ASS 304: Soil Biology and Biotechnology Course Outline

  

Date Posted: 2/4/2019 11:07:15 AM

Posted By: jim items  Membership Level: Silver  Total Points: 902


COURSE OUTLINE

PROGRAM/COURSE; BSC. Management in Agro-ecosystems and environment.
ASS 304: Soil Biology and Biotechnology.
Practicals: Agriculture Demonstration Farm.

2.1 Course Purpose
The course aims to equip students with the scientific knowledge and skills for the application of soil biology and biotechnology techniques for sustainable crop, livestock and environmental management

3.1 Expected Learning Outcomes.
At the end of this course the student is expected to:
1. Explain the microhabitats in soil.
2. Describe the roles of soil organisms.
3. Describe rhizosphere processes.
4. Analyze the role of biotechnology applications in sustainable Agro-ecosystems.
5. Design a sustainable crop and livestock farming enterprise using a biotechnology application.

4.1 Mode of Course Delivery.
The course content will be delivered through:
-lectures.
-class discussions.
-case studies.
-A term paper.

5.1 Course Assessment
Assessment will be done through:
-CAT’s (10%) (short answer questions and a modified essay question).
-A term paper (10%).
-Practical Reports (10%).
-This will constitute 30% of the overall grade.
-The final exam will be in form of short answer questions and modified essay questions.
-The exam will constitute 70% of the course.


8.0 References.

Core Reading materials.
1. Huang, P.M., Li, Y and Sumner, E. (2012). Handbook of Soil Sciences: properties and processes 2nd Edition. Taylor Francis.
2. Parker, R. (2010). Plant and Soil Science. Fundamentals and Applications. Delmar Cengage Learning
3. Wood, M. (2013). Environmental Soil Biology. Springer Science & Business Media.
4. Kabisch, N., Korn, H., Stadler, J & Bonn, A. (Ed) (2017). Nature based Solutions to Climate Change Adaptation in Urban Areas: Linkages between Science, Policy and Practice. Springer. 337 pp.


Further reading:
1. Brady, N.C and Weil, R.R-10th Edition. (2002). The nature and properties of soils. Pearson Inc. New Jersey.
2. http://www.nrcs.usda.gov
3. http://www.soil-net.com
4. https://www.soils.org/home
5. Kohnke, H and Franzmeir, D.P. (1995). Soil science simplified. 4th edition. Waveland press.
6. Zhu, B., Gutknecht, J.L.M., Herman D. J., Keck, D.C., Firestone, M. K., Cheng., W.(2014). Rhizosphere priming effects on soil carbon and nitrogen mineralization. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 76:183-192

9.0 Course Schedule:

Topics:
Week 1: The soil as

a microhabitat and types of diversity; ecosystems and genetic resources structure in Soil.
Week 2: Roots and rhizosphere as microhabitat
Week 3: Abundance , distribution and survival mechanisms of soil Invertebrates communities: Bacteria and Protozoa.
Week 4: Abundance , distribution and survival mechanisms of soil Invertebrates communities: Fungi
Week 5: Structures, abundance and distribution of macrofauna: Nematodes and earthworm communities and their adaptive strategies.
Week 6: Structures, abundance and distribution of macrofauna: arthropod communities and their adaptive
strategies.
Week 7: Functioning of the soil system; decomposition of dead organic materials; litter system; rhizosphere processes;
Week 8: Biotechnology and applications of beneficial soil organisms for sustained agroecosystems; rhizobia and mycorrhizal inoculants; plant growth promoting products;
Week 9: Biotechnology and applications of beneficial soil organisms for sustained agroecosystems; pharmaceuticals; bioinformatics and biosafety; fate of genetically engineered organisms.
Week 10:Biochar.


Next: ASS 306: Utilization and Management of Wetland Ecosystems Course Outline