Introduction to the course Plant Biology

July 8, 2015  click:

Liang Yun-Kuan Professor



1998/09–2003/07 Peking University, PhD Degree

1994/09–1998/07 Anhui Normal University, Bachelor's Degree


Professional Experience

2015/05: Head of Department of Plant Sciences, College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, China;

2010/10:Professor, College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, China;

2006/09-2010/03:Research Associate, School of Life Sciences, Bristol University, UK;

2003/08-2006/08:Research Associate, Department of Biological Sciences, Lancaster University, UK. 


Research Description  

Both genetic and environmental signals can perturb stomatal function and root development which impact on plant photosynthetic performance and water use efficiency, of which my lab seeks to understand the underlying mechanisms. We are also working to identify components involved in plant immune responses to pathogen attacks. Our research goal is to define and manipulate key genes responsible for important agricultural traits such as crop yield and stress tolerance and ultimately contribute to food security and environmental protection.


Professional Associations and Volunteer Work

1)  New Phytologist, advisor

2)  Genetics Society of Hubei Province, Executive Member


Selected Publications

1) Liang Y. K., Wang Y., Zhang Y., Li S. G., Lu X. C., Li H., Zou C., Xu Z. H. and Bai B. N. (2003). "OsSET1, a novel SET-domain-containing gene from rice." Journal of Experimental Botany 54: 1995-1996.

2) Liang, Y. K., Dubos, C., Dodd, I. C., Holroyd, G. H., Hetherington, A. M. and Campbell, M. M. (2005). "AtMYB61, an R2R3-MYB transcription factor controlling stomatal aperture in Arabidopsis thaliana." Current Biology 15: 1201-1206.

3) Worrall D., Liang Y. K., Alvarez S., Holroyd G. H., Spiegel S., Panagopulos M., Gray J. E. and Hetherington A. M. (2008). "Involvement of sphingosine kinase in plant cell signalling." Plant Journal 56: 64-72.

4) Liang Y. K., Xie X. D., Lindsay S. E., Wang Y. B., Masle J., Williamson L., Leyser O. and Hetherington A. H. (2010) "Cell wall composition contributes to the control of transpiration efficiency in Arabidopsis thaliana." Plant Journal 64: 692-699.

5) Wu, J. Y., Qin X. Y., Tao S. T., Jiang X. T., Liang Y. K. and Zhang S. L. (2014). "Long-chain base phosphates modulate pollen tube growth via channel-mediated influx of calcium." Plant Journal 79: 507-516.



Tel: 027-68752363




Plant Biology


Course Code:                  College: College of Life Sciences

Term: Spring                  Intended Students: Hongyi Class and International Class

Credits: 3                     Instructor: Professor Liang Yun-Kuan


Course description:

Plant Biology is a three-credit course designed for freshmen in the College of Life Sciences majoring in Biological Sciences. This course introduces students to the major concepts of the various disciplines that make up modern plant sciences, with emphasis on the connection between ontogeny and phylogeny, and the strong correlation between plant structure and function.

At the start of this course we will kick off with an overview of the relationship between plants, natural environment and human life, and then move forward with topics covering individual development (including plant cell structure, plant cell differentiation, plant tissues formation, the morphology and function of plant organs) and the biological basis of plant growth and reproduction. Plant responses to various environmental stimuli, plant reproduction strategies, genetic variations and isolation mechanisms responsible for plant speciation will be taught and discussed before we elaborate on plant classification system, the diversity of plant-kingdom in sensu lato, the representatives of the fungi, algae, mosses, ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms. We will finish the course with a brief introduction to plant biogeography, plant ecology and the general law of vegetation succession in nature. 

This course consists of lectures, literature review, class discussions and supervised small group research to help students maximize learning outcomes. Also in an effort to increase engagement and excitement among students, multimedia technology and educational field practices are widely used in this course.


Course Evaluation: Class quiz, discussion + midterm test + final examination


Textbook: Stern’s Introductory Plant Biology by James Bidlack / Shelley Jansky, 13th Edition, published by the McGraw -Hill Companies, Inc.


List of Recommended References:

1.       Plant Biology, Alison Smith et al., published by Garland Science                           

2.       Plant Biology, Yang Ji et al., Higher Education Press, Beijing, China

Plant Biology, Zhou Yunlong et al., Higher Eduaction Press, Beijing, China

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