Syllabus for Fall Semester 2022

Last updated August 19, 2022

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Description of the course

This is a freshman-level introdution to the science of plants, emphasizing the anatomy, physiology, diversity, genetics, and evolution of green plants (including green algae). Because it is a general education course, there is considerable attention given to how science works, from hypothesis generation to design of experiments to test the predictions arising from hypotheses. As is traditional in introductory botany courses, some time is devoted to fungi, cyanobacteria, red algae, brown algae and diatoms, and slime molds, even though these organisms are now known to be distantly related to green plants.


Time: Monday/Wednesday/Friday 10:10-11:00
Place: AUST 103
Instructor Paul O. Lewis Office hours I’m happy to meet with you; just email me to set up a time


Time (section 1): Wednesday 12:20-3:20
Time (section 2): Wednesday 3:35-6:35
Place: Torrey Life Science (TLS) 309, Storrs Campus
Instructor Kris Anderson Lab setup/preparation Chris Malinoski and John Korte


Day Date Lecture topic Lab topic
Monday Aug. 29 Introduction, plant cells
Chapter 5
Wednesday Aug. 31 Plant cell types and tissues types
Chapters 5, 9, 10
Microscope use and plant cells
Friday Sep. 2 Leaves and stems
Chapters 9,10,12
Monday Sep. 5 LABOR DAY  
Wednesday Sep. 7 Stems, Roots
Chapters 9,10,11
Plant anatomy I
Friday Sep. 9 Woody Dicot Stems, Water
Chapter 10
Monday Sep. 12 Water Potential, transpiration
Chapter 12
Wednesday Sep. 14 Food Transport
Chapters 4,12
Plant anatomy II (quiz)
Friday Sep. 16 Proteins, Enzymes
Chapters 4,12
Monday Sep. 19 Membranes, ATP, NADPH
Chapters 4,6
Wednesday Sep. 21 Photosynthesis
Chapters 4,6
Friday Sep. 23 Photosynthesis (cont.)
Chapter 6
Monday Sep. 26 Photorespiration, CAM, C4
Chapter 6
Wednesday Sep. 28 Question/answer session Photosynthesis (quiz)
Friday Sep. 30 EXAM I
up to and including lecture on 9/26)
Monday Oct. 3 Phylogeny, Life Cycles, Endosymbiosis
Chapters 18,19,20
Wednesday Oct. 5 Cyanobacteria, Red Algae
Chapter 20
Selection (“Week 1” measure and perform crosses)
Friday Oct. 7 Heterokonts, Chlorophyte Green Algae
Chapter 20
Monday Oct. 10 Streptophyte Green Algae
Chapter 20
Wednesday Oct. 12 Bryophytes (Hornworts, Mosses, Liverworts)
Chapter 22
Leaf “photography”
Hormones (plant peas)
Friday Oct. 14 Vascular plants, Lycophytes, heterospory
Chapter 22
Monday Oct. 17 Pteridophytes
Chapter 22
Wednesday Oct. 19 Seed plants
Chapter 23
Cyanobacteria and algae
Friday Oct. 21 Gymnosperms
Chapter 23
Monday Oct. 24 Angiosperms (flowers)
Chapter 24
Wednesday Oct. 26 Review session (bring questions)
Chapter 24
Seedless plants (quiz)
Friday Oct. 28 EXAM II
lecture material from 10/3 through 10/24
Monday Oct. 31 Angiosperms (inflorescences)
Chapter 25
Wednesday Nov. 2 Angiosperms (fruits)
Chapters 25
Gymnosperms and fossils
Hormones (Day 1): measure/treat)
Selection (“Week 4” harvest)
Friday Nov. 4 Angiosperms (pollination)
Chapter 25
Hormones (Day 3: measure)
Monday Nov. 7 Tropisms and auxin
Chapter 13
Hormones (Day 6: measure)
Wednesday Nov. 9 Hormones (cont.)
Chapter 13
Angiosperms and flowers
Hormones (Day 8: measure) (quiz)
Friday Nov. 11 Phytochrome (or how plants tell time)
Chapter 26
Hormones (Day 10: measure)
Monday Nov. 14 Mitosis and meiosis
Chapter 14
Hormones (Day 13: measure)
Wednesday Nov. 16 Mendelian genetics
Chapter 15
Mitosis and Meiosis
Hormones (Day 15: final measurements)
Friday Nov. 18 Mendelian genetics (cont.)
Chapter 15
Wednesday Nov. 23 THANKSGIVING BREAK (no lab Thanksgiving break week)
Monday Nov. 28 Recombination
Chapter 15
Wednesday Nov. 30 Natural selection
Chapter 17
Selection (final measurements)
Friday Dec. 2 Population genetics
Chapter 17
Monday Dec. 5 Speciation in flowering plants
Chapter 17
Wednesday Dec. 7 Nutrient cycles
Chapter 26
Climate change (quiz)
Friday Dec. 9 Review for final  
Friday Dec. 16 FINAL EXAM (8-10am, AUST 103)  

Course Learning Objectives

At the completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • (LO1) apply hypothetico-deductive reasoning (i.e. scientific method) to ascertain objective truths about the natural world
  • (LO2) explain basic anatomy (cell types, tissue systems, and organs of primary and secondary growth) of vascular plants
  • (LO3) explain basic physiology (photosynthesis, water and food transport, photoperiodism, and the roles of major plant hormones) of vascular plants
  • (LO4) compare and contrast the life cycles of exemplars from different groups (fungi, green algae, bryophytes, ferns, gymnoperms, angiosperms, etc.)
  • (LO5) summarize the diversity and evolutionary history of plants (including green algae, bryophytes, seedless vascular plants, gymnosperms, and angiosperms) and identify evidence supporting an endosymbiotic origin of chloroplasts from cyanobacteria
  • (LO6) explain why organisms traditionally consider plant-like (fungi, slime molds, seaweeds) are no longer considered plants
  • (LO7) identify and describe major evolutionary innovations (embryos, branching sporophytes, vascular tissues, seeds, pollen, and carpels) that resulted in the diversity of plants today
  • (LO8) explain nutrient and water cycles and, in particular, how plants have affected the global carbon cycle and the implications for climate change
  • (LO9) conduct, analyze, and report and discuss results of experiments to test hypotheses about the physiology of plants (specifically transpiration, photosynthesis, and hormones)

