Syllabus Bio 4 Final - Amherst College

Syllabus Bio 4 Final - Amherst College

Food, Fiber, and Pharmaceuticals, Biology 4 Spring 2009 In this course we will discover how, why, and when plants became vital to people and their s...

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Food, Fiber, and Pharmaceuticals, Biology 4

Spring 2009

In this course we will discover how, why, and when plants became vital to people and their societies. We will explore the characteristics of particular species that enabled their exploitation, and study several economically important plant groups, including those that provide food and beverages, medicines and narcotics, spices, perfumes, fuels, and fiber. How and when were plants domesticated and what are the consequences of large-scale agriculture? We will also explore the role of technology in efforts to both improve and synthesize plant products, and discuss methods for sustainable agriculture.

Professor Rachel A. Levin Course meeting times:

McGuire Life Sciences Building 139, x8333, [email protected] Office hours: Thursdays 3:00-5:00pm & by appointment

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10-11:20am, Merrill 315 Two required off-campus field trips (March 7 or 8; April 4 or 5)

Required books (or selected chapters): Pollan, M. 2002. The Botany of Desire: A plant’s-eye view of the world. Random House Foster, N and LS Cordel, editors. 1992. Chilies to Chocolate: Food the Americas Gave the World. University of Arizona Press Standage, T. 2006. A History of the World in 6 Glasses. Walker Publishing Company Pollan, M. 2007. The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. Penguin Hobhouse, H. 2005. Seeds of Change: Six Plants That Transformed Mankind. Counterpoint Hobhouse, H. 2005. Seeds of Wealth: Five Plants That Made Men Rich. Counterpoint Journal & magazine articles: We will read articles from the primary scientific literature as well as more popular sources. All readings can be freely accessed on-line through the Bio4 E-reserves webpage. Useful reference texts: Levetin, E and K McMahon. 2008. Plants & Society, 5th edition. McGraw-Hill Simpson, B and M Ogorzaly. 2000. Economic Botany. 3rd edition. McGraw-Hill Expectations: You are expected to attend class, complete reading assignments, and actively engage in the course. Students are required to submit via the course website two questions (or comments) regarding the reading materials (by 10pm the evening before class). At least one of these should be thoughtful with the potential to provoke discussion, whereas the other can have a factual answer that you were not able to resolve with a bit of research. Bring a hard copy of your questions to class. You will also have the opportunity to critique a scientific paper regarding the origins of domestication, work with a partner to prepare and present a food dish of your choice, and research a plant of economic value to humans. Evaluation: Your final grade for the course will be comprised of the following assignments: Class participation and weekly questions/comments (20%); Summary of plant domestication article (due: Monday March 2 by 5pm, 15%); Four brief (~10 min) quizzes (4 @ 5% each); Culinary creation & presentation (due: Tuesday May 5 in class, 10%); Final project in-class presentation (April 21-30 in class, 10%); Final project paper (due Friday May 8 by 5pm, 25%). Intellectual Responsibility: Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty are a violation of the Amherst College Honor Code (https://www.amherst.edu/65945) and will not be tolerated. Plagiarism includes copying text directly from an article or book, as well as borrowing ideas from another source without appropriate acknowledgement (i.e., citation). If you are unsure, ask me or consult the following web page: https://www.amherst.edu/campuslife/deanstudents/acadhonesty





Biology 4 Syllabus, 2

Date Jan 27

Topic Introduction to course, plant basics

Readings

Jan 29

What is a fruit?

BOD, pages xiii-58

Feb 3

History of Agriculture

ER1-3

Feb 5

No class

Get a head start on domestication readings

Feb 10

Crop Domestication

ER4-6

Feb 12

Darwin Day! Selection (Prof. JS Miller)

TBA

Feb 19

Riches of the New World: potatoes, chilies, chocolate, beans Corn and capitalism

BOD, pages 183-245; C2C, pages 1-14, 61-121, 143167; ER7-8 C2C, pages 47-60; OMD, pages 15-119; ER9-10

Feb 24

Cereals and other grains

C2C, pages 15-33, 123-141; ER11-13

Feb 26

Plant breeding: bananas; QUIZ 1

ER14-15; Critique due (Mon March 2 by 5pm)

Feb 17

Mar 5

Genetic engineering, J Cavatorta ’04 (Department of Plant Breeding & Genetics, Cornell University) How sweet it is…

Mar 7/8

Field trip to local maple sugar shack

Mar 10

Stimulating brews: coffee, tea, coca-cola

HW6G, pages 1-6, 133-284

Mar 12

HW6G, pages 9-129; ER22-23

Mar 24

Relaxing brews: the benefits of fermentation Spring Break Spices, herbs, and volatiles

Mar 26

Psychoactive Drugs and Poisons; QUIZ 2

BOD, pages 113-179; ER31-32

Mar 31

What’s in the medicine cabinet?

