Guide to Reference and Information Sources in Plant Biology

This Web site contains the URLs and annotations for all Web-accessible resources listed in the third edition of Guide to Reference and Information Sources in Plant Biology, published by “Libraries Unlimited” in December 2005.  The guide lists and annotates nearly 1,000 books, journals, and Web sites.  The intent of this site is to keep the URLs for this select group of valuable Web-accessible sources up-to-date and available.  This supplemental site includes only the material from the book that contains links to Web sites and does not list print materials . No new sites will be added to this site once the book is published. The URLs will be updated or deleted if they become defunct on this page, however any other content (serial pricing etc.) will not be updated.

Schmidt, Diane., Davis, Elisabeth B. (Eds.) (2006) Guide to reference and information sources in plant biology. Westport, Conn. : Libraries Unlimited.

The Web sites have been chosen using the same criteria as the print material, namely that they are important, authoritative, have authors or sponsors with good credentials, and seem likely to remain available in the future.

The material types annotated in this guide include the following:

  • Bibliographies and Guides to the Literature – Includes bibliographies, guides to the literature, and guides to Web resources
  • Databases, Abstracts, and Indexes – Includes bibliographic databases, indexes, and others
  • Serials – Journals and review publications. This section is divided into two parts, general biology journals that are important to botanists, and plant-specific journals. The general journals are not annotated.  Although most journals are available electronically, their URLs are generally not included in the book or this Web supplement unless they contain freely available material.
  • Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
  • Handbooks and Methods – Includes general works, protocols and methods, and data compendia
  • Textbooks and Treatises – Both textbooks and treatises (works that summarize a field)
  • Associations – Professional societies and organizations, especially those that publish one or more major journals; some research centers and major botanical gardens are also listed

Table of Contents

We hope you find this site useful and we welcome comments.

Diane Schmidt
Biology Librarian (Retired), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Melody M. Allison
Assistant Biology Librarian, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Kathleen A. Clark
Biotechnology Librarian, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Maria A. Porta
Assistant Acquisitions Librarian, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Pamela F. Jacobs
Associate University Librarian for Collections, Brock University, St. Catherines, Ontario

Chapter 1:  Introduction to the Literature of Plant Biology

Please note that this page contains only the portion of this chapter from A Guide to Reference and Information Sources in Plant Biology that contains links to Web sites.  The history of the literature of plant biology is covered in more detail in the print book.


The future of botanical literature will surely parallel the future of other forms of the biological literature.  Most plant biology journals are available electronically, though small regional publications and specialized systematics journals lag behind.  However, journals such as the American Fern Journal and Economic Botany are participating in the BioOne program.  There are a number of interesting new models being explored by the scientific community, and plant biologists are participating in many of them.  These models include Open Access journals in which authors pay a publication fee up front thereby allowing their article to be read for free by anyone in the world, SPARC Alternative journals set up by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition as inexpensive competitors for more expensive commercially published journals, and many other variations on the traditional publishing model.

Older material has not been ignored.  Electronic backfiles of a number of important journals are now available from a number of different organizations or programs such as the Ecology and Botany collection from JSTOR, Highwire Press, and the free backfiles program at PubMed Central.  Commercial publishers are also making backfiles of their journals available.

In addition to these advances and innovations in the journal literature, plant geneticists participate in actively exploring the range of options that the Web and digital media allows.  The amazing boom in molecular biology, genomics, and bioinformatics has driven an equal boom in data publication and analysis.  With the complete genomes of species such as rice, maize, and Arabidopsis already available, databases such as GenBank are as important for plant biologists as for animal biologists.  Taxonomists are also taking advantage of the Web to compile vast databases such as The International Plant Names Index, which is much easier to use and more flexible than the old print indexes it supercedes.

Despite much early hype, e-books in the sciences are growing at a much slower rate than e-journals.  However, an increasing number of books are now being published both electronically and in print, although publishers are still experimenting with pricing models.  Some e-books can be purchased by individuals or libraries as single items directly from the publisher while others are only available to libraries as part of large packages from aggregators such as netLibrary that include books from many publishers.  A few e-books are Open Access, such as The Arabidopsis Book published by the American Society of Plant Biologists and made freely available through BioOne.  Unlike journals, in which users are usually interested in only a single article that is often printed out rather than read on screen, e-books face many usability issues.  As a result, textbooks, reference books, and methods and protocols are presently the most common e-books.  However, most e-books do not take full advantage of the possibilities inherent in the electronic format such as continual updating, internal and external linking, searching across multiple books from different publishers, or the inclusion of other media types such as video or modeling software.  The possibilities are intriguing and the future will certainly include many new publishing formats.

Chapter 2:  General Sources

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Bibliographies and Guides to the Literature

  • Lampinen, R., S. Liu, A. R. Brach, and K. McCree.  The Internet Directory for Botany.A very extensive alphabetical list of plant biology-related Web sites.  It can be searched by keyword, but unfortunately there is no subject categorization.  Most of the major associations, botanical gardens, and arboreta with Web sites are included in the list.

  • MERLOT Biology.  Long Beach, CA: California State University, Center for Distributed Learning.Designed for higher education, this site provides links to educational resources such as streaming videos, tutorials, online courses, societies, and so on.  At the time of viewing, there were over 100 links to botanical materials.

  • Plant Science Homepage. Agriculture Network Information Center (AgNIC), 1999.While emphasizing agricultural-related sites, this guide is a good starting place for reliable Web sites dealing with plant biology.  It is arranged by type of resource and subject and can also be searched by keyword.
    • This page is no longer available.

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Databases, Abstracts & Indexes

  • AGRICOLA  (AGRICultural OnLine Access).  Washington, DC: National Agricultural Library, 1970- .The online equivalent of the now-ceased Bibliography of Agriculture, produced by the National Agriculture Library (NAL).  This database covers journal articles, book chapters, government documents, technical reports, and proceedings.  AGRICOLA‘s focus is primarily agricultural; however, it is important to botanists working in the applied area who need to pick up international information from government reports, agricultural experiment stations, and the like.  The database uses the same controlled vocabulary used in CAB AbstractsAGRICOLA is available from many vendors in several formats including online, on CD-ROM, and through the Web.  The database can also be searched for free at the URL listed above although this search engine is rather clumsy.  NAL also publishes an annual List of Journals Indexed in AGRICOLA that can be accessed at no charge on the Web.  This version includes data on journals back to 1992.

  • AGRIS. Rome, Italy: U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, 1975- .This database covers agriculture “in the widest sense” according to its Web site.  It indexes articles, unpublished scientific and technical reports, theses, conference papers, government publications, and unpublished scientific and technical reports from around the world, making it a good source for the gray literature that is hard to find elsewhere.  Like the other agricultural databases (AGRICOLA and CAB Abstracts), AGRIS is a good source of information on plants of economic importance and is especially strong in non-English material.  AGRIS uses the AGROVOC standardized vocabulary.  Users can obtain vocabulary terms in Arabic, Chinese, Czech, English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish from the FAO’s site.  AGRIS is available from various vendors and can also be searched for free at the URL listed above.  Published in print from 1975-1995 as Agrindex.

  • Index to American Botanical Literature.  Bronx, NY: New York Botanical Garden, 1999- .The index covers both living and fossil American plants and fungi, indexing articles covering general and economic botany, systematics and floristics, morphology, and ecology.  The area includes the entire Western Hemisphere, from Greenland to Antarctica.  From 1886 through 1995 the index was published in the Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club and from 1996 to 1998 in Brittonia.  After that point, it became electronic-only and is searchable at the URL listed above.  The database includes material added to the index from 1996 to date.

  • PubMed. Bethesda, MD: National Library of Medicine, 1951- . Updated daily.PubMedis the free version of the National Library of Medicine’s MEDLINE database and is the access method favored by most biological researchers.  As well as indexing the 4,500 journals covered in MEDLINE, PubMed includes a number of journals in the life sciences that are not included in MEDLINE and has links to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) molecular biology databases.  PubMed has a number of valuable features, including direct links to full-text articles, a citation matching feature, and the ability to save searches.  While the emphasis in the database is on medicine, it is useful for botanists because it covers medicinal plants, plant molecular and cellular biology, and a range of other topics.  MEDLINE is available online and on CD-ROM from a variety of vendors by subscription.  The print version of MEDLINE, Index Medicus, began in 1903 and is still being published.  The very useful List of Serials Indexed for Online Users is available in print and also on the Web.

