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University Degree: Botany

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 4
  1. Work shope on plant Cryopreservation

    The property of whole plant and plant tissue to regenerate from cryoreserved cells make this technique suitable for preserving and conserving plant genetic resources. This technique finds application in the vegetative propagation of many plants (which produce recalcitrant seeds i.e. which lose their viability at low freezing point) and crops like potato. Some species of plants survive during cryopreservation using a specific protocol but on the other hand some do not. The expected reason of non viability (after cryopreservation) associated with some plant could be due to the cellular heterogeneity, inadequate tissue culture regimes, genotype, and physiological differences.

    • Word count: 2463
  2. Fostering Local Sustainable Agriculture

    They received very little attention at that time from the agriculture community. In the 1970s, many environmental and sustainable agriculture organizations were created in response to the blossoming global concerns about the environment. Much of these organizations were based primarily on volunteer labour and were beginning to have an impact on the media and the public awareness. Many of these organizations focused their activities on local issues and relied on the local support. In the 1980s there was a dramatic increase in the number of these organizations and of promotional incentives within the local agriculture.

    • Word count: 2450
  3. Factors affecting the rate of photosynthesis

    Chlorophyll is needed for photosynthesis. This can be proved by studying a variegated leaf. It is however very difficult to study how different levels of chlorophyll in the plant will affect it's photosynthesis rate. This is because in a variegated leaf the cells either contain chlorophyll or they don't. Carbon dioxide concentration will directly affect the rate of photosynthesis as it is used in the photosynthesis reaction. It is also easy to change the amount of carbon dioxide that the plant receives. Light is also directly used in the photosynthesis reaction and is easy to change in normal lab conditions.

    • Word count: 2646
  4. Conflict over a resource - An area of outstanding beauty

    Not only were there surrounding areas of local inhabitants but two very large companies who needed the water for everyday industrial use. Albright and Wilson is a large consumer of water which supplied acids such as phosphoric acid for drinks companies such as coca cola, and they also supplied different types of detergents for industrial use. Another large company in the area is sellafield nuclear plant who use ennerdale lakes water supply in urgent need in case of emergencies as a course of back up.

    • Word count: 2168
  5. Investigating the Effect of Canopy Position on the Area of the Sugar Maple, Acer saccharum.

    The specific structures of a leaf can be found below. Leaf structure is a relevant subject which needs a certain understanding. The leaf itself is comprised of several layers. From the outside in, there is the cuticle, upper epidermis, palisade mesophyll, spongy mesophyll, and then the lower epidermis. The cuticle is the waxy, protective layer that helps prevent water loss by preventing the water in the plant's tissues from evaporating. Right underneath the cuticle, where most of the light energy is received, is the upper epidermal layer.

    • Word count: 2345
  6. Demonstrate the separation of plant pigments using chromatography and the rate of photosynthesis in isolated chloroplasts.

    The carbon dioxide is reduced by the addition of electrons provided by NADPH. In order to make glucose from carbon dioxide, the Calvin cycle also utilizes chemical energy from ATP. Pigments aid in the absorption of light. In plants, the main light-absorbing pigments are known as chlorophyll. There are two main types of chlorophyll, chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b. Each type of chlorophyll absorbs different wavelengths of light. Another type of pigment is the carotenoids, pigments in shades of yellow and orange. Carotenoids may broaden the spectrum of colors and absorb light harmful to chlorophyll.

    • Word count: 2118
  7. Comparing the yields of fruit juice produced from different types of fruits using Pectinase.

    In unripe fruit, pectin is bound to cellulose in the cell walls. This type of pectin is insoluble and the liquid within the cell remains fluid. The fluid asserts pressure on the cell walls making the fruit seem hard because of the cell walls rigidity. Enzymes are large globular molecules of which the vast majority are made of protein. All globular proteins have a tertiary structure, which is maintained by hydrogen bonds, ionic bonds and sometimes disulphide bonds, which are links between different parts of the polypeptide chain.

    • Word count: 2036
  8. This investigation aims to determine what effect an increase in the surrounding temperature has on the plasma membrane of a typical plant cell structure.

    This shows that the plasma membrane must be denatured. In the cells of a beetroot plant, a substance called anthocyanin is contained within the plasma membrane. It is anthocyanin which gives the beetroot its characteristic blue/purple colour. If a cell is damaged in a beetroot plant and the membrane is broken, the anthocyanin 'bleeds' from the cells like a dye. In this experiment the temperature denatures the membrane causing it to bleed the dye out of the cell. Although the above values are a range of values obtained from the investigation, it does not actually show how the figures are close to one another.

    • Word count: 2180
  9. Soil Patterns In The Landscape - Soil Sampling in the Fettercairn Area 1

    This site is very likely not to receive up-welling water from the ground water reserves due to its sheer distance from it and so it is not a gleyed soil. Also through-flow movements downslope will be much higher here, resulting in an enhanced rate of lateral translocation of solutes and suspended material, again giving a possible reason for the soil profile's colour. The dense woodland of Scott's pine trees curb wind velocities, slowing air movements raising air masses and intensifying upward wind currents and so increase the condensation of water vapour, creating ideal moist conditions for soil bacteria such as decomposers and nitrogen-fixing bacterium, that could produce acidic excrement which could weather rock fragments present in the soil.

