autumn 2021
BIO-2009 Green Biotechnology and Bioenergy - 10 ECTS

Last changed 08.12.2021

Type of course

The course is primarily reserved for bachelor students enrolled in a biology or biotechnology study program. The course is a basic course and not recommended for advanced students which are or have been part of Plant Biotechnology programs in Erasmus partner universities. 

It is a requirement that students have  some prior knowledge of biology and ecology, chemistry and mathematics. (Participants must have taken introductory level university courses, and achieved pass grades, in these subjects).

Maximum number of participants: 16

Course content

The course will give an introduction into techniques and applications of "green" biotechnology, i.e. biotechnology with photosynthetic organisms. The lectures will cover techniques for targeted alteration of the properties of plants and algae. Breeding, genome editing and genetic modification and their advantages and disadvantages will be introduced. A focus will be on applications of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture, horticulture or aquaculture and the production of high value plant compounds (nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, biofuels, etc.). The course will also cover the risk assessment of plant GMOs, safety measures when working with plant GMOs and current and future model plants. An introduction into in silico cloning as important means to plan experimental strategies will be included in the course. These aspects will be deepened by reading and presenting original publications on selected themes. The practical part will cover plant transformation and grafting techniques, plant organ and tissue culture and plant regeneration. 

Recommended prerequisites

BIO-1006 Animal- and plant physiology

Objectives of the course

Knowledge; Students who have completed this course 

  • can define what a "GMO" is 
  • are familiar with genetic modification techniques in plants 
  • are familiar with applications of plant GMOs 
  • can explain plant regeneration and organogenesis  
  • are familiar with the action of phytohormones on plant regeneration  
  • can explain the history of biofuels 

Skills; Students who have completed this course: 

  • are knowledgeable about the challenges within plant biotechnology and its rewards 
  • can critically assess the pros and cons of plant Biotechnology 
  • are familiar with techniques for transient plant cell transformation 
  • can set up and maintain a sterile plant tissue culture 
  • can set up an in silico cloning plan for a given gene and organism 

General competence; Students who have completed this course 

  • have an appreciation over the merits of green biotechnology 
  • have practical expertise in sterile plant work and GMO generation 
  • be comfortable with work flows and safety measures in a molecular lab 
  • know how to document lab activity in different ways 
  • are comfortable with presenting a research topic in front of an audience 
  • can critically assess other peoples’ work 

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

20 h of lectures, 8 h of seminar (talks given by each individual student), 30 h of wet-lab, 10 h of computer lab and 4 h of home exercises with non-GMO-plants. The lab-part of the course will be run as an intensive course in 2 x one week (not consecutive weeks!). Students will be required to use traditional documentation methods (lab journal and written report) in addition to GoPro filming documentation. 

Appropriate local lab safety training will be given by course staff.

Information to incoming exchange students

This course has academic prerequisites. Please see the «Prerequisite» section for more information.

Do you have questions about this module? Please check the following website to contact the course coordinator for exchange students at the faculty:


The exam consist of an individual laboratory report. Grade: passed/failed.

In order to sit an examination, the student must complete and gain approval for any obligatory coursework requirements.

Obligatory Coursework requirements: 

  • Attendance of lectures and computer exercises (physical or online), group-wise active performance of laboratory exercises, individual performance of home-exercise.  
  • Power Point Presentation of a relevant course topic and of the GoPro film in a group seminar. 

Re-sit exam: 

There will not be a re-sit examination for this course.


  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: BIO-2009