  • Scirus: For Scientific Information Only. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier Science, 2001- .This free search engine includes only scientific resources, including links to societies, electronic journals, researchers’ personal Web pages, course syllabi, and more.  Since users can search Scirus for subscription-only journal articles as well as Web pages, they may pull up resources that are not available to them, but the search engine indexes many high-quality free sites so it is worth checking.
  • (Update: this online resource is no longer available.)

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  • Annals of Botany (London). Vol. 1- . Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1887- . 13 times per year. $787.00. ISSN 0305-7364. Available electronically.An international journal publishing in all aspects of plant biology.  It includes research papers, short communications, invited and submitted review articles and book reviews as well as “Botanical Briefings”, short commissioned reviews.  The Botanical Briefings are available for free on the Web, as are Invited Reviews.

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Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

  • Committee on Standardization of Common Names for Plant Diseases.  Common Names of Plant Diseases.Lists the common names of plant pathogens and diseases for use in American Phytopathological Society publications.  Can be searched by keyword or browed by alphabetical listing.

  • D’Arcy, C. J., D. M. Eastburn, and G. L. Schumann. Illustrated Glossary of Plant Pathology.  American Phytopathological Society, 2001.This lengthy glossary is part of the society’s Plant Health Instructor site and provides definitions of a large number of terms used in plant pathology.  Almost all of the terms are illustrated with a color photograph or drawing.

  • Magill, R. E., ed. Glossarium Polyglottum Bryologiae: A Multilingual Glossary for Bryology. (Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden, vol. 33). St. Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden, 1990. $19.95 (paper). 297 p.The dictionary defines nearly 1,200 terms from bryology.  Definitions are in English and include translations in Latin, French, German, Spanish, Japanese, and Russian.  The English terms and their definitions as well as the Latin, French, German, and Spanish translations are also available on the Web.

  • Massey, J. R. and J. C. Murphy. Vascular Plant Systematics Glossary.  1996.This glossary was taken from Chapter 6 of Radford’s classic textbook Vascular Plant Systematics.  The illustrated glossary covers plant anatomy, general characters used in taxonomy, and terms specific to gymnosperms and angiosperms.

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Handbooks and Methods

  • Association of Applied Biologists. Descriptions of Plant Viruses.  Wellesbourne, England: Association of Applied Biologists, 1970- .Originally published in paper from 1970-1989 by CAB International and on CD-ROM in 1998, and now freely available on the Web.  The site provides an introduction to plant viruses, over 400 descriptions of plant viruses, taxonomic information, information on gene sequences, and links to other sites.  Formerly titled AAB Descriptions of Plant Viruses and CMI/AABI Descriptions of Plant Viruses.

  • Plants Database.  Baton Rouge, LA: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 1990s- .The database provides standardized information about the vascular and nonvascular plants (excluding fungi) of the United States and its territories including names, checklists, distributional data, species abstracts, characteristics, images, references, and much more.  Users can get reports on several topics such as invasive or endangered species, culturally significant plants, and alternative crops.  This is an excellent place to start for information on a specific plant of the United States.

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Textbooks and Treatises

  • Graham, Linda E., James M. Graham, and Lee Warren Wilcox. Plant Biology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003. 497 p. $101.33. ISBN 0130303712.Designed for freshman or non-major plant biology courses, this text covers plant biology and ecology and has chapters on various ecosystems such as deserts or grasslands.  Each chapter has an outline of chapter highlights, review questions, and suggestions for applying concepts found in the chapter; however there are no references or further readings.  An associated Web site has study aids and relevant Web sites. (Update: this online resource is no longer available.)

  • Mauseth, James D. Botany: An Introduction to Plant Biology. 3rd ed. Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett, 2003. 868 p. plus CD-ROM. $99.95. ISBN 0763721344, 076372517X (CD-ROM).Suitable for use in an introductory plant biology course.  About a third of the book consists of a survey of plants from prokaryotes to vascular plants.  While each chapter contains review questions and links to the associated Web site, there are no references.  The Plant Biology Tutor CD-ROM provides images, tutorials, and experimental simulations.

  • Sengbusch, Peter von, Alice Bergfeld, and Rolf Bergmann. Botany Online: The Internet Hypertextbook.  International ed. Hamburg, Germany: University of Hamburg, 1990s- .An introductory undergraduate botany hypertextbook covering all the usual subjects, from the history of plant biology to genetics, cell biology, evolution, and systematics.  The text was originally published in German, and at the time of viewing some sections (primarily systematics and ecology) had not been translated into English.

  • Stern, Kingsley Rowland, Shelley Jansky, and James E. Bidlack. Introductory Plant Biology. 9th ed. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill, 2003. 589 p. $113.25. ISBN 0072930381.An introductory text covering plant anatomy, physiology, genetics, ecology, and breeding.  In addition, about half the volume consists of a survey of organisms from bacteria and Protista, to fungi and vascular plants.  Each chapter includes a summary, review and discussion questions, additional reading, and links to the associated Web site.  Appendixes list scientific names of plants mentioned in the text, biological controls, useful and poisonous plants, houseplants, and metric conversions.

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  • American Bryological and Lichenological Society (ABLS). Department of Biological Sciences, University of Nevada.Professional botanists, botany teachers, and hobbyists interested in the study of mosses, liverworts, and lichens.  Maintains moss, lichen, and hepatic exchange clubs.  Publishes Bryologist and Evansia.

  • American Fern Society (AFS).Promotes the study of ferns and their allies by persons interested in the biology, taxonomy, and horticulture of ferns, club mosses, and horsetails.  Publishes American Fern Journal.

  • American Orchid Society (AOS). E-Mail: growers, botanists, hobbyists, and others interested in promoting all phases of orchidology.  Publishes Orchids and various handbooks

  • American Phytopathological Society (APS).
  • Professional educators, researchers, and other interested in the study and control of plant diseases.  Publishes Phytopathology News, Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, Phytopathology, Plant Disease: An International Journal of Applied Plant Pathology, and more.

  • American Public Garden Association.Formerly known as the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta. Directors and staffs of botanical gardens, arboreta, institutions maintaining or conducting horticultural courses, and others.

  • Botanical Society of America (BSA).Professional society of botanists and others interested in plant science.  The largest U. S. botanical society, with fifteen Special Interest sections covering almost every aspect of plant biology.  Publishes American Journal of Botany and Plant Science Bulletin.

  • Botanical Society of the British Isles (BSBI).
  • Amateur and professional botanists in England and the Republic of Ireland.  Promotes the study of British and Irish flowering plants and ferns.  Formerly: Botanical Society of London.  Publishes Watsonia.

  • British Lichen Society (BLS).Professional academic, and amateur lichenologists involved in research.  Publishes BLS Bulletin, The Lichenologist.

  • British Phycological Society (BPS).Scientists, students, and other interested persons organized to further phycology, the study of algae and seaweed.  Publishes European Journal of Phycology, The Phycologist Newsletter, and Seaweeds of the British Isles.

  • Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries (CBHL).Libraries and collections in botanical or horticultural materials, librarians, bibliographers, booksellers, publishers, researchers, and administrators.  Purpose is to initiate and improve communication between persons and institutions concerned with the development, maintenance, and use of botanical and horticultural libraries.

  • International Mycological Association (IMA).

    National and international societies promoting the study of mycology in all its aspects.  Constitutes the section for general mycology within the International Union of Biological Sciences.  Publishes IMA News.

  • Mycological Society of America (MSA).Includes both professional and amateur mycologists.  Web site includes membership information, links to mycological sites, full text of newsletter, meeting information, and jobs available.  Formerly Mycological Section, Botanical Society of America.  Publishes Mycologia and newsletter Inoculum.

