Up to 4 credit hours of special topics or special problems courses can be used to meet the elective hour requirements.

Minor in Biotechnology

The Minor in Biotechnology provides first-hand laboratory experience with a variety of technologies that use gene manipulation, recombinant organisms, or cell culture. The laboratory courses typically are started in the junior year, following completion of BIO 183 and Organic Chemistry (CH 223) with a grade of C- or better. BIT 410, “Manipulation of Recombinant DNA” is required for all students but BCH 454 can be substituted. Other requirements for the minor include a 3 credit research internship, 4 credits of advanced biotechnology laboratory courses, and a biotechnology ethics course. Interested students should visit the website http://biotech.ncsu.edu/, or contact Dr. Laura Ott at leneuder@ncsu.edu for more information.

Department Head

Margaret E. Daub


Undergraduate Coordinator

Chad V. Jordan


Director of Plant Biology Graduate Programs

Richard L. Blanton


University Research Professor

W.F. Thompson


Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professors

C.V. Jordan

J.E. Mickle

T.R. Wentworth


William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professors

R.S. Boston

J.M. Burkholder

M.E. Daub

L.K. Hanley-Bowdoin


Professors

J.M. Alonso

R.L. Blanton

R.S. Boston

J.M. Burkholder

M.E. Daub

R.G. Franks

A. Grunden

C.H. Haigler

L.K. Hanley-Bowdoin

W. Hoffmann

M. Hyman

J.E. Mickle

E. Miller

H.I.A. Sederoff

T.R. Wentworth

Q. Xiang


Professors Emeriti

N.S. Allen

U. Blum

W.F. Boss

E. Davies

R.C. Fites

J.W. Hardin

W.W. Heck

R.L. Mott

G.R. Noggle

H.E. Pattee

J.M. Stucky

J.F. Thomas

C.G. Van Dyke


Associate Professors

J.M. Bruno-Bàrcena

S.B. Carson

P. Hamilton

M. Rojas-Pierce

D. Xie


Research Associate Professor

I.Y. Perera

C. Saravitz


Teaching Associate Professor

C.V. Jordan


Assistant Professors

T-F. Hsieh

A. Krings

X. Li

T.A. Long

R. Sozzani

A. Stepanova


Teaching Assistant Professors

J.M. De Gezelle


Associate Members of the Faculty

P. Balint-Kurti
Entomology and Plant Pathology

K.O. Burkey
Crop and Soil Sciences

V. Chiang
Forestry and Environmental Resources

R.E. Dewey
Crop and Soil Sciences

C. Doherty
Biochemistry

S. Hu
Entomology and Plant Pathology

S. Kathariou
Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutrition Sciences

S. Komarnytsky
Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutrition Sciences

R. Kouri
Poole College of Management

R. Qu
Crop and Soil Sciences

F. de los Reyes
Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

J.B. Ristaino
Entomology and Plant Pathology

T.W. Rufty, Jr.
Crop and Soil Sciences

R. Whetten
Forestry and Environmental Resources

C. Williams
Electrical and Computer Engineering

PB - Plant Biology Courses

PB 103 Perspectives on Botany 1.

Orientation to modern botany, including discussions of historical background, relation to other sciences, the nature of modern subdisciplines, professionalism and ethics, local resources of personnel and facilities, educational opportunities, and career possibilities.

PB 200 Plant Life 4.

An introduction to the structure, processes, and reproduction of higher plants, including the diversity of the plant kingdom and principles of inheritance, ecology, and evolution. Credit cannot be given for both BO 200 and BO 250.

PB 205 Our Green World 3.

Awareness and understanding of plants in the world for the non-science student. Essential fundamental concepts of plant structure, growth, processes, uses, biotechnology, evolution, environmental issues and ecology. Short field trips will be held that may require students to provide their own transportation. Credit cannot be received for both PB 205 and (PB 200 or PB 250).

PB 208 Agricultural Biotechnology: Issues and Implications 3.

Trends and issues of agricultural biotechnology in today's society are addressed while covering the basic biological science behind the technology. Applications of and policy issues associated with plant, animal, and environmental biotechnology used in the agricultural industry are examined from an interdisciplinary approach.

PB 213 Plants and Civilization 3.

This course covers plant use in ancient civilizations, including the economic, social, political, religious, culinary and medical roles of plants and plant products.Plant use in ancient cultures, including but not limited to, Amazonian, Celtic, Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Inca, Indian, Maya, Mesopotamian, Nubian, Persian, and Roman will be discussed. Topics include foods, beverages, medicines, fibers, construction materials, psychoactive drugs, and religious symbols.

