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Animal and Plant Physiology, 15 Credits

Swedish name: Djur- och växtfysiologi

This syllabus is valid: 2024-03-18 and until further notice

Course code: 5MO101

Credit points: 15

Education level: First cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Molecular Biology: First cycle, has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: Three-grade scale

Responsible department: Department of Molecular Biology

Established by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2017-04-05

Revised by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2023-09-25


The course is divided into two parts, Animal Physiology 7.5 credits and Plant Physiology 7.5 credits.

Animal Physiology:

Module 1, theory and group work 6 credits

The animal physiology section begins with an overview of the diversity of the animal world, followed by analysis of the life processes of multicellular animals, mainly at the level of the organism. The course will provide basic knowledge about the development and composition of organs and organ systems within the animal world, illustrated by a comparison between mammals and various selected animal groups. These may constitute examples of representative adaptations of the animals and their organ systems to their typical living conditions. Connections between cellular mechanisms, form, function and the organism's environment are emphasized.

Module 2, laboratories, studies of histological sections and theme work concerning physiological principles and adaptations 1.5 credits

In the practical sessions, the student becomes familiar with the anatomy and physiology of humans and selected laboratory animals. The part is performed individually or in a group.

Plant Physiology:

Module 3, theory 5 credits

The plant physiology theory focuses on what is unique in plants and in plant's cells, including growth, anatomy, differentiation, metabolism, photosynthesis, stress physiology and flowering. Emphasis is given to cell growth, synthesis, cell stretching, three genome, gene regulation, plant hormones and natural products. In addition, plant model systems, transformation methods, in vitro culture of plants, tissue-specific expression, and databases relevant to plant biotechnology will be discussed. During the course, various organizational levels will be integrated, from the molecular to ecosystem function (e.g. biotic interactions, herbivory, plant chemistry, balance between growth and defense and the use of plants as detectors for e.g. for chemicals.

Module 4, laboratories, written work, group discussion and oral presentation of a topic within the scope of the course content. 2.5 credits

In the practical aspects (2.5 credits), training in the working methods of plant physiology is provided.

Expected learning outcomes

After completing the course, the students should be able to:

  • Use knowledge of the structure of the organs and organ systems and different cell types to describe and explain their special function, regulation and how the organ systems may have evolutionarily developed.
  • Analyze and classify selected histological sections of representative normal tissue types and organs.
  • Explain the life processes of the plants and the structure and function of the plant cell, including growth, determination, photosynthesis, metabolism, differentiation and death, and how these processes are regulated.
  • Apply knowledge of the plants' living conditions to draw conclusions regarding the benefits, risks and ethical aspects of genetically modified plants.
  • Perform and analyze laboratory work and present the data in the form of scientific laboratory reports.
  • Be able to work individually and in groups to identify and evaluate scientific literature with themes in animal or plant physiology, and summarize the essential information both orally and in written form

Required Knowledge

20 ECTS from finished courses in Chemistry, including at least 5 ECTS in Biochemistry, or alternatively, 20 ECTS from a combination of finished courses in Chemistry and Physics and/or Mathematics, including at least 5 ECTS in Biochemistry; 30 ECTS from finished courses in Biology, these credits must contain Molecular Biology, Genetics, and Cell Biology.

Form of instruction

The teaching includes lectures, lessons, group work, group discussions, dissections, and laboratory work. All laboratory work, assignment and presentation / discussion of theme works are compulsory. Dissections of animals and slaughtering material from sheep, beef or pigs are carried out depending on the availability.

The language of course is English.

Examination modes

Examination is based on: i) a written examination of the two theoretical modules; ii) written laboratory report performed in groups or individually; iii) individual oral presentation. Grades the theoretical part are fail (U), pass (G) and Pass with distinction (VG). Grades for the laboratory part and the oral presentation are Fail (U) or Pass (G). In order to achieve the grade G, the student must submit the individual written assignments, according to the defined guidelines. Furthermore, active participation during recapitulations and discussions is required. Active participation means that the student contributes with his / her own comments, reflections and questions, and that the student tries to answer questions posed either to the student or to the group.

The grade for the entire course is only decided when all exams and compulsory elements have been assessed. The course is graded with one of the grades Pass with distinction (VG), Pass (G) or Fail (U). For the grade Pass (G) it's required that the two written exams have been assessed with at least the result Pass (G) and that the other mandatory elements have been assessed with the grade Pass (G). For the grade Pass with distinction (VG) it is required that at least one of the written exams has been assessed with the result Pass with distinction (VG) and that the other examinations have been assessed with the grade passed (G). If one of the written exams is graded with the result fail (U), the course is given a grade of Fail (U).

The course leader can decide that an active participation in exercises and presentations as well as a passing result in a dugga should give bonus points to be added to the exam result, however not exceeding 10% of the total score of the exam. It is up to the course leader to inform at the start of the course which elements give bonus points and what is required to obtain them.

In case of absence from any compulsory teaching sessions, the examiner will decide on alternative assignments or whether the student should attend the compulsory event at a later date..

Students that have not been approved on the regular exam have the right to a re-exam. The individual who passed the examination cannot take another exam to obtain a higher grade. The first opportunity for re-examination is offered within two months of the regular exam. For examinations conducted during the months of May and June, the first re-exam may be offered within three months of the regular examination. A second re-exam must be offered within one year of the regular exam. If the result is U (Fail), the student is then referred to the exam the next time the course/module is given.

A student who has attended two examinations for a course or part of a course without an approved result, has the right to have another examiner appointed, unless special reasons speak against it (HF Chapter 6, Section 22). Requests for a new examiner are made to Deputy Head of Department of Molecular Biology.

Deviations from the examination format can be made for a student who has a decision on educational support due to a disability. Individual adaptation of the form of examination must be considered based on the student's needs. The form of the examination is adapted within the framework of the course plans' expected study results. After the student's request, the head of department, in consultation with the course leader, must quickly decide on an adapted form of examination. The decision must then be communicated to the student.


The student has the right to be tested on whether previous education or equivalent knowledge and skills acquired in professional activities can be recognized as equivalent to a corresponding education at Umeå University. Application for credit transfer is sent to Studentcentrum. More information on credit transfer is available at Umeå University's student website and in the Higher Education Ordinance (Chapter 6)

Other regulations

In the event that the course plan ceases to apply or undergoes major changes, students are guaranteed at least three exam opportunities (including regular exam opportunities) according to the regulations in the course plan in which the student was originally registered to, for a maximum of two years from the time the previous course plan ceased to apply or that the course has ceased to be offered.


The literature list is not available through the web. Please contact the faculty.