  • North American Mycological Association (NAMA).Amateur and professional mycologists, students, and botanists.  Promotes amateur mycology; sponsors field trips and taxonomic and mycological seminars.  Publishes McIlvainea, The Mycophile Newsletter.

  • Phycological Society of America (PSA).Educators, researchers, and others interested in the pure, or applied study and utilization of algae.  Publishes Journal of Phycology, Phycological Newsletter.

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Chapter 3:  History and Biography

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  • Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences. Vol. l- . Washington DC: National Academy Press, 1877- . Irregular. Price varies. ISSN 0077-2933.This annual publication includes complete biographical information about the deceased members of the National Academy of Sciences.  A portrait, bibliography of publications, and a complete chronology are provided for each scientist.  The full text is available for free on the Web.

  • Curtis’s Botanical Magazine. Vol.12- . Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 1995- . Quarterly. $435.00. ISSN 1355-4905. Available electronically.In terms of historical significance, Curtis’s Botanical Magazine is the oldest botanical journal in continuous publication.  It was founded in 1787 in London by William Curtis, the owner and editor as well as an eminent English botanist and entomologist.  It changed titles at various times: The Botanical Magazine; or Flower Garden Displayed (1787-1800), Curtis’s Botanical Magazine (1801-1983), and The Kew Magazine (1984-1994).  The full text of the first twenty years of the magazine can be viewed at the National Agriculture Library’s site.

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Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

  • Matthew, H. C. G. and Brian Harrison. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: In Association with the British Academy: From the Earliest Times to the Year 2000. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. 60 vol. $13,000.00 (set). ISBN 019861411X (set).A collection of 50,000 specially written biographies of men and women who have shaped all aspects of the British past, from the earliest times to the end of the year 2000.  Includes over 10,000 illustrations on a total of 61,792 pages, written by almost 10,000 contributors.  The online version includes the full text of both this new edition and the original edition.  Online updates will be published three times each year starting in January 2005 and will add new biographies (taking in people who died after 2000) in addition to reference material designed to help readers navigate and interpret the dictionary.

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  • History of Science Society.
  • Funded in 1924 to foster interest in the history of science and its social and cultural relations.  Dedicated to understanding science, technology, medicine, and their interactions with society in a historical context.  Publishes Isis and Osiris and several other series, guides, and more.

  • Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation.”Specializes in the history of botany and all aspects of plant science and serves the international scientific community through research and documentation.”  It acquires and maintains authoritative collections of books, plant images, manuscripts, portraits and data files, and provides publications such as Huntia and the Bulletin of the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation as well as collection catalogs, reference works, and much more.

  • Society for the History of Natural History. c/o The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD, UK.It “is the only international society devoted to the history of botany, zoology and geology, in the broadest sense, including natural history collections, exploration, art and bibliography.”  Publishes Archives of Natural History and a Newsletter.

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Chapter 4:  Plant Evolution and Paleobotany

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Bibliographies and Guides to the Literature

  • Kelber, Klaus-Peter, comp. Links for Palaeobotanists.This well organized site provides an annotated list of Web sites of interest to paleobotanists, with an emphasis on the Upper Triassic.  The topics covered include taxonomy, anatomy, taphonomy, paleoclimate, evolution, images of plant fossils, and much more.

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Handbooks and Methods

  • International Organisation of Palaeobotany. Plant Fossil Record. Version 2.2.This database includes descriptions and occurrences of more than 10,000 extinct plant genera.  This version of the database includes most valid plant fossil genera published before 1985.  The database also includes maps of the locations of plant fossils.  The descriptions include author, citation to original description, type of plant part represented, and age of fossil.  The occurrence database lists author, location, and age for each reported discovery of the fossil.

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  • American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists (AASP).AASP is a member organization of the Geological Society of America, the American Geological Institute, and the International Federation of Palynological Societies.  The Association publishes Palynology, AASP Newsletter, the AASP Foundation Contribution Series of monographs, and other miscellaneous publications.

  • International Federation of Palynological Societies.A federation of twenty-four regional, national, linguistic, and specialist palynological organizations of the world.  Publishes a biannual newsletter, Palynos, which is available at the Federation’s Web site.

  • International Fossil Algae Association.A non-profit organization interested in promoting all aspects of the study of fossil algae.  The association’s Web site includes membership information, an electronic library of fossil algae resources, and images of fossil algae.

  • Palaeontological Association.A British professional association covering all areas of paleontology, including paleobotany.  The association publishes the journal Palaeontology as well as Palaeontology Newsletter.  The association’s Web site provides information on the society and links to other paleontology Web sites.

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Chapter 5:  Ethnobotany

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Databases, Abstracts & Indexes

  • PubMed
  • PubMed includes peer-reviewed articles dealing with research concerning the medical use of plants, so it is useful for ethnobotanists.  Relevant Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) include “Phytotherapy;” “Plant Extracts;” “Plants, Medicinal;” “Eclecticism, Historical;” and “Medicine, Traditional.”  Some keyword search terms that might be useful are: ethnomedicine, folk remedy(ies), home remedy(ies), folk medicine, indigenous medicine, or primitive medicine.

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  • Economic Botany. Vol. 1‑ . New York: New York Botanical Garden, 1947- . Quarterly. $122.00. ISSN 0013‑0001. Available electronically.Published for the Society for Economic Botany (SEB).  “Devoted to past, present, and future uses of plants by man,” with emphasis on scientific papers relating to “uses” rather than growing of plant materials.  Issues contain original research and review articles, book reviews, annotated bibliotheca, and notes on economic plants.

  • Herbalgram. Vol. 1- . Austin, TX: Herb Research Foundation; American Herbal Products Association, 1984- . Quarterly. $250.00. ISSN 0899-5648. Available electronically.Published for the American Botanical Council (ABC).  This peer-reviewed scientific journal covers medicinal plant research, research and book reviews, conference reports, legal and regulatory updates, plant patents, and ABC news.  ABC members have free access to the electronic version of Herbalgram from issue 22 (1990) to the present.  An issues list, journal departments list, author list, topic index, and some free full-text articles are also provided on their Web site.

  • Journal of Ethnobiology. Vol. 1- . Chapel Hill, NC: Society of Ethnobiology, 1981- . Semiannual. $80.00. ISSN 0278-0771.Publication of the Society of Ethnobiology.  This peer-reviewed journal deals with research in “the interdisciplinary study of the relationships of plants and animals with human cultures worldwide.”  Topics include ethnobotany, paleoethnobotany, and ethnoecology, and other biological and anthropological areas. Index of Journal Articles Presented in the Journal of Ethnobiology from 1981-1999 is available electronically.

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Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

  • Buckingham, J. Dictionary of Natural Products. New York: Chapman and Hall, 1993. 7 vol. $6,349.95 (set). ISBN 0412466201 (set).A massive undertaking covering over 130,000 natural products and their derivatives.  It is arranged alphabetically by name of compound.  Each entry has chemical, structural, and bibliographic information, as well as two index volumes with indexes by species, type of compound, name, molecular formula, and CAS registry number.  Annual supplements, Volume 8 (1995)-Volume 10 (1998).  Chapman and Hall/CRC Press also produce the Dictionary of Natural Products on CD-ROM (2000, ISSN 0412491508, $6,600.00) with updates every six months.  Web access is also available via Chapman and Hall/CRC CHEMnetBASE. Browse, perform searches and view search hitlists for free; subscription required to view or print the full product entries.

