PSC208 Plant Metabolism (8)

Plant Metabolism is a subject which investigates plant and yeast biosynthetic and catabolic processes. The subject compares and contrasts plant and yeast metabolism, and considers in detail those processes that influence the biosynthesis of flavour, colour and aroma compounds of economic importance, particularly in grape and wine production.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 2 (60)
Online *
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: PSC208. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences

Assumed Knowledge

CHM104 or CHM115

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to describe the roles of carbohydrates and carbohydrate metabolism in plants and yeasts
  • be able to describe the role of amino acids in plant and yeast metabolism and explain their importance in the formation of flavour and aroma compounds of economic importance.
  • be able to use knowledge of protein structure and function to explain the role of enzymes in plant and yeast metabolism
  • be able to describe the roles of different classes of lipids involved in plant and yeast metabolism and explain their role in forming economically important flavour and aroma compounds and their influence on berry properties and yeast fermentation
  • be able to describe plant secondary metabolite processes and the unique contribution of these metabolites in grape and wine production


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Introduction to plant and yeast metabolism
  • Carbohydrates and carbohydrate metabolism in plants - Carbohydrate classification and optical isomerism; biologically important monosaccharides and disaccharides; structural and storage homopolysaccharides with cellulose and starch as examples
  • Amino acid metabolism in plants: amino acid synthesis; assimilation of inorganic nitrogen; transport amino acids; aromatic amino acid synthesis
  • Proteins and protein metabolism in plants - primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary structures; role of enzymes as biological catalysts; simple enzyme kinetics; the regulation and control of enzyme-catalysed reaction rates in yeast and plant metabolism
  • Lipid metabolism in plants: fatty acid biosynthesis; synthesis of membrane lipids; synthesis and catabolism of storage lipids; lipids as secondary product precursors
  • Secondary metabolites of economic importance including: phenolics, lignins, terpenoids, carotenoids, thiol conjugates (cysteine, glutathione), methoxypyrazines; the biosynthesis of colour, flavour and aroma compounds influencing berry development and grape maturation

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of PSC208 in Session 2 2019. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Topics 1 - 2 minitest
Topics 3 - 4 minitest
Topics 5-6 minitest
Res school workbook
Final examination

Residential School

This subject contains a 3 day Compulsory Residential School.

The residential school focusses on hands on practical components of the theory within the subject.

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: July 2020. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.