General Science Bullet – Common Terminologies used in Botany – Capsule 1

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In this article, we will understand the common terms used in Botany. This topic will be covered in a series of three to four articles; this being the first one.

What is Botany?

Botany is a branch of Science that deals with the study of plants, their structure, properties and related biochemical processes. It covers everything under the plant kingdom like algae, fungi, lichens, mosses, ferns, conifers and flowering plants. In this article, we will study terms related to branches of botany.

1. Plant Morphology: Also known as Phytomorphology, this branch deals with the external form and structure of plants. It helps to understand the morphological diversity in plants and their distribution in nature.

2. Plant Anatomy: Also known as Phytotomy, it refers to the microscopic study of the internal structure of plants at a cellular level. It helps in identifying and studying various cellular structures in plants like cell wall and cell organelles like vacuole, nucleus, centrosomes, golgi body, chloroplast and mitochondria.

3. Histology: It refers to the microscopic study of structure of plant tissues. Various plant tissue sections are examined using staining techniques.

4. Cytology: This is the study of structure, function, formation, pathology and origin of plant cells. It deals with the composition of cells and is useful to detect any disease-causing abnormality in the cell structure.

5. Plant Physiology: It refers to the functions and vital processes that are associated with cells, tissues, organs or the plant as a whole. Many physiological processes consist of both physical and chemical changes. Examples of physiological processes are water conduction, osmosis, respiration, photosynthesis, degradation of amino acids, among others.

6. Taxonomy: This deals with identification, classification and description of plants. Identification of an unknown plant is done by comparing it with similar specimens. Classification of the plant is done by referring to a set of rules of formal botanical nomenclature given by the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants.

7. Plant Ecology: It deals with plants, their distribution, effect of environmental factors on plants, their abundance and the interaction of plants with organisms around them.

8. Plant Breeding: This branch involves manipulation of plant species in order to induce new traits in them. It includes conventional methods like hybridisation and induced mutation; biotechnological processes like in-vitro selection and somatic hybrid plants and genetic engineering methods like gene transfer, transgene expression and Restrcition Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP).

9. Economic Botany: This branch explores the relation and interaction between plants and humans. The impact of human activity on plants and their increasing utilisation by humans is of primary importance to economic botanists.

10. Pharmacognosy: This is the study of medicinal plants and drugs obtained from natural sources. Also known as the study of crude drugs, it deals with the physical, chemical, biological and biochemical properties of drugs, drug substances and potential drugs and drug substances of natural origin along with search for new drugs from natural sources.

Link to Common terminologies in Botany – Capsule 2:…

Link to Common terminologies in Botany – Capsule 3:…

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