SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Describe biological processes in plant physiology 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
116431  Describe biological processes in plant physiology 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Primary Agriculture 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 01 - Agriculture and Nature Conservation Primary Agriculture 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
The learner will be able to describe the basic biochemistry involved in the physiological processes of a plant.

Learners will gain specific knowledge and skills in plant anatomy and physiology and will be able to operate in a plant production environment implementing sustainable and economically viable production principles.

They will be capacitated to gain access to the mainstream agricultural sector, in plant production, impacting directly on the sustainability of the sub-sector. The improvement in production technology will also have a direct impact on the improvement of agricultural productivity of the sector. 

LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
It is assumed that a learner attempting this unit standard will show competence against the following unit standards or equivalent:
  • NQF 4: Demonstrate a basic understanding of the physiological processes in plant growth and development. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    Whilst range statements have been defined generically to include as wide a set of alternatives as possible, all range statements should be interpreted within the specific context of application.

    Range statements are neither comprehensive nor necessarily appropriate to all contexts. Alternatives must however be comparable in scope and complexity. These are only as a general guide to scope and complexity of what is required. 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Explain the role of carbon compounds in cells and describe the ground rules of metabolism. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Metabolism refers to but is not limited to the build-up or breakdown of these carbon compounds. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Different carbohydrates and the role they play in the growth and development of a plant are discussed. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The role of lipids in terms of their role in the life of a plant is described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The production of proteins and the role it plays in the metabolism of a plant is described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The role of enzymes in the metabolic processes of the plant is explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    ATP formation is illustrated and the role it plays in the physiological functions of the plant is described. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Explain the movement of water and solutes within a plant. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Movement includes but is not limited to diffusion, osmosis, passive and active transport of gases, liquids, carbon substances and solutes. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The process of diffusion and osmosis is described and illustrated. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The difference between active and passive transport in a plant is explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The process of active transport as it relates to the movement of solutes from cell to cell is described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The role of water in the physiological processes of the plant in relation to the environment is discussed. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Describe the biochemistry of the energy acquiring pathways of a plant (photosynthesis). 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    This refers to but is not limited to the biochemistry of the light phase, dark phase, cyclic and non-cyclic phosphorylation. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The occurrence of light absorption by the light trapping mechanism is illustrated and described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The formation of ATP and NADPH in the chloroplast is described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The cyclic (photo system I) and non-cyclic (photo system II) pathways and their role in photosynthesis of plants are illustrated and discussed. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The Calvin-Benson cycle is described and illustrated. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The differences between C3, C4 and CAM plants are explained and practical examples of each are given. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Chemosynthesis and how it relates to agriculture are explained. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Understand the energy releasing pathways (respiration) and its role in the plant. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Respiration refers to but is not limited to aerobic, anaerobic and electron transport phosphorylation, it may include the different fermentation processes such as alcohol and lactate. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The process of glycolysis is illustrated and described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The kreb cycle is illustrated and described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Where and how these processes occur and how it influences cell development as well as its role in fruit maturation are described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The different anaerobic respiration processes and how the environment plays a role in this process are described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The role anaerobic respiration plays in different agricultural activities is explained. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 5 
    Demonstrate knowledge of the different hormones and the role they play in the growth and development of a plant. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Hormones refer to the main plant hormones such as auxins, gibberellins, and cytokines, abscise acid, and ethylene but are not limited to only these. The effect that hormones have on growth and development but are not limited to processes such as phototropism, gravitropism, abscission and senescence. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The role auxins play in growth and development of a plant including the role of synthetic auxins is described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The role gibberellins play in growth and development in plants including the breaking of dormancy and its role in the plant's response to environmental trigger is discussed. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The role cytokines play in leaf development as well as agriculture in general (elongation of shelf-life of vegetables) is described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The role of abscisic acid with relevance to seed and bud-dormancy is described and illustrated. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The role of ethylene in fruit ripening and abscission in response to environmental signals is described. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 6 
    Describe plant responses to the environment. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Plant responses may include but are not limited to phototropism, gravitropism, thigmotropism and other mechanical stimuli. Environmental factors refer to but are not limited to light, temperature, water and mechanical damage. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The environmental factors influencing the growth and development of plants are described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The processes of photo-, gravi- and thigmotropism are explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    A plant's response to mechanical stimuli is explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Photo-periodism with respect to the flowering processes of plants is explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The process of senescence and its role in the life cycle of the plant is described. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
    The assessment of qualifying learners against this standard should meet the requirements of established assessment principles.

    It will be necessary to develop assessment activities and tools, which are appropriate to the contexts in which the qualifying learners are working. These activities and tools may include an appropriate combination of self-assessment and peer assessment, formative and summative assessment, portfolios and observations etc.

    The assessment should ensure that all the specific outcomes; critical cross-field outcomes and essential embedded knowledge are assessed.

    The specific outcomes must be assessed through observation of performance. Supporting evidence should be used to prove competence of specific outcomes only when they are not clearly seen in the actual performance.

    Essential embedded knowledge must be assessed in its own right, through oral or written evidence and cannot be assessed only by being observed.

    The specific outcomes and essential embedded knowledge must be assessed in relation to each other. If a qualifying learner is able to explain the essential embedded knowledge but is unable to perform the specific outcomes, they should not be assessed as competent. Similarly, if a qualifying learner is able to perform the specific outcomes but is unable to explain or justify their performance in terms of the essential embedded knowledge, then they should not be assessed as competent.

    Evidence of the specified critical cross-field outcomes should be found both in performance and in the essential embedded knowledge.

    Performance of specific outcomes must actively affirm target groups of qualifying learners, not unfairly discriminate against them. Qualifying learners should be able to justify their performance in terms of these values.
  • Anyone assessing a learner against this unit standard must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable achievement of this unit standard or assessing this unit standard must be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA.
  • Moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA according to the moderation guidelines in the relevant qualification and the agreed ETQA procedures. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
  • Names and functions of the different parts of the plant.
  • Different basic anatomical structures and its physiological processes occurring in a plant.
  • Purpose of the different biochemical processes in the plant.
  • Different environmental factors and the role they have in the growth and development process of the plant.
  • The relationship between the plant, its external and internal environment is understood as forming part of the environment. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Problem Solving: Relates to all outcomes. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Teamwork: Relates to all outcomes. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Self-Management: Relates to all outcomes. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Interpreting Information: Relates to all outcomes. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communication: Relates to all outcomes. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use Science and Technology: Relates to all outcomes. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    The world as a set of related systems: Relates to all outcomes. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO CONTRIBUTING 
    Self-development: Relates to all outcomes. 

    UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    N/A 

    QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Core  49010   National Diploma: Plant Production  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Reregistered  2023-06-30  AgriSETA 
    Elective  63249   National Diploma: Agricultural Extension  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Reregistered  2023-06-30  AgriSETA 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.