ER33-37

Apr 2

Fiber and wood

SC, pages 175-233; ER38-40

Apr 4/5

Field trip to Smith College Plant House

Apr 7

Dyes, rubber and chewing gum

SW, pages 125-185; ER41-43

Apr 9

Algae are plants too…and tasty!

ER44-47

Apr 14

Biofuels

ER48-53

Apr 16

Sustainable agriculture; QUIZ 3

ER54-57

Apr 21

Project presentations

Apr 23

Project presentations

Draft of final papers due in class (3 copies)

Apr 28

Project presentations

Draft reviews due in class

Apr 30

Project presentations

May 5

Let's eat! Course evaluations

Mar 3

ER16-20 SC pp. 53-113; ER21 (will hand out in class)

C2C, pages 35-45; ER24-30

Culinary creation due in class

May 7 Course wrap up; QUIZ 4 Final paper due (Fri May 8 by 5pm) BOD, Botany of Desire; ER, E-reserves literature; C2C, Chilies to Chocolate; OMD, The Omnivore's Dilemma; SC, Seeds of Change; HW6G. History of the World in 6 Glasses; SW, Seeds of Wealth





Biology 4 Syllabus, 3

Food, Fiber, and Pharmaceuticals, Reading list

I.

Spring 2009

Required books (refer to the course schedule for dates/pages) I recommend purchasing copies of Foster & Cordel (1992) and Standage (2006); both are available in paperback and can be purchased on-line for a reasonable price. At least one copy of each of the required books is on reserve in the Science library. Pollan (2002) is freely available as an e-book (link to it from the E-reserves website for Biology 4). Pollan, M. 2002. The Botany of Desire: A plant’s-eye view of the world. Random House. Foster, N and LS Cordel, editors. 1992. Chilies to Chocolate: Food the Americas Gave the World. University of Arizona Press. Standage, T. 2006. A History of the World in 6 Glasses. Walker Publishing Company. Pollan, M. 2007. The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. Penguin. Hobhouse, H. 2005. Seeds of Change: Six Plants That Transformed Mankind. Counterpoint. Hobhouse, H. 2005. Seeds of Wealth: Five Plants That Made Men Rich. Counterpoint.

II.

Optional books Koeppel, D. 2008. Banana: The fate of the fruit that changed the world. Plume. Diamond, J. 2005. Guns, Germs and Steel. W W Norton & Company Inc. Carney, J. 2002. Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas. Harvard University Press. Warman, A. 2007. Corn and Capitalism: How a Botanical Bastard Grew to Global Dominance. University of North Carolina Press. Freely available as an e-book (link to it from the E-reserves website)

III. E-reserves literature (organized by date & topic) February 3 - History of Agriculture (1) Balter, 2007. Seeking agriculture’s ancient roots. Science 316:1830-35 (2) Brown et al., 2009. The complex origins of domesticated crops in the Fertile Crescent. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 24:103-9 (3) Neumann, 2003. New Guinea: A cradle of agriculture. Science 301:180-1 Optional: Denham et al., 2003. Origins of agriculture at Kuk swamp in the highlands of New Guinea. Science 301:189-93 Diamond, J 2005. Guns, Germs and Steel, pages 85-191

February 10 - Crop domestication (4) Diamond, 2002. Evolution, consequences and future of plant and animal domestication. Nature 418:700-707 (5) Tanno and Willcox, 2006. How fast was wild wheat domesticated? Science 311:1886 (6) Zeder, 2006. Documenting domestication: the intersection of genetics and archaeology. Trends in Genetics 22:139-155 Optional: Sonnante et al., 2007. The domestication of artichoke and cardoon: from Roman Times to the Genomic Age. Annals of Botany 100:1095-1100 Zerega, 2004. The breadfruit trail. Natural History 112:46-51





Biology 4 Syllabus, 4

February 17 - Riches of the New World: potatoes, chilies, chocolate, beans (7) Nabhan, 1997. Why chilies are hot. Natural History 106:24-8 (8) Spooner et al., 2005. A single domestication for potato based on multilocus amplified fragment length polymorphism genotyping. PNAS 102:14694-99 Optional: Galindo-Tovar et al., 2008. Some aspects of avocado (Persea americana Mill.) diversity and domestication in Mesoamerica. Genet. Resour. Crop Evol. 55:441-50 Lentz et al., 2008. Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) as a pre-Columbian domesticate in Mexico. PNAS 105:6232-37 Pickersgill, 2007. Domestication of plants in the Americas: Insights from Mendelian and molecular genetics. Annals of Botany 100:925-940 Tewksbury et al. 2008. Evolutionary ecology of pungency in wild chilies. PNAS 105:11808-11

