Plant Science
University of Guelph Plant Science Major Plant Science Major University of Guelph crest

Did You Know?

  • Techniques of plant tissue culture are helping to preserve endangered species
  • Rice has been engineered to produce -carotene, which could help prevent blindness in millions of children in the developing world.
  • Plants can be used to produce vaccines.
  • Most major food crops originated outside North America.
  • Of the more than 250,000 plants on the planet, only 150 are used extensively by man and about 15 account for 90% of calories consumed.
  • Soil contaminants can be removed by certain plants.
  • Plant have an immune system.
  • Disease resistance bred into plants reduces pesticide use.
  • Some auto-parts can be made with plant fibers.
  • Wild-flowers of Ontario are currently being bred for cut-flower and home garden uses.
  • Aboriginal plant classification systems are being used in the discovery of new species and medicine.
  • Plant DNA barcoding provides a tool for identifying cryptic diversity using a single piece of a leaf, root or seed.
  • Global warming may be responsible for changing plant communities in sensitive areas like tropical cloud forests and along the shore of Lake Superior.
  • The decline of the endangered Woodland Caribou may be related to a reduction in their main dietary resources, which are lichens.
  • Mosses are like frogs; they are prokilohydric or can change with their environment (e.g., freeze and thaw, or dry out completely and rehydrate without any damage).
  • Several of the most common trees in the Peruvian Amazon have not been classified (do not have names!)
  • Only 10% of life on the planet has been classified.
  • Cellulose in plants is the most abundant organic molecule on the planet.
  • RUBISCO, the enzyme required for photosynthesis, is the most abundant protein on the planet.
  • Plants can sequester CO2 from the atmosphere.