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Introduction To Botany Subject


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									Plant Biology & Plant Biotechnology


               The study of plant sciences which is known as Botany has various classes of
organisms like algae, fungi, bryophytes, pteridophytes, gymnosperms and angiosperms. It
gives a broad understanding of the structure, growth, reproduction, metabolism, development,
diseases, chemical properties, and evolutionary relationships among taxonomic groups. The
study of plant sciences is correlated with efforts to identify edible, medicinal and poisonous
plants, making it one of the oldest sciences. Today botanists study over 550,000 species of
living organisms.

The term "Botany" comes from Greek βοτάνη, meaning "pasture, grass, fodder", perhaps via
the idea of a livestock keeper needing to know which plants are safe for livestock to eat.

Scope and importance of botany

As with other life forms in biology, plant life can be studied from different perspectives, from
the molecular, genetic and biochemical level through organelles, cells, tissues, organs,
individuals, plant populations, and communities of plants. At each of these levels a botanist
might be concerned with the classification (taxonomy), structure (anatomy and morphology),
or function (physiology) of plant life.

        Historically all living things were grouped as animals or plants, and Botany covered
all organisms not considered animals. Some organisms included in the field of botany are
no longer considered to belong to the plant kingdom – these include bacteria (studied in
bacteriology), fungi (mycology) including lichen-forming fungi (lichenology), non-
chlorophyte algae (phycology) and viruses (virology). However, attention is still given to
these groups by botanists, and fungi (including lichens), and photosynthetic protists are
usually covered in introductory botany courses.

     The study of plants is vital because they are a fundamental part of life on Earth, which
generates the oxygen, food, fibres, fuel and medicine that allow humans and other life forms
to exist. Through photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that in large
amounts can affect global climate. Additionally, they prevent soil erosion and are influential
in the water cycle. A good understanding of plants is crucial to the future of human societies
as it allows us to:
      Produce food to feed an expanding population
      Understand fundamental life processes
      Produce medicine and materials to treat diseases and other ailments
      Understand environmental changes more clearly

    Paleo botanists study ancient plants in the fossil record. It is believed that early in the
Earth's history, the evolution of photosynthetic plants altered the global atmosphere of the
earth, changing the ancient atmosphere by oxidation.


Prof. V. Krishnamurthy, Director, Krishnamurthy Institute of Algology, Chennai

Algology has now become a very valuable discipline as more and more applications of algae
and their modes of life become unearthed. The utility of algae in day to day life, in food
production, in the manufacture of industrial chemicals and in pollution control is now
recognized universally. Further, algae are used as experimental organisms in the study of
such fundamental aspects of biology as photosynthesis, respiration and growth, in bio-assay
techniques and in bio-technology. Considering all these, Algology should be given a very
high priority in biological research. There are numerous eukaryotic algae which are of greater
importance and economic significance. Their potential as sources of food, feed, rare
chemicals and energy, is yet to be realized. Algal farming, a modern concept, is yet to be
taken up on a field scale.

Prof. R. Rengasamy, Director , Centre for Advanced Study in Botany, Chennai.

Production & utilization of Commercial sea weeds

The efficacy of Seaweed Liquid Fertilizers (SLFs) obtained from Kappaphycus alvarezii,
Sargassum and Ulva for the growth and yield of certain crops like paddy, ground nut, chilly,
greens and marigold was made under field trial. The SLFs were also analyzed for macro and
micro nutrients as well as Plant Growth Regulators like Auxin, Gibberellin and Cytokinin.
The brown algal by products like ‘Seaweed Organic Manure’ and ‘Organic Six’ derived from
Sargassum sp. developed by a seaweed based company at Ranipet, Tamil Nadu is assessed
for their nutrients and microbial populations in order to evolve strategy for rapid
degradation. Two compounds successfully isolated from the ‘Seaweed Organic Manure
inhibited the growth of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae causing leaf blight disease of paddy.

Herbal Botany

Herbal drugs are potential for human beings . Plant tissue culture is an innovative area where
drugs can be produced in cell cultures in fermentors without disturbing the biodiversity of the
country. Biofertilizers are more productive and pollution free fertilizers which will boost the
yield of several crops of the country.