February 19 - Corn and capitalism (9) Movie, King Corn (available streaming from course website) (10) Jahren and Kraft, 2008. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes in fast food: signatures of corn and confinement. PNAS 105:17855-17860 Optional: Royte, 2006. Corn plastic to the rescue? Smithsonian 37(5):84-88 Warman, A 2003. Corn & Capitalism: How a Botanical Bastard Grew to Global Dominance. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

February 24 - Cereals and other grains (11) Uga et al. 2003. Variations of Floral Traits in Asian Cultivated Rice (Oryza sativa L.) and its Wild Relatives (O. rufipogon Griff.). Breeding Science 53:345-52. (12) Sweeney and McCouch. 2007. The Complex History of the Domestication of Rice. Annals of Botany 100:951-57. (13) Goff and Salmeron, 2004. Back to the future of cereals. Scientific American 291(2):42-9 Optional: Carney, J 2002. Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas. Harvard University Press, pages 31-106 Londo et al., 2006. Phylogeography of Asian wild rice, Oryza rufipogon, reveals multiple independent domestications of cultivated rice, Oryza sativa. PNAS 103:9578-83

February 26 - Plant breeding: bananas (14) Canine, 2005. Building a better banana. Smithsonian 36: 96-104 (15) Grimm, 2008. A bunch of trouble. Science 322:1046-47 Optional: Koeppel, D 2008. Banana: The fate of the fruit that changed the world. Plume.

March 3 - Plant breeding: genetic engineering (16) Borlaug, 2000. Ending world hunger. The promise of biotechnology and the threat of antiscience zealotry. Plant Physiology 124:487-90 (17) Kaniewski & Thomas, 2004. The potato story. AgBioForum 7:41-6 (18) Langridge, 2000. Edible vaccines. Scientific American 283(3):66-71 (19) Peters, 2000. Genetic engineering in agriculture: who stands to benefit? Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 13:313-27 (Focus on conclusions) (20) Powledge, 2001. Tobacco Pharming. Scientific American 285(4):25-6 Optional: Hails, 2000. Genetically modified plants—the debate continues. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 15:14-18 Marvier, 2001. Ecology of transgenic crops. American Scientist 89:160-167





Biology 4 Syllabus, 5

March 5 - How sweet it is… (21) McGee pp. 648-655, 667-679 (RAL will hand out copies) March 12 - Relaxing brews: the benefits of fermentation (22) Bahre and Bradbury, 1980. Manufacture of mescal in Sonora, Mexico. Economic Botany 34:391-400 (23) Legras et al., 2007. Bread, beer and wine: Saccharomyces cerevisiae diversity reflects human history. Molecular Ecology 16:2091-2102 March 24 - Spices, herbs, and volatiles (24) Goff and Klee, 2006. Plant volatile compounds: sensory cues for health and nutritional value? Science 311:815-819 (25) Harris, 2000. For the love of mustard. Smithsonian 31:102-10 (26) Lubinsky et al., 2008. Neotropical roots of a Polynesian spice: the hybrid origin of Tahitian vanilla, Vanilla tahitensis (Orchidaceae). American Journal of Botany 95:1040-47 (27) Raloff, 2004. Coffee, Spices, Wine. Science News 165:282-84 (28) Rodríguez et al., 2008. New cinnamon-based active paper packaging against Rhizopus stolonifer food spoilage. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 56:6364-69 (29) Sherman & Billing, 1999. Darwinian gastronomy: why we use spices. Bioscience 49:453-63 (30) Wolkamir, 1995. Without garlic, life would be just plain tasteless. Smithsonian 26:71-9 March 26 - Psychoactive Drugs and Poisons (31) Boucher, 1991. Cocaine and the coca plant. Bioscience 41:72-6 (32) Schultes, 1969. Hallucinogens of plant origin. Science 163:245-54 March 31 - What’s in the medicine cabinet? (33) Coley et al., 2003. Using ecological criteria to design plant collection strategies for drug discovery. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 1:421-28 (34) Cowan, 1990. Medicine on the wild side. Science News 138:280-2 (35) Cox and Balick, 1994. The ethnobotanical approach to drug discovery. Scientific American 264:82-7 (36) Shanley and Luz, 2003. The impacts of forest degradation on medicinal plant use and implications for health care in eastern Amazonia. Bioscience 53:573-84 (37) Swerdlow, 2000. Nature’s Rx. National Geographic 197:98-117 Optional: Gold et al., 2003. The lowdown on Ginkgo biloba. Scientific American 288:86-91 Hobhouse, H 2005. Seeds of Change: Six Plants That Transformed Mankind. Counterpoint, pages 3-50 Jackson, 1989. Searching for medicinal wealth in Amazonia. Smithsonian 19:94-103 Nicolaou et al. 1996. Taxoids: New weapons against cancer. Scientific American 274:94-8 Plotkin, 1990. The healing forest: the search for new jungle medicines. The Futurist 24:9-15 Riddle and Estes, 1992. Oral contraceptives in ancient and medieval times. American Scientist 80:226-33 Taylor, 2002. Getting to the root of ginseng. Smithsonian 33:98-103