PB 215 Medicinal Plants 3.
Prerequisite: CH 101 and any one of the following courses: BIO 125,BIO 181,PB 200,ZO 150,ZO 160.

Plants and their derived pharmaceuticals in Western medicine and in herbal medicine.

PB 219 Plants in Folklore, Myth, and religion 3.

The structural and functional biology of plants and cultural inclusions in folklore, myth, and religion. The myth/religion-plant-human culture nexus. Mythical and religious themes covered, but not limited to, are: the world tree and cosmic order; plants and the creation of Earth; the unity of plants and divine entities; the tree of life; life-giving waters and human immortality; human descent from plants; origin of food plants from humans; plants of witchcraft and magic; psychoactive plants and access to deities; solidarity between humans and plants; death and resurrection of plants and humans.

PB 220 Local Flora 3.
Prerequisite: BIO 125 or PB 200.

Structural terminology of vascular plants, field identification of plant species using popularized field guides, description of plant community types and their soil and topographic features.

PB 250 Plant Biology 4.
Prerequisite: BIO 181 and BIO 183.

An introduction for Life Science majors to the ecology, structure, function, processes, reproduction and evolution of higher plants. Students may not receive credit for both PB 200 and PB 250.

PB 277 Space Biology 3.
Prerequisite: BIO 105 or BIO 140 or BIO 181 or BIO 183 or PB 200.

Overview of the biology of plants, animals and humans in the space environment, including gravitational biology, aerospace medicine, search for extraterrestrial life, terraforming and life support.

PB 295 Special Topics in Botany 1-4.

Trial offerings of new or experimental courses in Botany at the early undergraduate level.

PB 321 Introduction to Whole Plant Physiology 3.
Prerequisite: (BIO 183 or PB 200 or PB 250) and CH 101/102.

Physiology of higher plants with emphasis on whole plant aspects including structure-function relationships, water and solute movement, energy sources and needs, plant growth and development, and the impact of plant physiology findings on agriculture. Students cannot receive credit for both PB 321 and PB 421.

PB 345 Economic Botany 3.
Prerequisite: BIO 181 or PB 200 or PB 250.

This course covers plants of economic importance that have been valued by societies regionally, nationally and globally from the modern era to the present day. Topics include, but are not limited to, plant species used as food, spices, beverages, oils, fibers, paper, dyes, perfumes, body care, construction materials, fuels and ornamentals. Aspects related to the botany and ethnobotany of economically important plant species will be discussed including taxonomy, anatomy, physiology, ecology, conservation, human uses, social and environmental issues, and roles in the economy.

PB 346 Economic Botany Lab 1.
Prerequisite: BIO 181 or PB 200 or PB 250; Co-requisite: PB 345.

This lab course explores plants and plant products of economic importance through hands-on activities. Aspects related to the botany and ethnobotany of economically important plant species will be covered including taxonomy, anatomy, physiology, ecology, conservation, human uses, social and environmental issues, and roles in the economy.

PB 360 Ecology 4.
Prerequisite: C- or better in BIO 181.

The science of ecology, including factors which control distribution and population dynamics of organisms, structure and function of biological communities, and energy flow and nutrient cycling in ecosystems; contrasts among the major biomes; and principles governing ecological responses to global climatic and other environmental changes.

PB 400 Plant Diversity and Evolution 4.
Prerequisite: BIO 181 or PB 200 or PB 250.

Diversity, morphology, taxonomy, and evolutionary history of living and fossil plants including fungi, algae, bryophytes, pteridophytes, gymnosperms, and angiosperms. Two one-day weekend field trips required.

PB 403 Systematic Botany 4.
Prerequisite: PB 200, PB 250, BIO 183, Junior standing.

The course introduces basic and contemporary systematic principles and methods as applied to vascular plants, with emphasis on flowering plants. It covers classification, identification, phylogenetics, and molecular approaches, and surveys important and common plant families representing major groups of vascular plants.

PB 405 Wetland Flora 3.
Prerequisite: PB 200 or PB 250 or PB 403 or FOR 212.

Plant morphological terminology and identifications of wetland plants; discussion of wetland flora, plant communities, functions and values of North Carolina wetland types; several one-day weekend field trips required.

PB 413 Plant Anatomy 2.
Prerequisite: PB 200 or PB 250 or PB 321 or PB 421.