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Handbooks and Methods

  • Blumenthal, Mark, ed. The Complete German Commission E Monographs, Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Austin, TX: American Botanical Council, 1998. 685 p. $165.00. ISBN 096555550X.Commission E is a panel of experts first created by the German Ministry of Health in 1978 to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of herbal and phytochemical medicines.  Commission E used a bibliographic review of 100-200 global scientific references for each herb to evaluate safety and effectiveness.  They examined traditional use; chemical data; experimental, pharmacological, and toxicological studies; clinical studies; field and epidemiological studies; patient care records submitted from physicians’ files and occasionally unpublished data from manufacturer.  Their findings, published in the Bundesanzeiger (German Federal Gazette) as monographs, are recognized as being the most complete and exact available on herbs and phytomedicines.  This guide contains the English translation of Germany’s Commission E Monographs for 380 approved and unapproved herbs.  The introduction gives a very detailed examination about the use, sales, marketing, standards, and regulations of herbs in the United States and Europe.  There are therapeutic indexes on herbal uses, indications, contraindications, side effects, pharmacological actions, drug interactions, and duration of administration.  There are a chemical glossary and index; a taxonomic cross-reference index alphabetized by English name and followed by botanical name, plant family, pharmacopeial, and German name; and excerpts from the German Pharmacopoeia on selected herbal drugs for quality standards.  Includes appendices for abbreviations and symbols, weights and measures, German Federal Gazette, ESCOP [European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy] Monographs, World Health Organization (WHO) Monographs, general glossary, general references to sources used for the translation from German to English, and general index.  The references for literature used by the Commission members were not included in the Commission E Monographs and are available only to lawyers or scientific organizations for disputes/conflicts through the Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte (BfArM) [Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices].

  • Brown, Dan. Cornell University Poisonous Plants Information Database. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Animal Science Department, 2003.Scientific and common names, primary poisons, and species most affected can be found in the Poisonous Plants database.  Details include the poisonous parts of the plant as well as a color photo, when available.  There are alphabetical listings for both the botanical and common names.  There is a list of toxic plant agents with links to associated stereochemistry and information for related classes of agents.  Poisonous plants of concern to particular animals are provided as well as details about safety issues concerning the medicinal use of plants for livestock.

  • Ethnobotanical Databases.James A. Duke is a prolific and renowned USDA ethnobotanist and herbal researcher.  Several types of searches can be done from this Web site:  Plant Searches for chemicals and activities in a particular plant, Chemical Searches, Activity Searches, and Ethnobotany Searches for ethnobotanical uses concerning a particular plant.  Contains links to other databases and information of interest.  No longer being updated, but a valuable resource nonetheless.

  • Native American Ethnobotany: A Database of Foods, Drugs, Dyes and Fibers of Native American Peoples, Derived from Plants.Over 44,500 items can be found in this freely accessible database that is hosted by the University of Michigan-Dearborn.  Plant species are entered into the system by scientific name, which in most cases hyperlinks to the USDA Plants Database.  Common name and plant use(s) with citation of use source are referenced for over 4,000 species and over 240 plant families.  Drugs, dyes, fibers, foods, cleaning agents are just some of the plant uses indexed here.  Entries link to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Plants Database, which provides color photographs and botanical details.  The book Native American Ethnobotany is based on this database.

  • People and Plants Handbook: Sources for Applying Ethnobotany to Conservation and Community Development. Issue 1- . Paris: WWF, UNESCO, RGB, Kew, 1996- . Irregular.Publication of the World Wide Fund for Nature and UNESCO, and their associate, and Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew (UK), as part of the People and Plants Initiative.  Created to provide “information on ethnobotany, conservation and development, and to enable ethnobotanists and others in developing countries to be in touch with one another and with a wider global network.”  Sources of information, ethics, methods of assessing biological resources and local knowledge, resource centers and programs, interviews, and advice from the field are some of the many topics covered in this publication.  Beginning with Issue 8 (2002), the Handbook moved from theme-focused issues to issues with news about the practices and activities of the People and Plants program. Full-text can be found by searching the UNESCO Database. Click “more” by the issue entry of interest to get issue record, and click the Title to get the issue pdf when available.

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  • The American Society of Pharmacognosy (ASP).This international scientific organization works to “promote the growth, and development not only of pharmacognosy but all aspects of those sciences related to and dealing in natural products.”  Co-publishes the Journal of Natural Products with the American Chemical Society.

  • Herb Society of America (HSA).Society members are scien­tists, educators and others interested in botanical and horticul­tural research on herbs and culinary, economic, decorative, fragrant, and historic use of herbs.  The Society maintains plant collections, seed exchanges, symposia, and annual conferences.  The National Herb Garden ( was designed and donated to the National Arboretum in Washington, DC by the HSA.  The Society operates a library on botany and horticulture, conducts slide shows and lectures, maintains speakers’ bureau, and bestows awards.  Publishes The Herbarist, membership directory, and newsletter.

  • International Society for Ethnopharmacology (ISE).International scientists dedicated to interdisciplinary study of the physiological actions of plant, animal, and other substances used in indigenous medicines of past and present cultures.  Official journal of ISE is the Journal of Ethnopharmacology.  Web site includes information about the Society, its annual meetings and biennial congresses, upcoming conferences of other organizations, and newsletter.

  • International Society of Ethnobiology (ISE).”Non-profit charitable organization dedicated to the research, study, promotion, and enhancement of ethnobiology.”  The Society was the first international scientific organization that formally acknowledged full respect and compensation for indigenous peoples concerning human rights, compensation for knowledge and resources, and sharing of research findings (Declaration of Belém, 1988).  Web site includes information about the Society, its biennial international congress, and links to related sites.

  • Society for Economic Botany (SEB).Botanists, anthropologists, pharmacologists, and others interested in scientific studies of useful plants.  Seeks to develop interdisciplinary channels of communication among groups concerned with past, present and future uses of plants.  Publishes Economic Botany journal, Membership Directory, Plants and People newsletter, and occasional symposium volumes.  Web site includes information about the Society, its annual meeting, related news, and free full-text access to its newsletter and recent issues (2002 to date) of their journal Economic Botany.

  • Society for Medicinal Plant Research (Gesellschaft fur Arzneipfl­anzenforschung-GA).Scientists in 70 countries who promote medicinal plant research.  Organized to serve as an international focal point for such interests as pharmacognosy, pharmacology, phytochemistry, plant biochemistry and physiology, chemistry of natural products, plant cell culture and application of medicinal plants in medicine.  Publishes newsletter and Planta Medica journal.  Web site includes information about the Society, selected workshop documents, and its annual congress and other meetings.

  • Society of Ethnobiology (SE).”Non-profit professional organization dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of the relationships of plants and animals with human cultures worldwide.”  Publishes Journal of Ethnobiology.  Web site includes information about the Society, its annual conferences, and links to related resources.

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Chapter 6:  Ecology

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Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

  • NatureServe. NatureServe Explorer: An Online Encyclopedia of Life. Arlington, VA: NatureServe, 2004. (Version 4.0).Includes data for nearly 23,000 plants listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act and over 5000 ecological communities.  Scientific name, common name, status, and distribution are given with summary report, conservation status, distribution map, life history, and comprehensive report.  Images are provided when available.

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Handbooks and Methods

  • Alien Plant Working Group. Weeds Gone Wild: Alien Plant Invaders of Natural Areas.  Washington, DC: Plant Conservation Alliance, 2003.Background information on invasive species, related definitions, and identified problems and solutions for invasions are described.  A list of invasive species listed by scientific name is provided with common names, where found, associated national parks, and information sources.  Fact sheets for aquatics, herbs, vines, shrubs, and trees are illustrated with color photographs and contain plant descriptions, native range, distribution and habitat in the U.S., management options, suggested alternative native plants, selected links to relevant people and organizations, and other information.

  • Washington, DC: National Invasive Species Council, 2003.This gateway site is brimming with information about federal and state invasive species activities and programs.  Links are provided to species profiles; geographic information; vectors and pathway; numerous expertise, general, terrestrial plant, terrestrial animal, aquatic plant, aquatic animal, microbial, and regional databases; and laws and regulations.

  • IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group. Global Invasive Species Database.The Invasive Species Specialist Group is part of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of The World Conservation Union (IUCN).  This database includes details about invasive microbes, plants, and animals species, such as taxonomic, common, and synonym names; description; biology, ecology, native and alien range, management information; references; contacts; links; and images.  There are lists of all species and all countries that are in the database, recommended readings, links to several invasive species sites.