Common Curriculum Alignment

The Common Curriculum prepares students to tackle 21st-century challenges by combining coursework across disciplines to expand their worldviews, enhance their range of skills, and develop into critical, creative, emotionally intelligent, and interdisciplinary thinkers. The Curriculum is designed to help students learn to be versatile in a rapidly changing world; combine knowledge in innovative ways; apply learning strategies to new contexts, including their major; see local and global patterns and the interconnectedness of intellectual work; and appreciate how we need each other to tackle today’s challenges.

The University has defined student learning objective (what a student should know, be able to do, or attitudes/beliefs they should possess by the end of the course) for each Topic of Inquiry in the Common Curriculum. Each Common Curriculum course aligns to one or more of those objectives. The course’s student learning objectives align to the Common Curriculum objectives; course assessment (assignments, exams/quizzes, etc) align to both the course learning objectives and the Common Curriculum objectives.

BIOL 1110 satisfies the Common Curriculum Scientific and Empirical Inquiry Topic of Inquiry (TOI-6-lab). The following table lists specific learning objectives of TOI-6 (lab) courses and how they align to the learning objectives of, and assessments used in, this course.

Topic of Inquiry Common Curriculum Objective Course student learning objective(s) Course assessment(s)
TOI-6 1. Students will be able to explain and appropriately use basic scientific language and concepts LO2,LO3,LO4,LO5,LO6,LO7,LO8 Laboratory quizzes, lecture exams
TOI-6 2. Students will be able to design or conduct an experiment or analysis suitable to test a scientific hypothesis and be able to interpret the results LO1,LO9 Laboratory exercises/reports
TOI-6 3. Students will be able to solve problems described verbally, graphically, symbolically, or numerically LO2,LO3,LO4,LO5,LO9 Laboratory reports, lecture exams
TOI-6 lab Through application-based experiences using the scientific method, students will be able to identify problems, make observations, analyze data, interpret data, and develop models or explanations LO1, LO9 Laboratory experiments and reports

BIOL 1110 is also a majors course. It can be substituted for the core course BIOL 1108 in, for example, the EEB major. Thus, if you are not a science major, please do not expect this course to be taught at a non-majors level.

Attendance in lab and lecture

Attending all lectures and labs is important because this is the only way to obtain the material on which you will be tested.

Due dates and late policy

You are expected to be present for all quizzes and exams and to turn in assignments on the dates listed in the course schedule above. Late assignments will be penalized 20% for every day beyond the deadline unless an extension is arranged at least 24 hours before the deadline. Makeup exams will only be given in cases of family emergencies or illness, and the lecture instructor must be consulted prior to the exam.


There are two midterm lecture exams and one final exam in this course.

Textbook and lab manual

  • Plant Biology (3rd edition) by Linda Graham, James M. Graham, and Lee W. Wilcox. (The textbook is available only as a PDF and is not available in the UConn Bookstore; purchase it directly from LJLM Press)
  • Introduction to Botany, Biology 1110 Laboratory Manual, University of Connecticut, 2022 (Chapters of the lab manual will be made available to you for free as needed as PDF files)

The purpose of the assigned textbook reading is to give you the material from a different perspective. This is important because sometimes one person’s explanation of a subject does not work for all people. You are not expected to know everything in the chapters assigned. Concentrate your textbook reading on subjects that were discussed in lecture. If you know I discussed a topic, but you cannot understand the topic even after reading about it in the textbook, please come to see one of us during office hours or arrange some other time to meet with us. Some test questions will come from the textbook, so the assigned reading is important.

Grade determination

Note: this section may change before the semester begins

The total number of points you can earn is 370. The lecture component accounts for 200 points and the lab accounts for the remaining 170.

Lecture Points
Exam 1 100
Exam 2 100
Final exam 100

The 2 highest scores from the 3 exams will be counted. If you missed an exam (for any reason) and were not able to make it up before the answer key was posted, that will be the exam that is dropped. Note that you must take the final exam (even if you did well on the first two exams).

Laboratory Points
Quizes 50
Transpiration 10
Photosynthesis 10
Selection 30
Hormones 30
Climate change 10
Participation 30

Grading scale

If you earn at least the percentage of total points indicated in the table below, you will be given the corresponding letter grade. If you earn fewer than 60% of the total points, you will receive an F for the course:

Percentage Letter grade
92% A
90% A-
88% B+
82% B
80% B-
78% C+
72% C
70% C-
68% D+
62% D
60% D-

Note that you can find out where you stand at any point in the course using the Grade Center in HuskyCT. No adjustments will be made to your grade at the end of the semester, and there is no extra credit to make up for poor exam/lab-report performance. It is thus very important to do as well as you can on every test and every assignment.

Final exam information

You can obtain the date and time of the final exam by following the directions on the Registrar’s web site. You are required to be available for your exam and/or complete an assessment during the time stated in the Registrar’s Office Schedule. If you have a conflict with this time you must visit the Office of Student Services and Advocacy to discuss the possibility of rescheduling this assessment.

Other Important Information

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