Organelles, cells, tissues and organs of flowering plants and selected gymnosperms. Emphasis placed on developmental patterns and structural adaptations for survival. Laboratory focuses on dissection, histochemistry, and imaging of plant cells and tissues.Students cannot reserve credit for both PB 413 and PB 513.

PB 414 Cell Biology 3.
Prerequisite: C- or better in BIO 183 and (CH 221 or CH 225).

The chemical and physical bases of cellular structure and function with emphasis on methods and interpretations.

PB 421 Plant Physiology 3.
Prerequisite: BIO 183 or ZO 160, or PB 200 and CH 220 or CH 221 or CH 225.

Physiology of higher plants with emphasis on biochemical, cell biological and molecular aspects of how plants function. Unique aspects of regulation of plant metabolism including photosynthesis, respiration, nitrogen fixation, cell wall biosynthesis, growth and stress responses will be emphasized. The course is intended for students interested in postgraduate studies in plant biology. Students cannot receive credit for both PB 321 and PB 421.

PB 445 Paleobotany 4.
Prerequisite: BIO 181 or MEA 102.

Morphologic, taxonomic, geologic and evolutionary relationships of fossil plants; emphasis on vascular plants; discussions of taphonomy, biogeography and palynology. Requires weekend field trips at student expense. Credit will not be allowed for both BO 445 and BO 545.

PB 464 Rare Plants of North Carolina 3.
Prerequisite: One of the following: (PB 200, PB220, PB 403, or PB 405).

This course provides a taxonomic survey of the rare plants of North Carolina, focusing primarily on federally- and secondarily on state-listed species. Particular attention will be placed on: (1) the identification of rare species, their congeners, and morphologically similar species, (2) the biogeography of rare species, (3) optimum survey windows, and (4) the conservation biology of select taxa. Two Saturday field trips required. Junior level or higher. Students cannot receive credit for both PB 464 and PB 564.

PB 480 Introduction to Plant Biotechnology 3.
Prerequisite: BCH 454 or BIT 410 or CS 211 or GN 311 or PB/BIO 414 or PB 421..

Introduction to gene cloning, plant tissue culture and transformation, and the development of agriculturally important transgenic traits. Critical thinking, case studies, and discussions are used to examine global approaches to the regulation and risks of genetically-modified organisms, plant and gene patents, and the consequences of these factors on food soverienty and trade. Students cannot receive credit for both PB 480 and PB 580.

PB 481 Plant Tissue Culture and Transformation 2.
Prerequisite: BIT 360 or MB 409 or BCH 454 or ZO 480.

Basic techniques in plant tissue culture and transformation. Empirical approaches to techniques in plant tissue culture, designing transgenes for expression in specific plant cell organelles and tissues, use of reporter genes to optimize transformation, and troubleshooting transformation. Laboratory sessions provide hands-on experience with plant tissue culture and transformation. Use of reporter genes, fluorescence microscopy and digital imaging. Half semester course, first part.

PB 492 External Learning Experience 1-6.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

A learning experience in agriculture and life sciences within an academic framework that utilizes facilities and resources which are external to the campus. Contact and arrangements with prospective employers must be initiated by student and approved by a faculty adviser, the prospective employer, the departmental teaching coordinator and the academic dean prior to the experience.

PB 493 SP Problems in BO 1-6.

A learning experience within an academic framework that utilizes campus facilities and resources. Contact and arrangements with prospective employers must be initiated by student and approved by a faculty adviser, the prospective employer, the departmental teaching coordinator and the academic dean prior to the experience.

PB 495 Special Topics in Botany 1-6.
Prerequisite: 8 hrs. of Botany courses.

Individualized study, under faculty supervision, of botanical topics in the student's area of interest and not covered in existing courses. Development of a new course on a trial basis.

PB 501 Biology of Plant Pathogens 3.
Prerequisite: PP 315, or PP 318, or an introductory course in microbiology.

Biology of microbes that cause plant diseases. The ecology, genetics, physiology, taxonomy, and mechanisms of parasitism, pathogenicity and virulence of bacteria (and other prokaryotes), fungi (and oomycetes), nematodes, and viruses that cause plant diseases. Prepares graduate students for advanced courses in plant pathology, host-parasite interactions, and provides a knowledge base for students in other disciplines involved with plant pathogens or who seek to broaden their knowledge of microbes.

