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Chapter 10: Plant Biology

Chapter 10: Plant Biology

Introduction

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.


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