M.Sc in Plant SciencesBharathiar University
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Frequent Asked Questions
A candidate who has passed the Undergraduate Degree Examination in Botany / Plant Biology and Plant Biotechnology / Plant Science / Herbal Science / Biology as main subject of study of this University or an examination of some other University accepted by the syndicate as equivalent shall be eligible for admission to the Master Degree in Plant Science / Botany / Herbal science of this University.
PAPER-1 : MICROBIOLOGY
GOALS: to provide the basic knowledge of microbes; to introduce the techniques involved in
their study; to highlight their role in the human welfare.
Scope of Microbiology; Microbial diversity [Bacteria, Fungi, Algae, Viruses and Protozoa]-a
general account, classification, growth and reproduction.
Microbiological Media: Types, preparation, methods of sterilization; enumeration of
microorganisms in soil, water and air; isolation of microorganisms from environment and
infected tissue; Techniques of pure culture, maintenance and preservation; Staining; stains and
dyes, types of staining.
Microbial interaction; Mutualism, commensalisms, antagonism and parasitism; Nitrogen
fixation; symbiotic and asymbiotic; pollution indicator microorganisms, MPN and membrane
filtration; Quantification techniques; Role of microorganisms in sewage treatment.
Fermented foods; Beverages, fermented fruits and vegetables, single cell protein, microbial
spoilage of food preservation, microbiology of milk and milk products.
Industrial Microbiology; Fermenter, batch fermentation vs, continuous fermentation, Industrial
production of enzymes (cellulose, amylase and protease), amino acids (glutamic acid and LLysine),
and organic acids (lactic acid and citric acid).
CORE PAPER CODE: 08 BOT A CO2
PAPER-2: PLANT DIVERSITY
GOALS: To define and characterize diversity; to understand the enormous diversity and range
of diversity and range of diversification of all species in the world; t6o understand the
composition and levels (ecological, organizational, genetic and cultural) of diversity; to
understand the dynamics of diversity; genetics, speciation and extinction; to realize the
fundamental values of diversity; to evolve strategies for diversity conservation and sustainable
Algae: Habit and habitat, structure of thallus, pigmentation, reproduction and ecological
economic importance, Principles of classification, classification of Fritsch. Life histories
of:Chlorella, Bulbochaete, Padina, Gelidium, Anabaena, Diatoms, Vaucheria.
Fungi: Habit and habitat, range of structure, development, nutrition, reproduction, classification
and evolution of fungi (Ainsworth, 1971), Diagnostic features of different classes of fungi.
Economic, importance of fungi, Structure and life histories of: Plasmodiophora, Penicillium,
Neurospora, Pleurotus, Fusarium, Cercospora, Fungi as symbionts.
Bryophytes: Habit and habitat, origin and evolution; classification of Proskauer (1957).
Structural organization of the gametophyte and sporophyte. Methods of spore dispersal, Ecology
Pteridophytes: Habit and habitat, classification of Sporne. Life histories of Isoetes, Equisetuim,
Osmunda. Heterospory and seed habit.; Telome concept, Stelar evolution Economic importance.
Gymnosperms: Habit and habitat, classification of Sporne. Life histories of Cycas, Pinus,
Araucaria, Ginkgo, Ephidra Economic importance.
Paleobotany: Pteridophytes; Lepidodendron and Lepidocarpon Gymnosperms: Williamsonia,
Lagenostoma, Angiosperms; a general account.
PAPER-3: PRACTICALS : : MICROBIOLOGY AND PLANT DIVERSITY
1. Preparation of non-selective and selective media; enumeration of bacteria, fungi and
actinomycetes [plate count] from soil and water;
2. Isolation of pathogenic microorganisms from infected tissue;
3. Observation of morphological characteristics of mould fungi;
4. Purification of mixed cultures;
5. Observation of motility of bacteria [hanging drop technique];
6. Staining methods: Preparation of smears for stains, simple staining , negative staining, gram
7. Test for coliform bacteria;
8. Spoilage of milk by microorganisms [methylene blue test]
PARCTICALS:: PLANT DIVERSITY
1. Vegetative and reproductive structures of:
(A) Algae: Chlorella, Bulbochaete, Nitella, Padina, Turbinaria, Gelidium, Amphiroa, Anabaena,
(B) Fungi: Plasmodiophora, Penicillium, Neurospora, Pleurotus, Fusarium, Cercospora,
(C) Bryophytes: Riceta, Marchantia, Targionia, Lunularia, Fossombronia, Moss (any genus).
(D) Pteridophytes:Lycopodium, Selaginella, Lsoetes, Equisetum, Ophioglossum, Osmunda,
Angiopteris, Marsilea; Glychenia
(E) Gymnosperms: Cycas, Pinus, Araucaria, Ephedra.