Prof. Raaman, plant scientist, Centre for Advanced Study in Botany, Chennai.

       The Centre for Herbal Sciences (CHS) at the University of Madras, along with
Ramoni Research Foundation (RRF), Chennai has invented a new herbal drug for curing the
pandemic swine flu. The drug, developed from Siddha and Ayurveda preparations, is named
as 'AYUSREM'. The scientists behind the discovery of the medicine have claimed that they
have cured 10 patients contracted by H1N1 viruses and 300 people with other influenza

       Prof Dr Raaman, plant scientist and Director of CHS and Dr K Balasubramanian,
organic chemist and pharmacologist and CEO of RRF, the pioneers in the research team,
have said that the new product would be the first drug in the world developed from herbal
source for such dreaded virus prevention

Genetics, Molecular Biology And DNA Technology:

        The study deals with an overall knowledge of the various facets of genetics, the
transmission of hereditary characters, Mendelian concepts and the variations in the
inheritance pattern. It also covers the organisation ,transmission and function of the genetic
information in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. The main role of DNA molecules, their precision
in replication, transmission and regulation . The variations evolved due to change in
chromosomal numbers referred as polyploidy ,and point mutations .It also covers the
modern techniques of manipulating DNA, to produce recombinants.
Medicinal Botany:

        It highlights the role of Medicinal plants in healthcare .There are different systems
of traditional medicines which include Allopathic, Ayurvedic, Unani and Homeopathic the
study of various plants of medicinal importance, pharmaceutical importance, active
compounds and standardization of herbal products and formulation .It also emphasises the
need for documentation and standardization of these herbal drugs.
Fermentation Technology

        Micro-organisms are capable of growing on a wide range of substrates and can
produce a remarkable spectrum of products. The commercial exploitation of the biochemical
diversity of micro-organisms has resulted in the development of the fermentation industry
and the techniques of genetic manipulation have given this well-established industry the
opportunity to develop new processes and to improve existing ones. Bio-fermentation
technology makes it possible to grow a number of microbes in large tanks and, in a matter of
days, a large quantity can be produced. The technology has now become highly advanced and
much more accessible. Many studies indicate that the chemical nature of fermentation
technology is pure. Application of recombinant DNA technology to the development of
improved strains for the production of secondary metabolites and antibiotics improves the
yield. The discovery of several global and pathway specific secondary metabolism regulatory
genes has opened the way to a new means of increasing yields.

Environmental Biotechnology

         Environmental biotechnology can simply be described as the optimal use of nature, in
the form of plants, animals, bacteria, fungi and algae, to produce renewable energy, food and
nutrients in a synergistic integrated cycle of profit making processes where the waste of each
process becomes the feedstock for another process. It means advancement of small-scale
agro-ecological farming systems and technology in order to achieve food security, climate
change mitigation, climate change adaptation. Environmental biotechnology has been shown
to play a significant role in agroecology in the form of zero waste agriculture and most
significantly through the operation of over 15 million biogas digesters worldwide.
Bioremediation is a clean-up technology that uses naturally occurring microorganisms to
degrade hazardous substances into less toxic or nontoxic compounds. It deals with large
scale sewage treatment, biogas production, xenobiotic degradation, reclamation of polluted
soil, biodegradation of wastes, biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons.
Tissue culture

         Tissue culture deals with the culture techniques such as selection of explants,
isolation, media preparation and sterilization, inoculums and growth of the rootlets and
shootlets. Different types of culture such as meristem culture, callus culture, somatic
embryogenesis have been highlighted.

Micro technique

       Micro technique refers to the study of microscope (I.e.) light microscope, electron
microscope, scanning microscope, transmission electron microscope and. fixing and staining
techniques employed in plant studies.

Cell biology

       Cell biology is the study of the structure and functions of the cells. It is also called
cytology. It is microscopic and capable of independent existence. All living things are made
up of cells. The first reference on cell biology was made by Jan Swammer Dam in the year
1658. He made an account of the red blood cells of frog. In 1665, Robert Hooke discovered
cells while examining a piece of cork under magnifying lenses.

