General Biology Experiment

Course Name: General Biology Experiment

Credits: 3.0

Level: Undergraduate

Pre-requisite: General Biology

Lecture Time: 10 weeks, 2 sessions/week, 4 hours/session

Instructors: Prof. Hai-chun Jing

Course Description

The General Biology Experiment is an elective course in the university, which aims at verification of classroom theory, command in research methods and manipulative skills. It aims at training the students independent research and practical works in biology. According to experimental classes, students are required to have command in basic theory and knowledge of general biology, and some basic research methods. Upon completion, the students should be able to demonstrate understanding of experimental investigation in:

  1. Plant development, morphology and organs structure
  2. The status of evolution in the plant community and some common close relationship between human and plants
  3. Animal cell morphological structure and life habits of model organism, C.elegans.

This course guarantee the education standards, inspire students’ interest for life science and finally raise their integrative quality.

Topics and Schedule

Part I: Experimental class

Introduction (Instructors: Prof. Hai-chun Jing, 4 hrs)

  1. Why the general biology experimental class? the purpose and the matters of attention.
  2. Structure and use of an ordinary optical microscope
  3. Common cultivation methods of Arabidopsis thaliana in laboratory

1           Experiment 1: Basic methods of ecological experiment research (Instructors: Prof. Wei-guo Sang, 4 hrs)

  1. Insight into the actual living conditions of the living things and Collection of biological specimens (including plants, insects, and large fungi)
  2. Participate in field experiment investigation process (including plants, insects, and microorganism)

2           Experiment 2: Principles of plant taxonomy and identification of species (Instructors: Prof. Tian-gang Gang, 4 hrs)

  1. A visit to the specimen museum, learn the basic procedures of plant classification
  2. Observation of anatomy and morphology of 5-10 species in different genera, Basic knowledge of plant morphology, understanding of the classification of common plant species, learning to use and the preparation of plant retrieval table method, learning methods of collecting and producing plant specimens.
  3. A visit to Beijing Botanical Garden and field practice, understanding of species (20-30 species common plant identification), collection and production of specimens, write their retrieval table.

3           Experiment 3: Observation of the morphology and structure of C.elegans and the phenotype analysis of mutants (Instructors: Prof. Hong Zhang, 4 hrs)

  1. Observation of the morphology of wild type and mutants of C.elegans by dissecting microscope
  2. Observation of cell biological characteristics of wild type and mutants of C.elegans by whole-mount method
  3. Observation of different tissues and cell types with fluorescence labeling by fluorescence microscope

4           Experiment 4: Observation of the animal cell (Instructors: Prof. Tao Xu, 4 hrs)

  1. Observation of different types of animal cells by DIC microscope
  2. Production and staining of temporary animal cell slice

5           Experiment 5: The basic structure of plant root and the experiment of root to ground (Instructors: Prof. Jie Le, 4 hrs)

  1. Observation of its basic structure of the root tip of Arabidopsis thaliana after 7 days of germination by low-power microscope
  2. Observation of the apical columella cells of root tip, identification of starch structure. Staining the starch in apical columella cells of root tip of wild type and pgm mutant by Potassium iodide solution
  3. Observation and quantitative analysis of wild-type and pgm mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana in response to gravity

6           Experiment 6: Microscopic observation of plant epidermal cells and stomata (Instructors: Prof. Jie Le, 4 hrs)   

  1.  Observation of Arabidopsis thaliana and rice leaf epidermal cells, Identify the morphological characteristics of plant epidermis and stomatal lineage cells
  2. Transparent Arabidopsis thaliana leaves by chloral hydrate, observation and statistics on the stomatal index of wild type (Col) and tmm mutant

7           Experiment 7: Observation on the structure of plant basic morphology (Instructors: Prof. You-fa Cheng, 4 hrs)

  1. Microscopic observation of the internal structure of plant roots, stems and leaves, using slice, transparent and staining methods
  2. Understand the conducting tissue including vessel and sieve tube
  3. Observation of the morphology and arrangement of leaf tissue and stoma

8           Experiment 8: Observation of plant embryo and seed development (Instructors: Prof. You-fa Cheng, 4 hrs)

  1. Observation of the basic morphology of dicotyledousArabidopsis thaliana, dissecting its floral organ, and observation of the cell morphology of each organ by HCG solution,
  2. Anatomy of monocotyledonouswheat spike-likeinflorescence
  3. Introduction of the composition of floral organs of Lilium brownii, Rosa rugosa and Dianthus chinensis L. 
  4. Introduction of the fertilization process of Arabidopsis thaliana, and do crossing by yourself

Conclusion : Summary report of optional topics (Instructors: Prof. Hai-chun Jing, 4 hrs)

Part II: Optional Topics

In addition to the arrangement of the experimental class, each group can

choose a specific scientific issues in extracurricular to do optional topics, and

finally report the results.

Topics List

  1. Analysis of grain size, weight, color and shape of Sorghum bicolor (Instructors: Prof. Hai-chun Jing)
  2. Observation of the growth and development of sweet sorghum in plant growth chamber (Instructors: Prof. Hai-chun Jing)
  3. Anatomy and analysis of the microstructure of the sorghum stem (Instructors: Prof. Hai-chun Jing)
  4. A survey on the status of forest regeneration under different forest types in Mt. Dongling of Beijing (Instructors: Prof. Wei-guo Sang)
  5. Litter biomass and seasonal dynamics analysis in different forest types in Mt. Dongling of Beijing (Instructors: Prof. Wei-guo Sang)
  6. The composition of insects in different forest types and their relationship with plants in Mt. Dongling of Beijing (Instructors: Prof. Wei-guo Sang)
  7. Observation of the expression of fluorescence signal in different tissues of C.elegans ( Instructors: Prof. Hong Zhang)
  8. How to get the same development period of C.elegans (Instructors: Prof. Hong Zhang)
  9. Study on the formation position and the regulation mechanism of plant lateral root (Instructors: Prof. Jie Le)
  10. How gravity affects root morphology and structure (Instructors: Prof. Jie Le)
  11. How plants adapt to drought stress through stomatal pores (Instructors: Prof. Jie Le)
  12. Paraffin embedded, sliced and immune-histochemical staining of animal tissues (Instructors: Prof. Tao Xu)