(F) Fossils ; Fossil representatives [Vegetative and reproductive] for Pteridophytes and
CORE PAPER CODE: 08 BOT A CO4
PAPER-4: EMBRYOLOGY AND TISSUE CULTURE
GOALS: To know the mechanism underline the shit from vegetative to reproductive phase; to
trace the development of male and female gametophyte; to understand the incompatibility
barriers and evolve methods to overcome it at the time of breeding; to highlight the physiological
role of endosperm in the morphogenesis of embryo, to assess the process of seed setting.
Application of various tools and techniques for in vitro manipulations and improvement of
A brief historical account, microsporangium and male gametophyte-structure and development;
incompatibility-types, mechanism and methods to overcome incompatibility.
Megasporogrnesis, development of female gametophyte (3 types), organization and ultra
structure of mature embryosac, ultra structure and nutrition.
Fertilization - germination of pollen, path of pollen tube.; Endosperm - types and function;
Eembryogenesis-development of a typical monocot and dicot embryo, polyembryony,
Anx.25 C - M.Sc. Plant Sci. (CBCS) 2008-09 Page 12 of 29
Plant tissue culture - history, concept of totipotency, callus induction and organogenesis, somatic
embryogenesis and synthetic seeds.
Micropropagation- methods and application, androgenesis and gynogenesis for haploid
production, protoplast culture and somatic hybridization, somaclonal variation and conservation
CORE PAPER CODE: 08 BOT A CO5
PAPER-5: PLANT SYSTEMATICS
GOALS: To acquire the fundamental values of plant systematics; to know about the basic
concepts and principles of plant systematics; to establish a suitable method for correct
identification and adequate characterization of plants; to be aware of the importance of
taxonomic relationships in plant systematic studies.
Taxonomy and systematics - Basic components and goals of systematics; Advancement levels in
systematics and systematics in internet revolution.
Historical background of plant classification : Classification based on gross morphology, sexual
system (Carlos Linnaeus), natural system and phylogenetic system (transitional systems ,
intentional and contemporary). Major systems of classification: Bentham & Hooker, Engler &
Prant, John Hutchinson, Armen Takhtajan and Arthur Cronquist.
Botanical nomenclature : Need for scientific names , history of botanical nomenclature ,
principles of ICBN , the type method , author citation, publication of names, principles of
priority, names of hybrids, names of cultivated plants and draft biocode.
Process of Identification: Specimen preparation , herbarium methods , and identification
methods (taxonomic literature , taxonomic keys and computers in identification); Botanical
library ; Botanical gardens.
Hierarchical classification: taxonomic groups, categories and ranks, utilization of categories
(speeds concept, intraspecific ranks, genus and family).
Phylogeny of Angiosperms: Important phylogenetic terms and concepts; origin and evolution of
angiosperms; Taxonomic evidence: Morphology, anatomy , embryology, micromorphology and
ultrasturcture, chromosomal, chemotaxonomy and serotaxonomy. Phenetic and phylogenetic
methods: Phenetic - numerical taxonomy, phylogenetic - cladistics. Variation and speciation:
Types of variation, variance analysis, isolating mechanism and speciation.
Study of the diagnostic characters , economic importance , systematics and phylogeny of:
Menispermanceace, Papaveraceae, Capparidaceae, Polygalaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Meliaceae,
Oxalidaceae, Rhamnaceae, Vitaceae, Spindaceae, Combretaceae, Passifloraceae, Lythraceae.
Study of the diagnostic characters, economic importance , systematics and phylogeny of:
Asteraceae, Sapotaceae, Bignoniaceae, Chenopodiaceae, Podostemonaceae, Loranthaceae,
Casuarinaceae, Orchidaceae, Scitamineae, Commelinaceae, Areaceae, Typhaceae, Cyperaceae,
CORE PAPER CODE: 08 BOT A CO6
PAPER-6: PRACTICALS: EMBRYOLOGY AND TISSUE CULTURE &
1. Anther development
2. Female gametophyte
3. Endosperm-types and haustoria
4. Dissection of embryos
PRACTICALS: TISSUE CULTURE
1. Sterilization of ex-plants, preparation of media.
2. Callus induction and organogenesis.
3. Preparation of artificial seed.
4. Demonstration of androgenesis in Datura.
5. Isolation of protoplast from various plant tissues and testing their viability
PRACTICALS: PLANT SYSTEMATICS
1. Study of the morphological and noral characterstics and ecnolomic importance of
Menispermanceae, Papaveraceae, Capparidaceae, Pologalaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Meliaceae
Oxalidaceae, Rhamnaceae, Vitaceae, Sapindaceae, Combretaceae, Passifloraceae,
Lythraceae, Asteraceae, Sapotaceae, Bignoniaceae, Chenopodiaceae, Podostemonaceae,
Loranthaceae Casuarinaceae, Orchidaceae, Scitamineae, Commelinaceae, Arecaceae,
Typhaceae, Cyperaceae, Poaceae,
2. Preparation of artificial keys :
3. Preparation and submission of 50 herbarium
4. Floristic study of Bharathiar University Campus.
CORE PAPER CODE: 08 BOT A CO7
PAPER-7: PLANT PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOCHEMISTRY
GOALS: To understand the structure and function of various biomolecules in plant cells and to
highlight the energitics and forces involved.
UNIT-1: Bioenergetics; Laws of thermodynamics-concepts of free energy, oxidation reduction
(redox) reactions, energy coupling reactions, energy rich compounds, ATP cycle, standard free
energy; membrane potentials; negative entropy changes in living system, enzyme catalysis.
Carbohydrates - Classification, structure and properties of functional groups. Isomerism, alpha
and beta glycoside linkage.
Lipids - Classification, properties, saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, plant waxes, steroids,
cholesterol and lecithin.
Nucleic acids: DNA structure and properties, DNA as genetic material, DNA synthesis and
mechanism of replication (semi conservative and reverse transcription), nucleotides. Physical
properties-hypochromacity, optical rotations and viscosity studies of double helical structure of
DNA. Different species of RNA. m-RNA and r-RNA.
Amino acids; structure, classification, properties, iso-electric point and zwitter ions, Proteins;
primary and secondary, tertiary, alpha helix, extraction and purification,.
Anx.25 C - M.Sc. Plant Sci. (CBCS) 2008-09 Page 16 of 29
Enzymes; Nomenclature of enzymes, properties of enzymes, apoenzymes, coenzymes and
cofactors. Mechanism of enzyme action. Enzyme kinetics, Michaeli's mention equation,
enzyme regulation, covalent and allosteric modulation. Enzyme inhibition: Reversible and
irreversible inhibition, Isoenzymes.
Photosynthesis - Mechanism of photosynthesis - light reactions, C3 and C4 cycles; An outline
of CAM pathway, A general outline of photorespiration.
Respiration - Glycolysis: TCA - cycle, electron transport system coupled with oxidative
Nitrogen metabolism; Biological nitrogen fixation, nitrogen cycle.
Growth and Development - Phytochromes; Phytohormones - classification, bio-assay and mode
of action, Photoperiodism and vernalization.
CORE PAPER CODE: 08 BOT A CO8
PAPER-8: PLANT MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY
GOALS : To understand the genetics of various morphological characters in plants; to
highlight role of molecular biology in the production of new strains of plants capable of
production of new strains of plants capable of producing high yields of high quality food and
with minimal inputs in terms of water, fertilizers and pesticides; to understand the creative
relationship between agriculture and plant molecular biology in re-structuring crop-plant
genome; to explain how genetic engineering involves the use of recombinant DNA technology
for crop improvement; to identify the molecular markers for selection of superior genotypes. To
acquire fundamental knowledge on the application of various tools and techniques for
improvement of microbes and higher plants
Chromosomes and their structure - euchromatin and heterochromatin, banding pattern for
identification of chromosomes; B-chromosomes. Chromosomal aberrations-duplications,
deficiencies, inversions and translocations.
Mutations - types of mutagens and mutations, effects of mutagens on chromosomes and genes at
molecular level, Identification of mutations in plants; in vitro methods for crop improvement.
Chemistry of the gene: Nucleic acids as genetic material; structure of DNA [different forms] and
RNA [different types]; replication of DNA and RNA, models of DNA replication with
experimental evidences. Organization of genetic material - nucleosome concept, techniques
involved nucleosome discovery, Chromosomal DNA content and C-Value paradox; repetitive
DNA, satellite DNA]; selfish DNA.
Genetic code - properties, codon assignments, mutations in genetic code, new genetic code in
mitochondria and ciliate protozoa.; Gene expression - structure of a protein; protein synthesis in
prokaryotes and eukaryotes - transcription and translation; regulation of gene expression -
induction and repression systems, the operon model.
Biotechnology-basic concepts and scope, Methods of gene transfer to plants: Direct gene
transfer methods - Agrobacterium mediated method - biolistic methods; Genetic engineering :
Restriction Enzymes- plasmid and phage vectors - artificial chromosomes; Gene cloning :
Principles and techniques; Construction of genomic and cDNA libraries. Transgenic plants- pros
CORE PAPER CODE: 08 BOT A CO9
PAPER-9: PRACTICALS: PLANT PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOCHEMISTRY &
PLANT MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY
PRACTICALS: PLANT PHYSIOLOGY
1. Rate of photosynthesis under varying CO2 concentration in water plants.
2. Effect of intensity of light on O2 evolution during photosynthesis using Will Mont's bubble
3. Effect of temperature on the rate of aerobic respiration.
4. Measurement of growth of germinating pea seeds.
1. Chromatographic techniques:
a) Paper chromatographic technique to separate sugars, amino acids and chloroplast pigments.
b) Thin layer chromatographic technique to separate chloroplast pigments, sugars and lipids.
c) Column chromatographic technique to separate chloroplast pigments and flower pigments.