        The term Horticulture is derived from two Latin words, “Hortus” meaning garden
and “culture” meaning cultivation. Horticulture is one of the branches of Botany. It is the
science of growing flowers, fruits, vegetables & Ornamental plants especially in gardens &
orchards. Modern horticulture is defined as the science of production, processing &
merchandising of fruits, vegetables, flowers, ornamentals, medicinal & aromatic plants.
Pomology is the cultivation of fruits crops. Olericulture refers to the cultivation of vegetable
crops. Floriculture refers to the cultivation of plants which give economic flowers. Growing
ornamental plants to decorate indoor & outdoor areas is called gardening. Foliage plants,
flowering annuals biennials & perennials, climbers, succulents, cacti, palms, ferns etc. are
grown in gardens to have good scenery in these places. Laying out of gardens in the interior
of houses & other buildings is called indoor gardening. Laying out of garden in parks outside
the buildings & open places to imitate the natural scenery is called Landscape gardening.
         Arboriculture- Growing tree species alone in specific location is called arboriculture.
Spices are plant products used in cookery to season or flavour food. Plantation crops –Plants
that are usually grown in large stretches of plants are called plantation crops. Medicinal &
Aromatic plants which give active principles used in drugs are called medicinal plants.
Importance of Horticulture is that it provides more food per unit area than the agriculture.
Horticultural crops contribute to the national income by the way of foreign exchange via
selling horticulture products. From India, horticulture products like fruits, vegetables, spices,
cut flowers, seeds, products of plantation crops, etc. are exported to other countries.
Horticultural crops need more intensive cultural practices so that they require more number
of labours for cultivation. Thus horticultural crops generate job opportunities to rural people.
Horticultural crops are more profitable than cereals. Fruits have high calorific value.
Horticultural products are used as raw materials for several industries. Ornamental plants and
flowering plants occupy a great position in the civilization. Mental problems cause unhappy
mood and depression in people. They can be treated with Horticultural Therapy by which
their attention is diverted to beautiful flowers & garden plants.
Ecosystems are sustained by the biodiversity within them. Biodiversity is the full-scale of life
and its processes, including genes, species and ecosystems forming lineages that integrate
into a complex and regenerative spatial arrangement of types, forms, and interactions.
Ecosystems create biophysical feedback mechanisms between living (biotic) and nonliving
(abiotic) components of the planet. These feedback loops regulate and sustain local
communities, continental climate systems, and global biogeochemical cycles.

Phytogeography (from greek words phyto = plant and geography meaning also distribution),
also called geobotany, is the branch of biogeography that is concerned with the geographic
distribution of plant species. Phytogeography is concerned with all aspects of plant
distribution, from the controls on the distribution of individual species ranges (at both large
and small scales) , to the factors that govern the composition of entire communities and


         Classification of plants and its nomenclature is an important aspect to decipher the
floral resources and understand the rich diversity under the uniform code. It follows universal
author citation methodology and organisations which preserve the specimens. It also gives
information regarding legends like Carl Linnaeus and Bentham and Hooker, Cronquist and
their contributions.


        Microbiology gives an insight into modern biology. It deals with microbes and
microscopic forms of life. It focuses on the techniques of sterilization and isolation of
microbes, morphology and reproduction of bacteria and viruses. The significance and
usefulness of microbes lies in science, medicine and industries; their beneficial and harmful
effects on human being and production of vaccines. It covers microbiology of drinking
water and waste water and purification of waste water.

Plant physiology

        Plant physiology is the study of function of plants. It explores the link between form
and function in plants. It defines plant water relations - Photosynthesis-light reaction, CO2
assimilation, photorespiration - Respiration-aerobic and anaerobic respiration. Nitrogen
metabolism-Symbiotic and asymbiotc nitrogen fixation, amino acid synthesis, protein
synthesis - Physiology of flowering , Growth hormones. Vernaliization. Enzyme technology-
Purification of enzymes, application of enzymes in industry.