PB 503 Systematic Botany 4.
Prerequisite: PB 200, PB 250, BIO 183, Junior standing.

The course introduces basic and contemporary systematic principles and methods as applied to vascular plants, with emphasis on flowering plants. It covers classification, identification, phylogenetics, and molecular approaches, and surveys important and common plant families representing major groups of vascular plants.

PB 513 Plant Anatomy 2.
Prerequisite: PB 200 or PB 250 or PB 321 or PB 421.

Organelles, cells, tissues and organs of flowering plants and selected gymnosperms. Emphasis placed on developmental patterns and structural adaptations for survival. Laboratory focuses on dissection, histochemistry, and imaging of plant cells and tissues.Students cannot reserve credit for both PB 413 and PB 513.

PB 545 Paleobotany 4.
Prerequisite: PB 400, 403, 413, 544, MEA 423.

Morphologic, taxonomic, geologic and evolutionary relationships of fossil plants; emphasis on vascular plants; discussions of taphonomy, biogeography and palynology. Requires weekend field trips at student expense. Credit will not be allowed for both BO 445 and BO 545.

PB 564 Rare Plants of North Carolina 3.
Prerequisite: One of the following: (PB 200, PB220, PB 403, or PB 405).

This course provides a taxonomic survey of the rare plants of North Carolina, focusing primarily on federally- and secondarily on state-listed species. Particular attention will be placed on: (1) the identification of rare species, their congeners, and morphologically similar species, (2) the biogeography of rare species, (3) optimum survey windows, and (4) the conservation biology of select taxa. Two Saturday field trips required. Junior level or higher. Students cannot receive credit for both PB 464 and PB 564.

PB 565 Plant Community Ecology 4.
Prerequisite: PB 360 or ZO 260.

Consideration of structure and function of terrestrial vascular plant communities, with emphasis on both classical and recent research. Measurement and description of community properties, classification, ordination, vegetation pattern in relation to environment, ecological succession and a survey of vegetation of North America.

PB 570 Plant Functional Ecology 3.
Prerequisite: PB/BIO 360.

Mechanisms by which plants interact with their environment, with an emphasis on the role of physiological, morphological, and life history traits, and the evolution of these traits.

PB 575 Introduction to Mycology 4.

A survey of the fungal kingdom in context of phyla and classes. Systematics, ecology, biology and utilization. Illustrative material, cultural techniques in laboratories. Collection and paper required.

PB 580 Introduction to Plant Biotechnology 3.
Prerequisite: BCH 454 or BIT 410 or CS 211 or GN 311 or PB/BIO 414 or PB 421.

Introduction to gene cloning, plant tissue culture and transformation, and the development of agriculturally important transgenic traits. Critical thinking, case studies, and discussions are used to examine global approaches to the regulation and risks of genetically-modified organisms, plant and gene patents, and the consequences of these factors on food soverienty and trade. Students cannot receive credit for both PB 480 and PB 580.

PB 595 Special Topics Botany 1-6.

PB 601 Botany Seminar 1.

PB 620 Special Problems In Botany 1-6.

Directed research in some phase of botany other than a thesis problem, but designed to provide experience and training in research. Credits Arranged.

PB 624 Topical Problems 1-4.

Discussions and readings on problems of current interest in fields of ecology, anatomy and morphology, taxonomy, plant physiology and cell biology. May be repeated with a change in topic for a maximum of six credits.

PB 685 Master's Supervised Teaching 1-3.
Prerequisite: Master's student.

Teaching experience under the mentorship of faculty who assist the student in planning for the teaching assignment, observe and provide feedback to the student during the teaching assignment, and evaluate the student upon completion of the assignment.

PB 688 Non-Thesis Masters Continuous Registration - Half Time Registration 1.
Prerequisite: Master's Student.

For students in non-thesis master's programs who have completed all credit hour requirements for their degree but need to maintain half-time continuous registration to complete incomplete grades, projects, final master's exam, etc.

PB 689 Non-Thesis Master Continuous Registration - Full Time Registration 3.
Prerequisite: Master's Student.

For students in non-thesis master's programs who have completed all credit hour requirements for their degree but need to maintain full-time continuous registration to complete incomplete grades, projects, final master's exam, etc. Students may register for this course a maximum of one semester.

PB 690 Master's Examination 1-9.
Prerequisite: Master's Student.

For students in non-thesis master's programs who have completed all other requirements of the degree except preparing for and taking the final master's exam.