  • Missouri Botanical Garden. National Collection of Endangered Plants. St. Louis, MO: Center for Plant Conservation.The National Collection of Endangered Plants is an initiative of the Center for Plant Conservation (CPC).  It “contains plant material for more than 600 of the country’s most imperiled native plants … and is a back up in case a species becomes extinct or no longer reproduces in the wild.”  Plant profiles, participating CPC institutions, and other details can be accessed from the National Collection Web site.

  • National Biological Information Infrastructure. NBII Invasive Species Information Node (ISIN). Reston, VA: National Biological Information Infrastructure.The Invasive Species Information Node is a repository of invasive species information, such as species lists, maps, control and restoration recommendations, and current projects, including the Species Information database.  Database details include taxonomic rank and serial number, scientific name, common name(s), USDA NRCS Code, links to more information, and photos when available.  A system for reporting invasive species via this Web site is currently being developed.  The National Biological Information Infrastructure “is a joint effort, led by the U. S. Geological Survey, to build a distributed electronic “federation” of biological data and information from many sources… on our nation’s plants, animals, and ecosystems.”

  • Species Information: Threatened and Endangered Animals and Plants. Washington, DC: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2003.Endangered species information is accessed via the Threatened and Endangered Species Database System (TESS) for federally listed animals and plants.  Over 700 endangered plant species have been identified.  They are grouped by taxonomic groups (Flowering Plants or Non-Flowering Plants) and listed alphabetically by common name, then scientific name with links to status details regarding information on Recovery Plans, Specials Rules, and Critical Habitat for specific designations, life history, Federal Register documents, Habitat Conservation Plans, petitions received, and refuges the species has been reported on.  A wealth of information can be obtained here such as state lists, maps, proposed and candidate species information, de-listed species, species by lead region, statistics, laws/policies, Virtual News Room, news releases, etc.  The text of the Endangered Species Act can be accessed through the link Laws, Policies and Federal Register Notices at this site.

  • SSC Redlist Programme, IUCN. 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Cambridge, England: IUCN Species Survival Commission, 2003.The Species Survival Commission of The World Conservation Union (IUCN) compiles and manages the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and “is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species [and] is recognized as the most authoritative guide to the status of biological diversity.”  The list provides information about taxonomy, ICUN Red List assessment (including category, classification, and justification), distribution, summary data (biome, major habitat(s), major threat(s), and population trend), and data sources for each selected species.  More details on the background of the IUCN Red List can be found at

  • U. S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA Fire Effects Information System. Washington, DC: U. S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, 2004.This database is produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service to “provide up-to-date information on the effects of fire on plants and animals.”   The USDA Fire Effects Information System database includes documented information on taxonomy, distribution, basic biology, and ecology of over 900 plant species.

  • U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. Ecosystems. Washington, DC: U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2004.The EPA regularly monitors the country’s ecological resources for possible effects of environmental pollutants and creating environmental guidelines and standards to manage environmental risks.  The fourth goal of the EPA’s five goals delineated in the 2003-2008 EPA Strategic Plan: Direction for the Future is to “Protect, sustain, or restore the health of people, communities, and ecosystems using integrated and comprehensive approaches and partnerships.”  Search Ecosystems Subtopics for information about plants in aquatic ecosystems, ecological monitoring, ecological restoration, endangered/exotic species, and terrestrial ecosystems.

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  • British Ecological Society (BES).The BES provides “academic journals, teaching resources, meetings for scientists and policy makers, career advice and grants for ecologists.”  Publishes the Journal of Ecology.

  • The Ecological Society of America (ESA).
  • The Ecological Society of America (ESA) promotes ecological science through its activities and services.  Action alerts, science policy, statements, resolutions, position papers, news updates, and other communications are available on their Web site, as well as lots of educational information for students and teachers.  There is a Plant Population Biology Section to foster member research and interactions.  ESA publishes Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, Ecology, Ecological Monographs, Ecological Applications, and Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

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Chapter 7:  Anatomy, Morphology, and Development

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Bibliographies and Guides to the Literature

  • The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Plant Micromorphology Bibliographic Database.A “database of references relevant to the anatomy and pollen/spore morphology of flowering plants, gymnosperms and ferns.”  One may search by family, subject, genus, or author.  Although freely accessible, more citations will be shown to those who go through the free registration procedure. Click here for additional description.

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  • Plant Ontology Consortium.This group aims to develop a standardized vocabulary that can be used by molecular biologists to describe plant structures and the developmental stages of plants.

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Handbooks and Methods

  • Botanical Society of America. Botanical Images Collection.This Web site provides over 800 botanical images that are freely available for educational use.  The images have been divided into fifteen sets, several of which are relevant to plant structure and development, including: plant morphology, phloem development, xylem development, floral ontogeny, organography, and plant anatomy.

  • Centre for Plant Architecture Informatics. Virtual Plants. Queensland, Australia: The Centre at University of Queensland, 2001.This web site offers an introduction to plant modeling and three-dimensional digitizing of plants.  Includes virtual models and animations of cotton, beans, corn, weeds, trees, roots, and plant/insect interactions. Also has bibliographies and downloadable modeling software. (Update: This online resource is no longer available.)

  • Kelber, Klaus-Peter, comp. Links for Palaeobotanists: Plant Anatomy.This well-maintained site has gathered together many of the Web sites put up by university professors who are teaching plant anatomy.  Includes image sources, lab guides, plant anatomy atlases, lecture notes, and more.

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Textbooks and Treatises

  • Crang, Richard, Andrey E. Vassilyev. Plant Anatomy. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill, 2003. 128 p. plus CD-ROM. $49.06. ISBN 0072510846.From the flyer, “Electronic Plant Anatomy deals with the structural characteristics of mature and developing cells, tissues, and organs of seed plants.  Anatomical structures of flowering plants are given special emphasis.  It is intended to serve as a complete guide for beginning college/university students in plant anatomy, as well as a reference for advanced studies in various fields of plant biology.”  Includes a complete glossary.  The supporting Web site is open to all.

  • Ritchie, Steven W, John J. Hanway and Garren O. Benson. How a Corn Plant Develops. Ames, IA: Iowa State University of Science and Technology, Cooperative Extension Service, 1993. 21 p. (Special Report No. 48).This Web site, a digital representation of a print pamphlet, describes the development of a corn plant from its germination and vegetative growth through its reproductive stages and the maturation of the corn kernels.  Each stage of growth is well illustrated and described. (Update: this online resource is no longer available.)

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  • Botanical Society of America (BSA) – Developmental and Structural Section.The Botanical Society of America is the primary organization with which plant anatomists affiliate.  The main goal of this section of the BSA is to stimulate interest in research and teaching in plant development and structure.  The section offers several awards for graduate students in this field of inquiry.

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Chapter 8.  Genetics, Molecular Biology, and Biotechnology

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Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

  • Biotech Life Science Dictionary.The University of Texas at Austin’s Biotech Resources Web Project provides this freely accessible dictionary, originally developed at the Indiana Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology, of more than 8,300 life science terms.  The focus is biochemistry, biotechnology, botany, cell biology, and genetics.  Site has not been recently updated but is cited by many.

  • Plant Ontology Consortium (POC).Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), this group aims to develop controlled vocabularies (ontologies) that describe plant structures and developmental stages, providing a semantic framework for meaningful cross-species queries across genomic databases.  All of the major plant database resources are members or collaborators in this endeavor, including the Gramene database, the Arabidopsis Information Resource (TAIR), and the MaizeGDB.  The Missouri Botanical Garden, the Open Biological Ontologies project (OBO), the Gene Ontology Consortium (GO), and the Deep Gene project are also collaborators.

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Handbooks and Methods

  • ATTC: The Global Bioresource Center. Manassas, VA: American Type Culture Collection (ATTC).The American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) is a nonprofit, private organization that was established in 1925 to acquire, preserve, and distribute well-characterized biological cultures for the international research community.  Culture types that would be of interest to plant biologists include algae, filamentous fungi, yeast, plant tissue cultures, plant seeds, algae, and plant viruses.  Presently seventy-five plant cell cultures and over 400 strains of patented seeds are available.

  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). U. K. Cropnet (UK Crop Plant Bioinformatics Network). Swindon, England: The Council, 1996.This Web site makes available crop genome databases on Arabidopsis thaliana, barley, Brassica species, forage grasses, millet, tef, and nearly 200 U. K. crop species from British research institutions.  Databases on sequenced plant gene nomenclature, plant uses, cereal pathogens, plant ESTs (expressed sequence tags), STSs (sequence tagged sites), and plant gene families are also hosted here. Analysis software is also available for download.

  • Brendel, Volker and Carol Lushbough. PlantGDB: Resources for Plant Comparative Genomics.PlantGDBis the home page for the NSF-funded project “PlantGDB – Plant Genome Database and Analysis Tools”.  Through the development and implementation of integrated databases and analytical tools, the goal of this project and Web site is to aid in the organization and interpretation of plant genome sequence data from three major sources: whole genome sequencing and assembly, genome survey sequencing, and expressed sequence tags (ESTs).  The project also includes the development of the BioExtract Server prototype, which provides a distribution point for plant genome data stored in different local and external databases.  The Plant Genome Research Outreach Portal (PGROP) was also set up to provide a centralized repository of various NSF-sponsored Plant Genome Research “outreach” programs and activities for the public at large, undergraduates, high-school students and teachers.  PGROP seeks to broaden participation of these user groups in plant genome research topics by making information on appropriate programs, materials, and guidance available.

  • Carnegie Institution of Washington, Dept. of Plant Biology, and National Center for Genome Resources. TAIR, the Arabidopsis Information Resource.TAIRcontains a comprehensive collection of information for the scientific community about the most widely used model flowering plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, which was the first plant sequenced, in 2000.  TAIR consists of a searchable relational database that includes many different datatypes such as DNA sequences, genes, proteins, vectors, genetic markers, and citations to publications.  It is in the process of transitioning from a genome-centric resource to one that focuses on all aspects of Arabidopsis biology.  In July 2002, TAIR logged over 500,000 Web pages visits, making it the most widely used plant biology information resource worldwide.

  • Entrez: The Life Sciences Search Engine. Bethesda, MD: National Center for Biotechnology Information, 1996- .Newly redefined, Entrez provides an integrated search engine for nucleotide and protein sequence data from over 100,000 organisms, including thousands of plant species.  Additionally Entrez searches 3D protein structures, genomic mapping information, PubMed (MEDLINE) citations, and more.  Entrez can be searched with a wide variety of text terms such as author name, journal name, gene or protein name, organism, and other terms, depending on the database being searched.  Although certainly not primarily a botanical resource, since plant sequence data are deposited in GenBank (see below) and other nucleotide databases, Entrez provides a valuable tool for accessing plant molecular biology resources and citations.  For example, at the time of writing (2004), searching Entrez for the term Arabidopis brought up over 10,000 citations in PubMed, nearly a million nucleotide sequences, over 130,000 protein sequences and over 260,000 GEO gene expression profiles.  Formerly the Entrez Browser.

  • GenBank. Bethesda, MD: National Center for Biotechnology Information.GenBankis the major gene sequence database.  It includes both animal and plant sequences, and may be searched for no fee.  GenBank is searchable from the Entrez Nucleotide search engine, where one simultaneously searches nucleotides deposited in GenBank, EMBL (European Molecular Biology Laboratory), DDBJ (DNA Data Bank of Japan), RefSeq (NCBI Reference Sequence), PIR (Protein Information Resource), PRF (Protein Research Foundation), Swiss-Prot Protein knowledgebase, and PDB (RCSB Protein Data Bank).  Refer to the citation for Entrez, above, for additional details.

  • Molecular Biology Database Collection, published as a yearly special issue of Nucleic Acids Research.Each year since 1991, NAR has devoted one issue to a review and listing of the key databases of value to the biologists interested in various aspects of molecular biology, biochemistry, and genetics.  To be included, the database must be freely available to the public, as is the Molecular Biology Database Collection, itself.  The 2004 issue (Volume 32, Database Issue) included the URLs and a brief description for 548 databases.  Additionally there were over a hundred articles detailing new or updated information for specific databases, at least ten of which were devoted to plants. Online database issues are freely available at For the past few years, the Database Issue has been the first issue of the year.

  • Nature Biotechnology Directory. London: Nature Publishing Group, 2003- . Annual. $315.00. ISBN 140392046X (paper).Deals with the state of biotechnology worldwide.  The directory is divided into three parts: profiles of commercial biotechnology companies, universities, institutes, and research organizations; a buyers guide to over 16,000 products, equipment, and services; and contact information for government departments, trade or industry associations, details of available academic grants, and a translation guide to common biotech terms in French, German and English.  This comprehensive directory is exceptionally useful, and recommended for a wide group of users and libraries.  The directory is searchable and free online.

  • PlaNet: A Network of European Plant Databases. PlaNet is a distributed, shared effort among European bioinformatics groups and plant molecular biologists to establish a comprehensive integrated plant genome database for the systematic exploration of Arabidopsis and other plants.  Current partners include bioinformatics and biotechnology groups from Germany, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Great Britain, and Spain.
    • This online resource is no longer available.

  • Plant Genomes Central: Genome Projects in Progress. Bethesda, MD: National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2003.Provides a graphical representation of chromosomes from a variety of plant genomes that can be viewed in their entirety or explored in progressively greater detail, with links to associated sequence data.  Additionally, the site features a multi-plant species genome search engine, a plant-customized BLAST search engine for determining similarities, links for species-specific project centers, resources for plant mitochondria and plastid genomes, and links for research centers specializing in plant genome sequencing and analysis.

  • Sambrook, Joseph and David W. Russell.  Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual. 3rd ed. Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2001. 3 vol. $249.00 (set, paper). ISBN 0879695773 (set, paper).Although not focused on plants, this highly regarded set includes techniques for a wide variety of molecular cloning methods, with their advantages and disadvantages.  The appendices are also valuable and include information on media, the preparation of reagents and buffers, properties of nucleic acids, and more.  There are extensive references and numerous diagrams.  Access to a supporting Web site is provided to purchasers of the set.

  • Stein, Lincoln, et al. Gramene: A Resource for Comparative Grass Genomics.Gramene is a relational database built on the genome sequence for rice that allows comparative genome exploration in grasses such as maize, barley, oat, wheat, sorghum, wild rice, and rice.  The Gramene database provides information about genetic maps, sequence, genes, genetic markers, mutants, QTLs (quantitative trait loci), controlled vocabularies, and publications.

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Textbooks and Treatises

  • Germplasm Resources Information Network; National Germplasm Resources Laboratory (U.S.). National Plant Germplasm System. Beltsville, MD: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Database Management Unit, 1996.The National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) holds the germplasms of grains, vegetables, fruits, ornamentals, and woody landscape plants.  The NPGS Web site lists the repositories and their holdings, and provides a request form for specimens for research.  GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network), a database of stored cultivars, plant variety protection submissions, and crop registration, is available for searching.

  • Gribskov M. PlantsP: Functional Genomics of Plant Transporters.PlantsP, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), strives to pull together the most current information necessary for researchers to conduct experiments on membrane transport proteins and genes.  PlantsP allows researchers to submit their own annotated research discoveries to the site and then propagates this information onto databases such as GenBank (see Handbooks, above), PIR (Protein Information Resource), or Swiss-Prot.  Users can search by name or accession number to retrieve plant transporter gene data including protein sequences, annotation information, a transmembrane domain prediction graph, and related protein sequences.  Other resources available include outreach program information, movies, genechip tools, and membrane protein family lists, sequence alignments, and phylogenetic trees.

  • Interagency Working Group on Plant Genomes. Committee on Science. National Science and Technology CouncilNational Plant Genome Initiative: 2009-2013. Washington: National Science and Technology Council, 2009. 32 p.The National Plant Genome Initiative (NPGI) was established in 1998 as a coordinated national plant genome research program by the Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Plant Genomes with representatives from the Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Energy (DOE), National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  In this report, the IWG describes the NPGI plan for the next five years (2003-2008).  See also The National Plant Genome Initiative Objectives for 2003-2008, below.

  • Lineberger, R. Daniel. Plant Tissue Culture Information Exchange.The Plant Tissue Culture Information Exchange was established by Professor Dan Lineberger of the Department of Horticultural Sciences, Texas A&M University, as part of Aggie Horticulture.  The site aims to provide researchers, teachers, and producers worldwide with rapid access to information about plant tissue culture.  Resources are organized into sections: micropropagation, which is the most developed section of the Web site, chimeras, protoplasts, embryogenesis, and biotechnology.

  • The National Plant Genome Initiative Objectives for 2003-2008. Washington DC: National Academies Press, 2002. 75 p. $18.00.  ISBN 0309085217.The National Plant Genome Initiative (NPGI) was launched in 1998 as a long-term project to explore DNA structure and function in plants so that their useful properties could be understood and harnessed to address needs in agriculture, nutrition, energy and waste reduction.  For this report, U. S. plant biology experts were asked to make recommendations for the next five-year phase of the Initiative.  Among their recommendations: to focus the NPGI portfolio on a small number of key plant species for in-depth development of genome-sequence data and development of functional-genomics tools, translate the basic findings into relevant crop species, use genomics tools to probe for evolutionary relationships, expand bioinformatics tools, and create postdoctoral training opportunities.

  • Plant Variety Protection Office.The Plant Variety Protection Office (PVPO) administers the Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA) by issuing Certificates of Protection in a timely manner.  The Act provides legal intellectual property rights protection to developers of new varieties of plants which are sexually reproduced (by seed) or tuber-propagated.”  The PVPO Web site provides information on the kinds of plants that are eligible for protection, what is protected, exemptions, how to apply, and costs.  This site also supplies printable application forms, federal regulations, and links to public databases of protected plant varieties.  There are also links to other plant intellectual property organizations and seed industry organizations.

  • Quatrano, Ralph. Plant Genomics: Emerging Tools. Rockville, MD: American Society of Plant Biologists, 2001. 319 p. $25.00. ISBN 0943088429.This collection of articles from the journal Plant Cell succinctly pulls together key or review articles on the topics of functional and comparative genomics.

  • Slater, Adrian, Nigel W. Scott, and Mark R. Fowler. Plant Biotechnology: The Genetic Manipulation of Plants. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. 346 p. $49.50 (paper). ISBN 0199254680 (paper).The aim of this textbook, written by members of the Norman Borlaug Institute for Plant Science Research in Leicester, is to provide the reader with a sound knowledge of plant biotechnology.  A third of the book is devoted to explaining the underlying science (the organization of genomes, plant tissue culture, plant transformation techniques), with the rest of the book providing a balanced view of the issues involved in producing genetically modified plants including the economic, social, moral and ethical considerations that surround the subject.  At the companion Web site, text and illustrations can be downloaded.

  • Somerville, Chris and Elliot Meyerowitz, eds. The Arabidopsis Book (TAB). Rockville MD: American Society of Plant Biologists, 2002- . ISSN 1543-8120.The Arabidopsis Book is an Open Access project that is creating an encyclopedic work on one of the most heavily studied model plant species, Arabidopsis thaliana, the first plant fully sequenced.  Currently with forty-seven chapters, the book will eventually have over 100 invited chapters reviewing Arabidopsis cellular processes, development, genetics, environmental influences, metabolism and regulatory processes.  The chapter authors are committed to frequently update the materials, by themselves or others.  With copious references and hyperlinks, TAB is a pioneer in what scholarly resources can be.  BioOne freely provides both HTML and PDF versions of each chapter and has implemented a search interface.

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  • Biodiversity International.Previously known as the International Plant Genetics Resource Institute (IPGRI), Biodiversity International is an international research institute that focuses on the conservation and use of genetic resources important to developing countries. Publications: Geneflow, Descriptors for…, which are publications that proscribe how information about varieties should be gathered.  It is a Centre of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and was founded in 1974 as the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR).

  • Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a not-for-profit plant research institute composed of fourteen laboratories with a mission to improve the human condition by enhancing the nutritional content of plants or to explore novel uses of plants.  Current research areas include computational and structural biology, biochemistry, phytochemistry, physiology, genetics, cell biology, and root biology.  Sponsors a weekly seminar series as well as an annual symposium.

  • European Plant Science Organization (EPSO).
  • EPSO is an independent body that represents fifty-four research institutions from twenty-three European countries. The group was set up in 2000 and its top priorities include facilitating an understanding of modern plant molecular biology, boosting funding for basic plant science and coordinating research activities on national, E. U. levels and beyond.  It sponsors a biennial, five-day conference.

  • Genetics Society of America.Founded in 1931, the Genetics Society of America includes over 4,000 scientists and educators interested in the field of genetics. The Society publishes the journal Genetics, and sponsors scientific meetings focused on key organisms widely used in genetic research, including a fungal conference.

  • Institute of Plant Sciences.Established in 1986, this Swiss institute integrates basic research in the physiology, biochemistry and development of plants, and gene technology with modern agricultural concerns in the areas of plant biology, crop science, and phytomedicine.  There are currently over 200 research and support staff at the Institute.

  • International Association for Plant Tissue Culture and Biotechnology.The primary activities of the Association have been to organize quadrennial congresses of plant tissue culture and biotechnology, and to publish a newsletter for its membership.  Its news is reported as part of the In Vitro Report, published by the Society for In Vitro Biology.  Formerly International Council for Plant Tissue Culture.

  • International Society for Plant Molecular Biology (ISPMB).Founded in 1982, ISPMB has about 1,850 members. Publishes: Plant Molecular Biology Reporter and is affiliated with Plant Molecular Biology.  Sponsors a triennial international congress. (Update: this resource is no longer available.)

  • The J. Craig Venter Institute.Founded in 2006 by the merger of The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) and The Center for the Advancement of Genomics (TCAG).

  • John Innes Centre.The John Innes Centre, located on the Norwich Research Park (UK), is an international center for research in plant and microbial science.  There are about 900 staff at the Centre, including over 150 Ph.D. level research scientists.  The scientific research at the Centre makes use of a wide range of disciplines in the biological and chemical sciences, including cell biology, biochemistry, chemistry, genetics and molecular biology, understanding and exploitation of plants and microbes, with special emphasis on yield and productivity, quality and valuable products and environmental interactions.

  • MSU-DOE Plant Research Lab. Michigan State University.
  • Established in 1965 on the campus of Michigan State University with the objective of bringing together a group of experimental plant biologists to work cooperatively on long-term, multi-disciplinary plant research problems.  To provide stable research funding, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) provides a substantial amount of financial support to the PRL on a continuing basis.  There are currently eleven faculty and over eighty research staff and students affiliated with the Lab.

  • Society for In Vitro Biology.The mission of the Society for In Vitro Biology is to foster the exchange of knowledge of the in vitro biology of cells, tissues, and organs from both plants and animals (including humans), though the focus is decidedly in favor of non-plant culture.  In addition to the usual organization information and online bookstore, the home page of the Society includes a library of films and videos that may be rented.

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Chapter 9:  Plant Physiology and Phytochemistry

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Bibliographies and Guides to the Literature

  • Orr, Larry and Govinjee. Photosynthesis and the Web: 2005.Originally published in Photosynthesis Research 68: 1-28, 2001, this comprehensive, updated site pulls together photosynthesis sites on the Web.  Among the key resources listed are Web sites for: photosynthetic research groups, the history of photosynthesis and the Nobel Prizes related to it, chloroplasts and pigments, and bacterial photosynthesis.  Particularly rich is the list of research sites related to the dark (carbon) and light reactions.  Additionally resources are listed for K-12 including protocols for classroom experiments.  Finally, key photosynthetic journals, book series and societies are listed.

