TEACHING: PLANT NUTRITION
Mineral Nutrition of Higher Plants, 2nd ed. Horst Marschner
OVERVIEW Plant nutrition is the
study of how plants acquire and utilize essential mineral elements
from their environment. Plants have had to develop mechanisms to
concentrate elements from dilute solutions without accumulating toxic
amounts of other elements. The study of plant nutrition includes the
study of energy tradeoffs in plants: How can plants trade the carbon
fixed in photosynthesis for the nutrients they need. Plant nutrition
includes the study of nutrient transformations at the root surface,
but does not include the study of nutrient reactions in soils.
EXAMINATIONS There will be a
midterm and a final exam. The dates of the exams are indicated in the
lecture schedule. Research problems: There will be two library
research problems (25 points each). These problems will account for
1/6th of the grade.
LABORATORY There is no formal
laboratory associated with this course, but each student will do an
individual project in which you examine some aspect of plant nutrition
related to your thesis research. This individual project will begin in
the first few weeks of the semester and will count 1/6th of your
grade. Each student will present the results of their project during
the last week of class. A written report, in Journal format, will be
due on the last day of class. We will be demonstrating nutrient
deficiencies and toxicities with plants grown in hydroponics in the
Research Greenhouses. You will be expected to identify classic
deficiency and toxicity symptoms as part of the exams.
SUPPLEMENTAL READING Supplemental
reference materials will be put on reserve in the library.
GRADING Students will be scored on
a curve according to z score. Scores above the mean of the class will
be A's, scores below the mean will be B's. Any score more than one
standard deviation below the mean will be a C.
Midterm exam: 100
Final Exam: 100
Individual Lab Project: 50
2 Library Problems (25 each):  50
LIBRARY PROBLEM OUTLINE There will be 2 library problems during the quarter, which are
designed to do 3 things:
Provide experience in locating relevant literature in the library.
Sometimes this will be recent literature.
Provide experience in discussing and summarizing evidence on
Teach you something about critical topics in plant nutrition.
Your written report will have three sections:
Summary of the problem (1 paragraph, no citations)
Literature review with citations
Conclusion (1 paragraph) Your response must be a maximum of two
double-spaced typed pages (with 12 point font). The third page will be
literature citations. Include a maximum of 8 citations. Photocopy the
first page of each cited article and include it at the end of your
report. Your work must be your own, including the literature search.
You will be graded on the clarity, conciseness, and insight of your