PB 693 Master's Supervised Research 1-9.
Prerequisite: Master's Student.

Instruction in research and research under the mentorship of a member of the Graduate Faculty.

PB 695 Master's Thesis Research 1-9.
Prerequisite: Master's Student.

Thesis Research.

PB 696 Summer Thesis Research 1.
Prerequisite: Master's Student.

For graduate students whose programs of work specify no formal course work during a summer session and who will be devoting full time to thesis research.

PB 699 Master's Thesis Preparation 1-9.
Prerequisite: Master's Student.

For students who have completed all credit hour requirements and full-time enrollment for the master's degree and are writing and defending their thesis.

PB 704 Plant Nomenclature 1.

A practical foundation in plant nomenclature and nomenclatural references. Emphasis on the evolution of international rules for naming plant taxa and their application in both wild and cultivated plants. Nomenclature applications used in patents, cultivar releases and journal articles. Taught mid-semester. Taught five weeks of semester.

PB 730 Fungal Genetics and Physiology 3.
Prerequisite: BCH 451, PB 575, GN 411 or PP 501.

Basic concepts of genetics and physiology of fungi, with emphasis on saprophytic and plant pathogenic mycelial fungi. Current literature on evolution, cell structure, growth and development, gene expression, metabolism, sexual and asexual reproduction and incompatibility systems. Laboratory exercises on mutant isolation, sexual and parasexual analysis, genetic transformation, and RFLP and isozyme analysis.

PB 733 Plant Growth and Development 3.
Prerequisite: PB(ZO) 414 or PB 421, organic chemistry.

Advanced course in plant physiology covering plant growth, development, differentiation, senescence and biological control mechanisms.

PB 751 Advanced Plant Physiology I 3.
Prerequisite: PB 421.

Cellular mechanisms and regulatory features related to plant respiration, photosynthesis, sulfur metabolism, nitrogen fixation and metabolism, and signal transduction. One of two courses covering field of plant physiology.

PB 761 Advanced Molecular Biology Of the Cell 3.
Prerequisite: BCH 553 or BCH 703 or GN 701.

An advanced graduate class involving integrated approaches to complex biological questions at the molecular level, encompassing biochemistry, cell biology and molecular genetics. The course will focus on an important, current area of research in eukaryotic biology using the primary scientific literature, and will involve class discussions, oral presentations, and a written research proposal.

PB 774 Phycology 3.
Prerequisite: BIO 125 or PB 200.

Introduction to taxonomy, morphology, reproduction and ecological importance of organisms which may be included in the algae. Attention to local freshwater flow and physiology of selected species in relation to algal blooms, water quality and nutrient loading in aquatic habitats.

PB 780 Plant Molecular Biology 3.
Prerequisite: BCH 451, GN 411.

Molecular analysis of plant growth and development. Molecular techniques and their application to understanding control of gene expression in plants.

PB 795 Special Topics Botany 1-6.

PB 801 Seminar 1.

PB 820 Special Problems 1-6.

Directed research in some phase of botany other than a thesis problem, but designed to provide experience and training in research. Credits Arranged.

PB 824 Topical Problems 1-4.

Discussions and readings on problems of current interest in fields of ecology, anatomy and morphology, taxonomy, plant physiology and cell biology. May be repeated with a change in topic for a maximum of six credits.

PB 885 Doctoral Supervised Teaching 1-3.
Prerequisite: Doctoral Student.

Teaching experience under the mentorship of faculty who assist the student in planning for the teaching assignment, observe and provide feedback to the student during the teaching assignment, and evaluate the student upon completion of the assignment.

PB 890 Doctoral Preliminary Examination 1-9.
Prerequisite: Doctoral Student.

For students who are preparing for and taking written and/or oral preliminary exams.

PB 893 Doctoral Supervised Research 1-9.
Prerequisite: Doctoral student.

Instruction in research and research under the mentorship of a member of the Graduate Faculty.

PB 895 Doctoral Dissertation Research 1-9.
Prerequisite: Doctoral student.

Dissertation Research.

PB 896 Summer Dissertation Research 1.
Prerequisite: Doctoral Student.

For graduate students whose programs of work specify no formal course work during a summer session and who will be devoting full time to thesis research.

PB 899 Doctoral Dissertation Preparation 1-9.
Prerequisite: Doctoral Student.

For students who have completed all credit hours, full-time enrollment, preliminary examination, and residency requirements for the doctoral degree, and are writing and defending their dissertations.