Plants & Human Affairs - Introduction
Cherries.wmf (7140 bytes) Plants & Human Affairs (BIOL106)  -  Stephen G. Saupe, Ph.D.; Biology Department, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University, Collegeville, MN 56321;;


Goal of the Unit:  The primary goal of this unit is to review the biology and importance of the cereals.


Learning Objectives:  Upon completion of this unit you should be able to:

  1. provide reasons why cereals are so important to humans (e.g., bamboo, food, ornamentals, erosion control)

  2. distinguish between a true and false cereal and give examples of each

  3. describe the characteristics of the Grass family (Poaceae, Graminae)

  4. use the following terms that pertain to the morphology of grasses:   fibrous roots, blade, sheath, bract, floret, spikelet, grain (caryopsis), bran, germ, aleurone, endosperm

  5. distinguish between the different types of maize (popcorn, flour corn,  flint, dent, sweet corn, pod)

  6. compare and contrast teosinte and maize (corn)

  7. describe the current model for the evolution of maize from teosinte

  8. describe the major structures/functions of the grain

  9. compare and contrast bran and germ

  10. identify the characteristics of cereals that humans have selected

  11. define threshing, winnowing, shattering

  12. name a major fungal disease of wheat.  Indicate the alternate host of this  fungus

  13. name the cereal most commonly infected by the ergot fungus.

  14. name a cereal from which molasses is prepared

  15. name the cereal that provides broom corn

  16. distinguish between spring and winter wheat.  What is vernalization?

  17. compare and contrast indica (long grain) and japonica (sativa or short) rice

  18. compare and contrast upland vs. wet rice

  19. what is Azolla and why is it important?

  20. describe what is meant by polishing/pearling grain

  21. define lodging

  22. describe what is meant by a secondary crop.  Give examples.

  23. compare and contrast white vs. whole wheat flour 

  24. describe the parts of the typical grass flower

  25. give some reasons why cereals are good food crops

  26. how were early cereals prepared for food?

  27. what is the "bloody Host" controversy.

General Cereal Study: 

     For each of the major cereals (see notes): (1) identify the area to which it is native; and (2) identify the major uses of the plant.


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Last updated:  01/07/2005 / � Copyright  by SG Saupe / URL: