Chapter 10: Plant Biology
Chapter 10: Plant Biology
Botany is “the scientific study of plants, including their anatomy, morphology, physiology, biochemistry, taxonomy, cytology, genetics, evolution, and geographical distribution (Oxford Dictionary of Biology, 4th ed., 2000).” In this chapter, the terms “botany” and “plant biology” will be used interchangeably. In practice, botany may carry the connotation of taxonomic studies, while plant biology is often the preferred “modern” term for the entire field.
The study of botany has a long and distinguished history. This fact, coupled with the complexity of the subject as it has grown from descriptive botany to the molecular plant sciences, is reflected in its literature, producing a complicated and often confusing array of resources. For the purposes of this book, plant biology encompasses the literature of botany and the plant kingdom, including fungi. This chapter does not include agriculture, forestry, horticulture, or any of the applied areas of plant science, except biotechnology and medicinal plants.
The field of plant biology overlaps significantly with other areas of biology, so also check Chapter 3, “General Sources”; Chapter 5, “Biochemistry and Biophysics”; Chapter 7, “Genetics, Biotechnology, and Developmental Biology”; and Chapter 8, “Microbiology and Immunology” for more useful resources.
Abstracts and Indexes
- Bibliography of Systematic Mycology. v. 1 - , 1947- . Kew, UK: CAB International. Biannual. Price varies. ISSN 0006-1573.
Lists papers and books on all aspects of the taxonomy of fungi compiled from world literature. Each issue has an author and classified index, and book reviews of interests to botanists. Freely available online as part of Index Fungorum at http://www.indexfungorum.org/BSM/bsm.asp.
- Index of Fungi. v. 1 - , 1940 - . Oxfordshire, UK: CAB International. Biannual. Price varies. ISSN 0019-3895.
Lists of names of new genera, species and varieties of fungi, new combinations and new names, compiled from world literature. Supersedes Petrak's Lists (in Retrospective Sources, below). Fungal names from the Index and other sources are listed in the online Index Fungorum at http://www.indexfungorum.org/.
- Hooker, Sir Joseph Dalton, et. al. Index Kewensis Plantarum Phanerogamarum Nomina et Synonyma Omnium Generum et Specierum a Linnaeo usque ad Annum MDCCCLXXXV Complectens Nomine Recepto Auctore Patria Unicuique Plantae Subjectis. Oxfordshire, UK: E prelo Clarendoniano, 1893-1895. 4 v. Supplementum v. 1-21, 1886-1996. Continued by Kew Index for… compiled by R. A. Davies and K. M. Lloyd. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987-1989.
This indispensable index is an alphabetical listing of plant names with bibliographic references to the place of first publication. Some print volumes, including supplements, are available from Kew Publishing at present. The index was also published on CD-ROM from Oxford University Press in 1993. The data from Index Kewensis forms the backbone of the International Plant Names Index, freely available at http://www.ipni.org/.
- Index to American Botanical Literature, 1886-1966. Boston, MA: G.K. Hall, 1969. 4 v.
Invaluable card index in book form arranged by author. Continued as a section in the Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club and later in Brittonia. The data is now searchable at the New York Botanical Garden's site, http://sweetgum.nybg.org/iabl/.
- The Kew Record of Taxonomic Literature. London: H.M. Stationery Office, 1971-2007. ISSN 0307-2835.
Comprehensive publication of worldwide taxonomic literature of flowering plants, gymnosperms, and ferns. Systematic arrangement; also includes citations to phytogeography, floristics, nomenclature, chromosome surveys, chemotaxonomy, anatomy, reproductive biology, personnalia, etc. The bibliography has ceased publication, but records are available on the Web at http://kbd.kew.org/kbd/searchpage.do, along with the databases Economic Botany and Plant Micromorphology.
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- American Bryological and Lichenological Society (ABLS). c/o James Bennett, Sec.-Treas., University of Wisconsin, Dept. of Botany430 Lincoln Dr., Madison, WI 53706. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. URL: http://www.abls.org.
Founded 1898, 500 members. Professional botanists, botany teachers, and hobbyists interested in the study of mosses, liverworts, and lichens. Publishes Bryologist and Evansia.
- American Phytopathological Society (APS). 3340 Pilot Knob Rd., St. Paul, MN 55121. E-Mail: email@example.com. URL: http://www.apsnet.org.
Founded 1908, 5000 members. Professional educators, researchers, and other interested in the study and control of plant diseases. Publishes Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, Phytopathology, Plant Disease, Plant Health Report, Plant Disease Management Reports, and many books. Web site includes membership information, educational resources, and career materials.
- American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB). 15501 Monona Dr., Rockville, MD 20855. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. URL: http://www.aspb.org.
Founded 1924, 5200 members. Professional international society of plant physiologists, plant biochemists, plant molecular and cellular biologists and other plant scientists engaged in research and teaching. Publishes ASPB News, Plant Cell, and Plant Physiology. Formerly: American Society of Plant Physiologists (ASPP). Web site has membership, career, and educational resources.
- American Society of Plant Taxonomists (ASPT). University of Wyoming, Dept. of Botany 3165, 1000 E University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071-2000. E-Mail: email@example.com. URL: http://www.aspt.net.
Founded 1935, 1300 members. Botanists and others interested in all phases of plant taxonomy. Publications: Systematic Botany, Systematic Botany Monographs, and a newsletter. Web site includes membership information and links to plant systematics resources.
- Bioversity International. Via dei Tre Denari 472-A, Maccarese, I-00057 Rome, Italy. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. URL: http://www.bioversityinternational.org.
Founded 1974. An international research institute with a mandate to advance the conservation and use of genetic diversity for the well-being of present and future generations. Publishes Geneflow, Plant Genetic Resources Abstracts, and a newsletter. Formerly: International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI).
- Botanical Society of America (BSA). PO Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166. E-Mail: email@example.com. URL: http://www.botany.org.
Founded 1906, 3000 members. Professional society of botanists. Publishes American Journal of Botany, Applications in Plant Sciences, and Plant Science Bulletin. Web site includes membership information, links to useful Web sites, and more.
- Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries (CBHL). Auraria Library, 1100 Lawrence St., Denver, CO 80204-2095. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. URL: http://www.cbhl.net.
Founded 1970, 250 members. Libraries and collections in botanical or horticultural materials; librarians, bibliographers, booksellers, publishers, researchers, and administrators.
- International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT). University of Vienna, Institute of Botany, Rennweg 14, A-1030 Vienna, Austria. E-Mail: email@example.com. URL: http://www.iapt-taxon.org/.
Founded 1950, 2900 members. Coordinates work related to plant taxonomy and international codification of plant names. Formerly Commission on the Nomenclature of Plants. Publishes Regnum Vegetabile book series and Taxon.
- International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS). Wes Beekhuizenweg 3, NL-6871 VJ Renkum, Netherlands. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. URL: http://www.iavs.org.
Founded 1930. 1568 members. Vegetation scientists in 83 countries including botanists and ecologists. Formerly: International Society for Vegetation Science. Publishes Applied Vegetation Science, Journal of Vegetation Science, and IAVS Bulletin. Web site includes links to useful resources.
- International Mycological Association (IMA). c/o Prof. J. Taylor, Pres., University of California, Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, 111 Koshland Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720. E-Mail: email@example.com. URL: http://www.ima-mycology.org.
Founded 1971, 2500 members. International society representing 20,000 mycologists from 80 countries. Promotes the study of mycology in all its aspects.
- International Phycological Society (IPS). P.O. Box 1897, Lawrence, KS 66044. URL: http://www.intphycsoc.org/.
Founded 1960, 900 members. Scientists working to develop phycology. Publishes Phycologia.
- International Society of Plant Morphologists (ISPM). University of Delhi, Department of Botany, New Delhi 110 007, Delhi, India. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. URL: http://phytomorphology.tripod.com.
Founded 1950, 805 members. Individuals in 26 countries interested in plant morphology and its allied sciences. Purpose is to promote international cooperation among botanists. Publishes Phytomorphology.
- Mycological Society of America (MSA). PO Box 7065, Lawrence, KS 66044. E-Mail: email@example.com. URL: http://www.msafungi.org.
Founded 1931, 1300 members. Researchers, industrial and medical mycologists, plant pathologists, students, and others interested in the study of fungi through research, teaching, and industrial applications. Annual meeting. Publishes Mycologia, Mycologia Memoirs, and Inoculum.
- North American Mycological Association (NAMA). PO Box 64, Christiansburg, VA 24068. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. URL: http://www.namyco.org.
Founded 1959, 2200 members consisting of regional, state, and local groups. Amateur and professional mycologists, students, and botanists. Publishes McIlvainea and Mycophile. Web site includes information on mushroom cultivation, photography, and poisoning.
- Phycological Society of America (PSA). Virginia Tech., University Libraries, Special Collections Library, PO Box 90001, Blackburg, VA 24062 USA. E-Mail: email@example.com. URL: http://www.psaalgae.org.
Founded 1946, 1,100 members. Educators, researchers, and others interested in the pure, applied, or avocational study and utilization of algae. Publishes Algaezine, Journal of Phycology, Phycological Newsletter.
- Phytochemical Society of Europe (PSE). Centre for Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy, 29-39 Brunswick Sq., London WC1N 1AX, UK. c/o Dr. Deniz Tasdemir, Membership Sec., University of London, School of Pharmacy. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. URL: http://www.phytochemicalsociety.org.
Founded 1957, 500 members. Scientists in 17 countries working in the field of plant chemistry. Publishes Proceedings of the Phytochemical Society of Europe, Phytochemistry, Phytochemistry Letters, and Phytochemistry Reviews.
- Phytochemical Society of North America (PSNA). E-mail: email@example.com. URL: http://www.psna-online.org/.
Founded 1960. 405 members. Membership comprises primarily research scientists interested in all aspects of the chemistry of plants. Publishes newsletter and Recent Advances in Phytochemistry.
- Plant Growth Regulation Society of America (PGRSA). 1018 Duke St., Alexandria, VA 22314. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. URL: http://www.pgrsa.org.
Founded 1973, 850 members. Scientists concerned with plant growth regulation. Publishes PGRSA Quarterly and books on techniques.
- Society for Economic Botany (SEB). PO Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299. E-Mail: email@example.com. URL: http://cms.gogrid.econbot.org/.
Founded 1959, 1,200 members. Botanists, anthropologists, pharmacologists, and others interested in scientific studies of useful plants. Publishes Economic Botany and Plants and People.
- Society for Medicinal Plant Research (Gesellschaft für Arzneipflanzenforschung). Society of Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research, Uttenreuther Strasse 1 D-91077 Neunkirchen am Brand, Germany. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. URL: http://www.ga-online.org.
Founded 1953. 1300 members. Scientists in 70 countries who promote medicinal plant research. Publishes Newsletter and Planta Medica.
- The Torrey Botanical Society. URL: http://www.torreybotanical.org/.
Founded 1860. Botanists and others interested in botany and in collecting and disseminating information on all phases of plant science. Publishes Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society, Memoirs of the Torrey Botanical Society. Formerly: The Torrey Botanical Club.
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Checklists and Identification Manuals
- Flora of North America: North of Mexico. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993-. v. $95.00 (per volume). ISBN varies.
This projected 30 volume monumental work aims to survey and classify all the more than 20,000 plant species known to grow spontaneously from the Florida Keys to the Aleutian Islands. This authoritative set provides identification keys; distribution maps; summaries of habitat and geographical ranges; precise descriptions for families, genera, and species; chromosome numbers; pertinent synonymies; line drawings; endangered and threatened plants; selected references. The set will be updated by a computer database for taxonomic information housed at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, MO. See their Web site at http://floranorthamerica.org/. To date, v. 1-8, 19-27 have been published.
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Classification, Nomenclature, and Systematics
- Brummitt, R. K. Vascular Plant Families and Genera: A Listing of the Genera of Vascular Plants of the World According to their Families, as Recognised in the Kew Herbarium, with an Analysis of Relationships of the Flowering Plant Families According to Eight Systems of Classification. Kew, England: Royal Botanic Gardens, 1992. $82.00. ISBN 0947643435; 9780947643430.
The standard reference for generic names. In three parts: an alphabetic list of 14,000 accepted generic names, a list of genera by family, and an analysis of plant families following the eight systems of classification mentioned in the title. Also freely available on the Web at http://www.rbgkew.org.uk/data/vascplnt.html.
- Harvard University Herbaria Databases. http://kiki.huh.harvard.edu/databases/.
Includes the Gray Herbarium Index of New World Plants (now incorporated into the International Plant Names Index), the Harvard University Herbaria Type Specimen Database, Botanical Authors database, and Botanical Publications database.
- Index of Mosses Database. St. Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden, 1995- . http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/tropicos/most/iom.shtml.
The Index of Mosses Database, also known as W3MOST, provides current information on bryophyte names from the TROPICOS MOST database compiled by the Index of Mosses project at the Missouri Botanical Garden.
- Kartesz, John T., Hugh D. Wilson, and Erich Schneider. A Synonymized Checklist of the Vascular Flora of the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Chapel Hill, NC; College Station, TX: BONAP; TAMU-BWG, 1998. http://www.csdl.tamu.edu/FLORA/b98/check98.htm.
An updated Web version of the authors’ print checklist of the same name.
- McNeill, John. International Code of Nomenclature for Algae, Fungi and Plants (Melbourne Code). Königstein, Germany: Koeltz Scientific Books, 2012. 208 p. (Regnum vegetabile, v. 154). $90.00. ISBN 3874294250; 9783874294256.
The standard code for botanical nomenclature. The name of this edition was changed from the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN) to reflect the fact that the code covers algae and fungi as well. The full text is available for free at http://www.iapt-taxon.org/nomen/main.php.
- Names in Current use of Extant Plant Genera (NCU-3e). International Association for Plant Taxonomy: 1997- . http://www.bgbm.fu-berlin.de/iapt/ncu/genera/Default.htm.
This online database is based on the print NCU-3 volume published in 1993 as v. 129 of Regnum Vegetabile, which attempted to establish official names for the genera of algae, bryophytes, ferns, flowering plants, and fungi. For each genus, the original citation, date, type species, and family and order are included. The database is continuously updated.
- Plants Database. Greensboro, NC: National Plant Data Team, 1996- . http://plants.usda.gov/.
"The Plants database provides standardized information about the vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the U.S. and its territories." (from the web site) For each species viewers can find the common and scientific names plus synonyms, classification, distribution, related taxa, and links to more information. The site also provides information on invasive or threatened plant species, cover crops, culturally significant plants, and much more.
- The Plant List. St. Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden, 2010- . http://www.theplantlist.org/.
"The Plant List is a working list of all known plant species; it provides the accepted Latin name for most species, with links to all synonyms by which that species has been known." (from the Web site) Currently, the database includes vascular plants and bryophytes.
- Stevens, P. F. Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. St. Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden, 2001- . http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/research/APweb/.
“This series of pages is a set of characterizations of all orders and families of extant angiosperms (flowering plants) and gymnosperms, i.e. all seed plants…” It is designed as a teaching tool and is frequently updated.
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- Holmgren, Patricia K., Noel H. Holmgren, and Lisa C. Barnett. Index Herbariorum. Part I, the Herbaria of the World. 8th ed. Bronx, NY: New York Botanical Garden, 1990. 693 p. (Regnum vegetabile, vol. 120). ISBN 0893273589; 9780893273583.
Directory of the public herbaria of the world. For Part II: Collectors, see annotation in the History section. Also available on the Web at http://sciweb.nybg.org/science2/IndexHerbariorum.asp.
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Guides to the Literature
- Internet Directory for Botany. http://www.botany.net/IDB/.