April 2 - Fiber and wood (38) Clark, 1965. Plant fibers in the paper industry. Economic Botany 19:394-405 (39) McLaughlin & Schuck, 1991. Fiber properties of several species of Agavaceae from the southwestern United States and Northern Mexico. Economic Botany 45:480-486 (40) Rymer, 2004. Saving the music tree. Smithsonian 35(1):52-63





Biology 4 Syllabus, 6

April 7 - Dyes, Rubber and Chewing gum (41) Antúnez de Mayolo, 1989. Peruvian natural dye plants. Economic Botany 43:181-191 (42) Balandrin et al., 1985. Natural Plant Chemicals: Sources of Industrial and Medicinal Materials. Science 228:1154-1160 (43) Dogan et al., 2003. Plants used as natural dye sources in Turkey. Economic Botany 57:442-453 April 9 - Algae are plants too…and tasty! (44) Balter, 2008. Ancient algae suggest sea route for first Americans. Science 320:729 (45) Dillehay et al., 2008. Monte Verde: Seaweed, food, medicine, and the peopling of South America. Science 320:784-6 (46) Plaza et al., 2008. In search of new functional food ingredients from algae. Trends in Food Science & Technology 19:31-39 (47) Radmer, 1996. Algal diversity and commercial algal products. Bioscience 46:263-270 Optional: Cardozzo et al., 2007. Metabolites from algae with economical impact. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part C 146:60-78 Raja et al., 2008. A perspective on the biotechnological potential of microalgae. Critical reviews in microbiology 34:77-88

April 14 - Biofuels (48) Ashley, 2008. Cellulose success. Scientific American 298:32-3 (49) Fitzherbert et al., 2008. How will oil palm expansion affect biodiversity? Trends in Ecology and Evolution 23:538-45 (50) Kintisch, 2008. Minnesota ecologist pushes prairie biofuels. Science 322:1044-5 (51) Koh and Ghazoul, 2008. Biofuels, biodiversity, and people: Understanding the conflicts and finding opportunities. Biological Conservation 141:2450-60 (52) Service, 2008. Eyeing oil, synthetic biologists mine microbes for black gold. Science 322:522 (53) Wald, 2007. Is ethanol for the long haul? Scientific American 296:42-9 Optional: Groom et al., 2008. Biofuels and biodiversity: principles for creating better policies for biofuel production. Conservation Biology 22:602-9 Hill et al., 2006. Environmental, economic, and energetic costs and benefits of biodiesel and ethanol biofuels. PNAS 103:11206-10 Koh and Wilcove, 2008. Oil palm: disinformation enables deforestation. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 24:67-8 Kondamudi et al., 2008. Spent coffee grounds as a versatile source of green energy. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 56:11757-60 Renner, 2007. Green gold in a shrub. Scientific American 296:20-23 Wassener, 2008. Airline flies a 747 on fuel from a plant. New York Times, December 31, 2008

April 16 - Sustainable agriculture (54) Pollan, 2008. Farmer in Chief. New York Times Magazine, October 12, 2008 (55) Raloff, 2007. Herbal herbicides: weed killers manufactured by mother nature. Science News 171(11):167-69 (56) Rozema and Flowers, 2008. Crops for a salinized world. Science 322:1478-80 (57) Tilman et al. 2002. Agricultural sustainability and intensive production practices. Nature 418:671-77 Optional: Bisht et al., 2007. Traditional crop diversity and its conservation on-farm for sustainable agricultural production in Kumaon Himalaya of Uttaranchal state: a case study. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 54:345-357