Angiosperms are the highest evolved plants and forms the most important part of the present
vegetation. Flower is the most beautiful part of these plants. The function of the flower is to
produce fruit . These are closed seeded plants in which the seeds are enclosed in the fruit a
unique feature of them. The seed encloses an embryo which remains protected by seed coat.
The reserve food materials is found either in the cotyledon of the embryo (pulses) or in the
endosperm (cereals) which generally surrounds the embryo. There are two groups of
angiosperms: dicotyledons and monocotyledons based on the number of cotyledons in each
embryo (ie) Two and one respectively. Seed is a complex structure which develops from the
ovule after the process of pollination and fertilization. The fertilized egg gives rise to embryo,
the ovule to the seed and ovary as a whole to the fruit. The embryo lies dormant in the seed
and the seed lies embedded in the fruit. When seed germinates, the embryo grows into
seedling, which gradually converts into a mature plant. Thus, embryology is the study of
stamen, carpel, microsporogenesis, malegametophyte megasporogenesis, female
gametophyte, double fertilization, embryo formation (embryogenesis), endosperm formation
and seed germination.
Nobel Prize Winners in Botany

The 2009 Nobel Prizes were awarded during 19th First Annual Nobel Prize Ceremony, at
Harvard's Sanders Theatre..

BIOLOGY PRIZE: Fumiaki Taguchi, Song Guofu, and Zhang Guanglei of Kitasato
University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in Sagamihara, Japan, for demonstrating
that kitchen refuse can be reduced more than 90% in mass by using bacteria extracted from
the feces of giant pandas.

REFERENCE: "Microbial Treatment of Kitchen Refuse With Enzyme-Producing
Thermophilic Bacteria From Giant Panda Feces," Fumiaki Taguchia, Song Guofua, and
Zhang Guanglei, Seibutsu-kogaku Kaishi, vol. 79, no 12, 2001, pp. 463-9. [and abstracted in
Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering, vol. 92, no. 6, 2001, p. 602.]

REFERENCE: "Microbial Treatment of Food-Production Waste with Thermopile Enzyme-
Producing Bacterial Flora from a Giant Panda" [in Japanese], Fumiaki Taguchi, Song Guofu,
Yasunori Sugai, Hiroyasu Kudo and Akira Koikeda, Journal of the Japan Society of Waste
Management Experts, vol. 14, no. 2, 2003, pp. , 76-82.

The 2007 Nobel Prize Winners

BIOLOGY PRIZE: was wawrded to Prof. Dr. Johanna E.M.H. van Bronswijk of Eindhoven
University of Technology, The Netherlands, for doing a census of all the mites, insects,
spiders, pseudoscorpions, crustaceans, bacteria, algae, ferns and fungi .

REFERENCES: "Huis, Bed en Beestjes" [House, Bed and Bugs], J.E.M.H. van Bronswijk,
Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, vol. 116, no. 20, May 13, 1972, pp. 825-31.
"Het Stof, de Mijten en het Bed" [Dust, Mites and Bedding]. J.E.M.H. van Bronswijk
Vakblad      voor     Biologen,    vol.      53,    no.     2,     1973,     pp.      22-5.
"Autotrophic Organisms in Mattress Dust in the Netherlands," B. van de Lustgraaf, J.H.H.M.
Klerkx, J.E.M.H. van Bronswijk, Acta Botanica Neerlandica, vol. 27, no. 2, 1978, pp 125-8.
"A Bed Ecosystem," J.E.M.H. van Bronswijk, Lecture Abstracts -- 1st Benelux Congress of
Zoology, Leuven, November 4-5, 1994, p. 36.
The 1996 Nobel Prize Winners

The 1996 Nobel Prizes were awarded at the 6th First Annual Nobel Prize Ceremony, at
Harvard's Sanders Theatre.

BIOLOGY: Dr. Paul Bosland, director of The Chile Pepper Institute, New Mexico State
University, Las Cruces, New Mexico, won the award for breeding a spiceless jalapeno chile

BIOLOGY: Anders Barheim and Hogne Sandvik of the University of Bergen, Norway,
received the award for the tasty and tasteful report, "Effect of Ale, Garlic, and Soured Cream
on the Appetite of Leeches."

REFERENCE: "British Medical Journal," vol. 309, Dec 24-31, 1994, p. 1689.

The 1991 Nobel Prize Winners

BIOLOGY: Robert Klark Graham, received the award for selector of seeds and prophet of
propagation, and for his pioneering development of the Repository for Germinal Choice, a
sperm bank that accepts donations only from Nobellians and Olympians.