    • Word count: 2073
  10. An investigation to find the effect of bile salts on the digestion of fats.

    1) These, however, are still not small enough to pass though the membranes, and need to be broken down further. This emulsification creates a greater surface area of fat on which the lipase can work. Effectively there is more substrate, and so all the lipase enzymes are working to their full capacity (Fig. 1) In the breakdown of fats, Fatty acids are produced, which changes the overall pH of the solution, giving a simple way of measuring the breakdown of fats.

    • Word count: 2524
  11. Is there evidence of plant succession with the old abandoned quarry at Maddocks Hill?

    Both the Ercall and The Wrekin are a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The Ercall is mainly composed of Pre-Cambrian acdic igneous rock which was formally quarried to provide road stone for the nearby A5. This was certainly destructive, but it had the exceptionally wonderful effect of laying bare the Earth's history; revealing rocks from the earliest beginnings of life on this planet. This is a good site for wildlife with a rich variety of plants and springtime flowers, also the favoured stronghold of one of Telford's speciality butterflies, the dingy skipper. A recent survey of the nature reserve's invertebrates yielded a staggering 821 species.

    • Word count: 2547
  12. Investigation to find out if Stinging Nettles in undisturbed areas have less stingers (trichomes) than nettles grown in grazed grassland.

    This irritates the skin causing white itchy spots to appear. Common habitats for nettles are hedgerows, soil heaps, riverbanks and shaded land. The leaves contain high levels of magnesium, iron, nitrogen and calcium. Variables: The independent variable will be the type of grassland (grazed or ungrazed). The dependant variable will be the number of stingers on the nettle leaf (per cm2). I will collect 10 leaves from each area I want to examine. The difference between the areas is that one will have been subjected to animal grazing and the other, undisturbed for a long space of time.

    • Word count: 2197
  13. The difference in Bracken growth in 2 areas of woodland; one with majority oak and the other majority larch.

    I will therefore systematically measure the pH levels in every 5th quadrat taken in each site. This will be done by taking soil samples from the centre of each quadrat and then analysing the soil once back at the lab by using barium sulphate, deionised water and universal indicator. Slope and Aspect: As the sites I will be working on are situated on hillside I will take the aspect and slop readings (using a compass and clinometer). In doing so I can try and work on similar slopes to make sure that it is not effecting my results.

    • Word count: 2583
  14. To investigate the effects of Light on Species diversity in an Old and a New Coppice.

    Trees shadow other plants around them as they also need to photosynthesise to produce energy for themselves. The chloroplasts in the leaves try to capture as much light as possible for the plant, so this does not allow much light to reach the ground. The younger coppices would contain undeveloped trees which would be smaller with less foliage, and so would not shadow the ground as much. I might also expect the plants in the old coppice to transpire less.

    • Word count: 2479
  15. The effect of light intensity on diversity of planrs on woodland floors.

    Traditional uses for coppiced timber include bean sticks, firewood, baskets, tool handles and brooms. Many centuries ago, coppicing provided people with the timber they needed to live. If coppicing is done on a rotational basis in woodland it increases biodiversity by allowing ground flora to flourish in freshly coppiced areas, which get more sunlight at ground level. As the trees regroup, other areas of the woodland are coppiced so there is always a mix of dark and light areas at ground level.

    • Word count: 2621
  16. Induced defence responses against herbivores. The aim of the project was to study the effects of jasmonic acid, one of the plant hormones involved in induced plant responses, when applied to tomato seeds before they are sown

    The cells surrounding the wound site, although not being directly damaged, will be under considerable stress as they will be acting as a barrier to prevent plant pathogens such as Agrobacterium tumefaciens, which causes crown call disease on the stems of plants and trees, to enter the wound site. The barriers are formed via the process of cell wall strengthening which is partly achieved by the rapid linking of existing cell wall proteins (Bradley et al., 1992), then after the initial response, by the surrounding cells, the wound site is sealed by a calcium-induced callose synthesis process, which blocks the plasmodesmata, preventing the movement of molecules between neighbouring cells.

    • Word count: 2255
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"The colour and shape of flowers are a precise record of what bees find attractive."

-Frederick Turner

If you'd take a Venus flytrap over a dolphin any day, then maybe you'd enjoy studying botany at university. Students of botany study the basis of plant life, and the ecosystems that plants thrive in. They also get a chance to engage with newer topics in the field, like GM crops. You can study botany on its own as a plant biology degree, or as part of another biological sciences degree.

You'll have to go beyond stiff, plodding reports to excel in botany. To enliven your writing, consider studying Marked by Teachers' collection of biological science essays. The worked examples will show you how to do things right, and which mistakes to steer clear of. Stay the course, and your writing will flower into something much greater than it was.

Students studying botany can expect to get some sun between labs and lectures, because many degrees will include a field work component. After graduation you can look forward to further studies, or perhaps a career in agriculture, horticulture or conservation.

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