Understand the principles and practices of plant physiology and their practical applications.


This course is concerned with the structure of plants and the way in which structures develop throughout a plants life from one stage of growth to the next. These stages include juvenility, maturity, flowering and seeding. Plant development involves differentiation of the plant into specialised parts. This may include visible changes such as the structural organisation of the plant and new patterns of growth as well as less visible changes such as localised biochemical and metabolic activity.



Learn Applied Plant Physiology

Growth and development are characteristics not only of the entire plant, but also of each cell within that plant. Active cell division occurs in parts of the plant called meristems. Cell division results in growth in length and diameter of the plant, and in the differentiation of specialised plant organs. Differentiation results in the development of individual plant parts such as stems, leaves, new shoots, flowers, fruits, seed and other structures.

Duration: 100 hours

Course Structure

There are 10 lessons in this module as follows:

  1. Flower physiology
  2. Phytochrome
  3. Phytoperiodism
  4. Control of flower bud initiation and development
  5. Dormancy
  6. Effects of plant associations and competition
  7. Respiration and post harvest physiology
  8. Post harvest storage, transport, retailing and shelf life
  9. Endogenous and synthetic growth regulators
  10. Risks involved with plant growth manipulation



  • Investigate the physiology of growth development and flowering.
  • Examine the nature of phytochrome and its effect on flowering in the phytochrome reaction.
  • Examine the photoperiodic responses of flowering plants to differing dark and light periods.
  • Examine the effect of temperature on the onset of flowering and flower development.
  • Understand and describe the causes of dormancy in seeds and plants and describe the methods of breaking dormancy.
  • Understand plant associations and competition and their effects on quality and marketable yield.
  • Explain the process of respiration in plant cells and its effect on post-harvest storage and transportation of crops.
  • Describe physiological processes in post-harvest crops in relation to the storage conditions.
  • Investigate the effect on plants of endogenous and synthetic growth regulators.
  • Understand risk assessments relevant to plant growth manipulation.