Dr. M.S.Swaminathan the Nobel Laureate of India
On the occasion of Nobel Peace Prize award in 1970, the laureate Dr. Norman
Borlaug, said of Dr. Swaminathan: "The green revolution has been a team effort and
much of the credit for its spectacular development must go to Indian officials,
Organizations, Scientists and farmers. However, to you, Dr. Swaminathan, a great
deal of the credit must go for first recognizing the potential value of the Mexican
dwarfs. Had this not occurred, it is quite possible that there would not have been a
green revolution in Asia".
First World Food Prize was awarded to Dr. Swaminathan in October 1987 .
Dr. Swaminathan has been described by the United Nations Environment Programme
as "the Father of Economic Ecology".
UNEP Sasakawa Environment Prize Laureate was awarded for outstanding
contributions to the protection and management of the environment. Along with Co-
winner Paul and Anne Ehrlich 1994, $200,000 prize.
Albert Einstein World Science Award was awarded by the World Cultural Council for
research which has brought true benefit and well being to mankind, 1986
Karmaveer Puraskaar Noble Laureates, March, 2007 was awarded by CONGO-
Confederation of NGOs.
Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development was awarded for his
outstanding contribution in the domain of plant genetics and ensuring food security to
hundreds of millions of citizens in the developing world." This prestigious award
honors those outstanding global citizens who have made a significant contribution to
humanity’s material and cultural progress. 2000
The Indian National Science Academy awarded him Millennium Scientist Award
2001, and Asutosh Mookerjee Memorial Award for 1999–2000 for the contribution to
humanity’s material and cultural progress

                                Har gobind Khorana
Har gobind Khorana was awarded nobel prize in 1968 for the discovery of the
artificial synthesis of gene
                         CAREER OPTIONS IN BOTANY
Botany is one of the preferred choices to study in India. Botany focuses on the
extensive scientific study of plants along with their structures, growth, use, and
process of all forms of plant life-their evolution, ageing, decaying and death. A person
who deals with the study of Botany is generally referred to as a Botanist. His job
involves comprehensive study of flora, which range from the minutest bacteria to the
largest tree. Considering the current scenario, various factors like population
explosion, pollution and so on are affecting the flora. Therefore, apart from in-depth
study of flora, a Botanist is also required to explore the possible way out of
agricultural, horticulture and environment related issues. Thus career in Botany can be
highly rewarding for those, who are allured with the aesthetic beauty of nature and
After successful completion of graduation in Botany, one can work as biological
technician, while a post graduate degree in the subject makes the person eligible to opt
for a career in teaching or to take up research work in any prominent University.
Besides, one can join any reputed organization as environment consultants, plant
explorers, ecologists, conservationists, Park ranger/Forester, Nursery manager,
Taxonomist, Horticulturist, Genetics, Plant biochemist, Molecular biologist, Plant
pathologist, Environmental consultant, and Farming consultant. Options are not only
confined to India, numerous opportunities are also available in abroad as well.
              Best job oriented courses in Botany and Biotechnology
The list of the courses are:
Agronomy - Application of plant science to crop production.
Economic botany - Study of plants of economic use or value.
Forestry - Forest management and related studies.
Horticulture - Cultivated plants.
Phytopathology - Plant diseases.
Plant genetics - Genetic inheritance in plants.
Plant anatomy - Cell and tissue structure.
Microbiology , Immunology Virology Agriculture Animal Husbandry Ecology Soil
science and Soil Conservation Bio-statistics Molecular Biology Biophysics
Pharmacology Fisheries

    Cultivation of sea weeds                  Care taking - Plants in glass houses
      Horticulture                    Botany Library

     Gardening                     Agricultural economics

                     Landscape gardening

Ethno botany                      Forestry
Herbarium keeper -Botanical garden              Olericulture

        Weeding                                 Marine science

Water plants collection              Mounting process of plants- Herbarium

                                                                   Seed bank
        Aquarium                   Algae collection

   Plant culture- Germinatin   Botany collection Manager

Cultivation of green algae       working in tea estate
     Siddha biochemistry lab      - Siddha medicine

Home remedies-ayur vedha, yoga, Naturopathy and unani

          Liquid sea weed fertilizer Industry

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