2. Extraction of chlorophyll pigments from leafy vegetable, separation of extracted pigments,
determination of absorption spectrum of the pigments.
3. Colorimetric/Spectrophotometric estimation of the following biomolecules.
a) Total free amino acids (Ninhydrin reagent method),
b) Protein (Biuret and Lowry et al, (1951) methods),
c) Total soluble carbohydrates (An throne reagent method),
d) Starch (Clegg's (1956) method),
e) RNA (Orcinol reagent method),
f) DNA (Diphenylamine reagent method).
4. Protein extraction from groundnut seeds-purification by salt precipitation and dialysis;
separation of seed proteins by (i) Gel filtration and (ii) Electrophoresis (PAGE).
5. Estimation of fatty acids.
PRACTICALS: PLANT MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY
1. Study of mitosis and meiosis in different plant materials;
2. Estimation of chiasma frequency;
3. Banding techniques - C and N banding techniques;
4. Photomicrography, Camera Lucida utility.
5. DNA isolation - Agrose gel, RAPD
ELECTIVE PAPER CODE: 08 BOT A E1
PAPER-1: ENVIRONMENTAL BOTANY
GOALS: To understand the basic and applied aspects of environmental botany; and the levels of
organization and basic divisions of biology. to explain the uses of the knowledge of remote
sensing, statistical methods and computers for the analysis of multi-step process involving many
variables of natural systems; to emphasize how for the ecosystem modeling and systems analysis
have become important aspects of environmental studies.
History and Relationship of ecology to other sciences; Auto ecology; Ecocline, Ecotype and its
types, Ecological amplitude, Ecological niche and types; Synecology; Modern concepts of biotic
community, major and minor communities, methods of studying plant communities.
Ecosystem ecology; Types, structure, food chain, food webs and trophic levels, Ecological
pyramids; Energy flow in the ecosystem, Ecological efficiency; Biogeochemical cycles
(hydrological, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus & sulfur); Homeostasis of ecosystem;
Environmental deterioration; Water pollution (fresh water bodies), air pollution, greenhouse
effect, importance of ozone layer and its depletion, acid rain, noise pollution, radiation pollution,
pollution of land by solid waste; Environmental management and legislation (broad outline).
Soil and water conservation: Soil erosion, it's effect and control, Control of floods, Water
conservation; Marine ecosystem; zonation of sea, communities of marine environment, energy
flow; Mangroves, Coral reefs; Problems and management of marine ecosystem.
Phytogeography: Theories of plant distribution (Theory of Land Bridge, Theory of Continental
Drift, Age and Area Theory and Theory of Tolerance) with evidences, Endemism and its types;
Major biomes of the world (Tropical rain forests, Temperate vegetation, Desert, Grassland, Taiga
and Tundra); Vegetational types of India.
CODE: 08 BOT A E2
PAPER-2: PLANT BREEDING
GOALS: To acquire a knowledge on various breeding methods involved in the improvement of
crop plants ; to explain how far the techniques of plant breeding have become sophisticated and
rewarding ; to highlight the mission-orientation breeding delving upon production breeding,
quality breeding, adaptive breeding and protection breeding regardless of breeding system ; to
study the application of induced mutations, induced polyploidy and wide hybridization for crop
Brief history of plant breeding ; objectives of plant breeding; centers of origin, plant introduction
- history, agencies, procedure, germplasm collection, merits and demerits. Modes of
reproduction and control of pollination - self incompatibility, male sterility.
Selection - mass selection, pureline selection, clonal selection with reference to methodology,
merits and demerits, their application.
Heterosis and Inbreeding depression - effects of inbreeding genetic basis of heterosis - theories
explaining heterosis and inbreeding depression.
Improvement of crop plants by pedigree method, bulk method, backcross method - procedure,
merits and demerits of the above breeding methods;
Improvement of crop plants through Induced mutations, polyploidy and distant hybridization.
ELECTIVE PAPER CODE: 08 BOT A E3
GOALS: To introduce the students to various techniques involved in plant science which will
enable them to pursue various research activities.
Microscopy - Principle and Functioning of light, SEM, EMS and Florescence
Micrometry, Haemocytometer, Microtomy - killing, fixation and staining,
General Principles and applications of pH meter, calorimetry, Spectrometry (UV,IR, NMR, MS )
General principles of Chromatography - TLC, Column, HPLC,GLC
General Principles of Electrophoresis, PAGE and SDS, Centrifugation -
Types - Principles of PCR and its applications.