An index to botanical information found on the Internet. Divided into an alphabetical directory and a subject directory.
- Metz Library. Web Resources. New York Botanical Garden. http://www.nybg.org/library/WebResources.php.
A useful list of recommended botany resources from the New York Botanical Garden. Includes botany libraries, online catalogs (some subscription), general botany resources, plant pictures, plant information, and archival resources.
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- The Arabidopsis Book. Rockville, MD: American Society of Plant Biologists, 2002- . http://www.aspb.org/publications/arabidopsis.
This open access book provides over 100 frequently updated articles about the biology of Arabidopsis, one of the most common model organisms for plant biology and genetics.
- The Arabidopsis Information Resources (TAIR). Stanford, CA: Carnegie Institution for Science Department of Plant Biology, 1999- . http://www.arabidopsis.org/.
TAIR replaces the Arabidopsis thaliana Database Project (AtDB) that ended in 1999. It is a collaborative effort between the Carnegie Institution of Washington Department of Plant Biology and the National Center for Genome Resources and contains genetic and molecular biology information for the popular model organism, Arabidopsis. Beginning in mid-2014 TAIR will only be available by subscription.
- Brunt, Alan, et al., eds. Plant Viruses Online: Descriptions and Lists from the VIDE Database. 1996- . http://pvo.bio-mirror.cn/refs.htm.
Includes information on most species of virus known to infect plants, including data on host range; transmission and control; geographical distribution; physical, chemical and genomic properties; taxonomy and relationships; and selected literature references. Data from this resource have also been published in 1996 as Viruses of Plants: Descriptions and Lists from the VIDE Database.
- Moerman, Daniel E. Native American Ethnobotany Database–Foods, Drugs, Dyes, and Fibers of Native North American Peoples. 2003- . http://herb.umd.umich.edu.
Database of plant uses “by 291 Native American groups of 4,029 species from 243 different plant families.” (from the Web site) This is the third version of the database. It supersedes the 1977 publication, American Medical Ethnobotany and the 1986 database, Medicinal Plants of Native America.
- Walker, Rick. Carnivorous Plant Database. 2010- . http://www.omnisterra.com/bot/cp_home.cgi.
Database of over 3,000 carnivorous plants. Each entry consists of the scientific name, date and place of discovery, and name of discoverer. International in coverage. Includes photographs and illustrations.
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- Brummitt, R. K. and C. E. Powell. Authors of Plant Names: A List of Authors of Scientific Names of Plants, with Recommended Standard Forms of their Names, Including Abbreviations. London: Royal Botanic Gardens, 2002. 732 p. $82.00. ISBN 1842460854; 9781842460856.
A standard index of the authors of plant names, including birth and death dates, recommended abbreviations, and notes on the plant taxa authored for each individual. The index can be searched as part of the International Plant Names Index (see Classification and Nomenclature, above), at http://www.ipni.org/ipni/authorsearchpage.do.
- Vegter, I. Hettie. Index Herbariorum: A Guide to the Location and Contents of the World's Public Herbaria. Part 2, Collectors. Boston, MA: Kluwer Academic, 1986. (Regnum vegetabile, v. 114). ISBN 9031305855; 9789031305858.
A list of plant collectors including dates active, collection specialty, location of voucher specimens, and sources. Now searchable as part of the online Index Herbariorum at http://sciweb.nybg.org/science2/IndexHerbariorum.asp.
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- BMC Plant Biology. v. 1- , 2001- . London: BioMed Central. Continually updated. Open Access. ISSN 1471-2229.
Covers all aspects of plant biology including cellular, tissue-level, organismal, functional and developmental aspects. Articles can be found at http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcplantbiol.
- Studies in Mycology. v. 1- , 1972- . Baarn, Netherlands: Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures. 3 issues per year. Open Access. ISSN 0166-0616 (print); 1872-9797 (online).
"Publishes systematic monographs of filamentous fungi and yeasts, and at occasions the proceedings of special meetings related to all fields of mycology". Articles are available at http://studiesinmycology.org/.