CERTIFICATE IN APPLIED BIOCHEMISTRY

An in depth course in plant biochemistry. Understand the cell structure of plants and the chemistry involved.

Course Code: VSC901
Fee Code: CT
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 600 hours
Qualification Certificate
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Learn how to Apply a Knowledge of Biochemistry to Growing and Managing Plants

Plants are constantly changing,

Cells die and new ones form. Chemicals are absorbed into the plant tissue, then undergo chemical reactions (ie. metabolic reactions), and become incorporated into the plant tissues. Components that are not needed are expelled from the plant's tissue. All of these processes are complex, but they are affected and controlled by conditions within and around the plant.

When you study biochemistry, you begin to gain insights into these various processes, and you will develop a steadily increasing understanding of how to influence the metabolic reactions in plants. In doing so, your ability to manage plant growth will itself grow.

 

Modules

Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the CERTIFICATE IN APPLIED BIOCHEMISTRY.
 BIOCHEMISTRY I - PLANTS BSC102
 BIOCHEMISTRY II BSC203
 SOIL AND WATER CHEMISTRY BSC307
 
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 3 of the following 14 modules.
 BOTANY I - Plant Physiology And Taxonomy BSC104
 HORTICULTURAL RESEARCH I BHT118
 SOIL MANAGEMENT - HORTICULTURE BHT105
 WORKSHOP I BGN103
 GENETICS I BSC207
 HYDROPONIC MANAGEMENT (HYDROPONICS II) BHT213
 HYDROPONICS I BHT224
 Medicinal Herbs SGH2
 MICROBIOLOGY BSC209
 PLANT PROTECTION BHT207
 BIOCHEMISTRY III -PLANTS BSC302
 PLANT ECOLOGY (BSC305) BSC305
 SOIL MICROBIOME MANAGEMENT BSC310
 TISSUE CULTURE BHT306
 

Note that each module in the CERTIFICATE IN APPLIED BIOCHEMISTRY is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.


LEARN HOW NITROGEN FIXATION AND OTHER PROCESSES WORK

The biochemistry of nitrogen fixation

Amino acids are precursors for many nitrogen containing molecules such as nucleotides.   Nitrogen is a feature of all amino acids. However despite it atmospheric abundance, it is not readily useable.  N2 is relatively inert and it’s conversion into usable nitrogen compounds depends upon a few varieties of bacteria called diazatrophs.   The availability of usable nitrogen in the forms of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate is considered to be a major limiter of biological growth.

Diazatrophs include organisms such as cyanobacteria and those that inhabit root nodules in legumous plants.   Nitrogen fixation occurring in plant roots of the pea family (including beans, clover, alfalfa etc), is the product of a symbiotic relationship between the plant and the bacteria of the genus Rhizobium.   
 
Here N2 is converted to NH3 which can be incorporated into either glutamate or glutamine using glutamate dehydrogenase or glutamine synthetase respectively.

N2 + 8H+ + 8e- + 16ATP + 16 H20 --> 2NH3 + H2 + 16 ADP + 16Pi

This reaction is catalyzed by the enzyme nitrogenase.  This enzyme has two proteins: Fe-protein; MoFe-protein.  When the N2 is bound to the nitrogenase, the Fe-protein is reduced by electrons donated by ferredoxin.  The reduced protein then binds with 2 ATP and reduces the MoFe-protein, after 8 turns of this cycle, it is then able to donate electrons to N2 hence producing HN=NH.  This cycle is repeated twice more.  In the first repeat, HN=NH is reduced to H2N-NH2; this is further reduced to 2NH3 on the second run. 

Note that in reality often the ATP expenditure can reach as high as 20 – 30 per N2

Some plants and fungi as well as bacteria can also reduce nitrate (NO3 -) found in soils and water.  The nitrate is reduced to NH3 in a two step process.  In the first step nitrate is reduced to nitrite by the nitrate reductase.  The nitrite is then further reduced in the second reaction to ammonia again by nitrate reductase.

NO3- +  2H+ +  2e- -->  NO2 - +  H20

NO2 - +  8H+ +  8e- -->  NH4+ +  2H20

 

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM THIS COURSE?

Anyone who works with plants, from gardeners and horticulturists to farmers, teachers and plant scientists can all benefit from a broader and deeper knowledge of plant chemistry.

Some who undertake this course may already be working with plants and others won't. Some will use this course for professional development; and others as a way of advancing their career or business prospects. 

UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112

Our principal John Mason is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture

Accredited ACS Global Partner

ACS Distance Education is a member of the Australian Garden Council, Our Principal John Mason is a board member of the Australian Garden Council

ACS is an official sponsor of the AIH. The principal, John Mason, is a fellow of AIH. ACS holds Training Provider status with the AIH and is listed as a Preferred Member Training Provider.

Member of Study Gold Coast

Recognised since 1999 by IARC




Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Dr. Lynette Morgan (Crops)

Lyn has a broad expertise in horticulture and crop production. Her first job was on a mushroom farm, and at university she undertook a major project studying tomatoes. She has studied nursery production and written books on hydroponic production of herbs.

Dr Robert Browne

Zoologist, Environmental Scientist and Sustainability, science based consultancy with biotechnology corporations. Work focused on conservation and sustainability.
Robert has published work in the fields of nutrition, pathology, larval growth and develop

Dr. Gareth Pearce

Veterinary scientist and surgeon with expertise in agriculture and environmental science, with over 25 years of experience in teaching and research in agriculture, veterinary medicine, wildlife ecology and conservation in the UK, Australia and New Zealand

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