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  • Brazilian Journal of Plant Physiology.  Vol. 14- . Londrina, Brazil: Brazilian Society of Plant Physiology, 2002- . 3 times per year. $75.00. ISSN 1677-0420.  Available electronically.The official journal of the Brazilian Society of Plant Physiology, this journal publishes papers, short communications, and minireviews.  Issued online for free as part of SciELO.  Formerly Revista Brasileira de Fisiologia Vegetal.

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Handbooks and Methods

  • Blum, Abraham. PlantStress.Supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, PlantStress is focused on topics related to abiotic plant stressors such as drought, heat, mineral deficiency, salinity, cold, mineral toxicity, oxidation, and water logging.  For each of the stressors the physiological impact is described, agricultural management and plant resistance strategies are outlined, and references are given to recent research.  Articles and links are available for genetic resources and for the genetic engineering of plant resistance traits.  This site also offers a bibliographic reference database on plant stress.  News, announcements, meeting information and a bulletin board are also available.

  • Ehrhardt, David. Plant Cell Imaging. Carnegie Institute of Washington, Department of Biology, Stanford University: Stanford, CA.This site offers images and videos of living plant cells and cell components using genetic fluorescent molecular tags and laser scanning confocal microscopy.  Florescent tags have been developed for cell surfaces, vacuolar membranes, endoplasmic reticulum surfaces, nuclear structures, chromosomes, and more.  The Web site also discusses the equipment and methods used when working with green fluorescent protein (GFP).

  • Keegstra, Kenneth, coord. WallBioNet – Plant Cell Wall Biosynthesis Research Network.Developed at the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of their research coordination program, the WallBioNet Web site was established to promote cooperation among researchers studying various aspects of plant cell wall biosynthetic genes, and to define the roles of the cell wall in plant growth, development and defense.  The site includes a database with information on wall biosynthetic genes, wall component mutants and knockout lines, antibodies to wall components and biosynthetic proteins, and sugar nucleotide donors.  See also, Plant Cell Walls, from the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, University of Georgia and Cell Wall, hosted by the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

  • Walker, John C, Michael Gribskov, and Jeffery Harper. PlantsP – Functional Genomics of Plant Phosphorylation.PlantsPis a database of sequence and functional information for protein kinases and phosphatases in Arabidopsis thaliana and other plants.  Because protein kinases and phosphatases control hundreds of processes in plants, it was felt that a genome-wide approach was needed to make advances in discovering the roles of these enzymes in the regulation of plant function.  Information is searchable by keyword, species, NCBI protein ID, various protein sequence features, or via BLAST.  The site also provides abstracts of recent papers on plant protein kinases and related topics.

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Textbooks and Treatises

  • Hangarter, Roger P. Plants in Motion. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University, Department of Biology, 2000.The Plants in Motion Web site features a series of time-lapse movies of plant growth, movement, and behavior in response to various stimuli.  Movie categories include germination, photomorphogenesis, phototropism, gravitropism, nastic movements, circadian responses, general growth, flowers, and cellular responses.  Arabidopsis, morning glory, corn, sunflower, Mimosa, and Venus flytrap are among the plants represented in the movie collection.

  • Taiz, Lincoln, and Eduardo Zeiger. Plant Physiology. 3rd ed. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, 2002. 690 p. $107.95. ISBN 0878938230.The most frequently used plant physiology textbook for undergraduates, the concepts are clearly written and understandable.  The three major parts of the book are devoted to transport and translocation of water and solutes, biochemistry and metabolism, and growth and development.  A companion Web site is also available that, among other things, contains frequently updated essays on emerging areas.

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  • American Society for Photobiology (ASP).According to its Web site, “The ASP promotes original research in photobiology, facilitates integration of different disciplines in the study of photobiology, promotes dissemination of knowledge of photobiology, and provides information on the photobiological aspects of national and international problems.”  Publishes Photochemistry and Photobiology.

  • American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB).The largest professional society of plant scientists interested in physiology, molecular biology, environmental biology, cell biology, and biophysics of plants, and other related matters.  Publishes ASPB Newsletter, Plant Cell, and Plant Physiology.  Formerly the American Society of Plant Physiologists.

  • Australian Society of Plant Scientists (ASPS).The focus of this group is to promote communication between teachers and researchers of plant physiology and molecular biology. An annual conference, ComBio, is organized jointly with one or more of the following societies: the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the Australia and New Zealand Society for Cell and Developmental Biology, the New Zealand Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (NZSPP), or the New Zealand Society of Plant Physiologists.  Publishes Phytogen and Functional Plant Biology.  Formerly the Australian Society of Plant Physiologists.

  • Canadian Society of Plant Physiologists (CSPP).The member’s research interests span a broad spectrum, including whole plant physiology, cell biology, metabolism, molecular biology, biotic interactions, plant defense mechanisms and environmental physiology.  The annual meeting is often held in conjunction with related societies such as the American Society of Plant Biologists, the Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists or the Australian Society of Plant Scientists.

  • Federation of European Societies of Plant Biology (FESPB).
  • The aims of FESPB are to advance research, education, and the exchange of information amongst plant biologists within Europe and beyond, and to support the publication of the results of research through its five affiliated international journals: Journal of Experimental Botany, Journal of Plant Physiology, Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, Functional Plant Biology and Physiologia Plantarum.  FESPB also publishes a newsletter, FESPBAlert, which is available at the Web site.  Formerly Federation of European Societies of Plant Physiology.

  • International Society of Photosynthesis Research (ISPR).The purposes of ISPR are to encourage and to promote the growth and development of photosynthesis as a pure and applied science and to facilitate the publication of topics relating to the study of photosynthesis.  Publishes Photosynthesis Research

  • Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists (JSPP).Although its initial charter was to foster academic exchange in the area of plant physiology, it has become a more comprehensive society including those who research microbiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, and genetics.  Publishes Plant and Cell Physiology.

  • Phytochemical Society of Europe (PSE).Acts as a forum for specialists in plant chemistry, biochemistry, and biotechnology who are interested in applying their research findings to agriculture and industry.  Publishes Proceedings of the Phytochemical Society of Europe, Phytochemistry, and Phytochemistry Reviews.

  • Phytochemical Society of North America (PSNA).Primarily research scientists interested in all aspects of the chemistry of plants.  Purpose is to promote phytochemical research and communication.  An annual conference is held, often with another small, related group.  Publishes Recent Advances in Phytochemistry

  • Plant Growth Regulation Society of America (PGRSA).
  • The primary purpose is to disseminate information concerning regulation of plant growth that results in safe, environmentally sound, and efficient production of food, fiber, and ornamentals.  Publishes PGRSA Quarterly and several books and handbooks on plant growth regulators.

  • Scandinavian Society for Plant Physiology (Societas Physiologia Plantarum Scandinavica, SSPP).Founded 1947, the SSPP has about 500 members of which about half come from the USA, Japan, Germany, and over 40 other non-Scandinavian countries.  Works to further the development of the field of plant physiology by sponsoring courses, seminars, and symposia; an international conference is held biennially.  Publishes Physiologia Plantarum.  SPPS is affiliated with the Federation of European Societies of Plant Biology.

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Chapter 10:  Systematics and Identification

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Bibliographies and Guides to the Literature

  • Culberson, W. L., R. S. Egan, and T. L. Esslinger. 2004. Recent Literature on Lichens.”Recent Literature on Lichens is a series published in The Bryologist, a journal of The American Bryological and Lichenological Society.  The series aims at listing all recently published papers in lichenology, with a complete bibliographic reference, keywords, and abstract – including mention of all new scientific names and combinations.”  The database can be searched by words from the citation or by scientific name, and results can be sorted and downloaded in several formats.

  • Farr, Ellen R., Jan H. Leussink, and Frans A. Stafleu, eds. Index Nominum Genericorum (Plantarum). Utrecht, The Netherlands: International Bureau for Plant Taxonomy and Nomenclature, 1979. 3 vol. ISBN 9031303272  (set). (Regnum Vegetabile, vol. 100, 102, 103). Supplementum I, 1986. (Regnum Vegetabile, vol. 113).This is a list of valid published scientific plant names of all genera, recent and fossil, and includes citations to authors, reference to the place and time of publication, homonymy, indications of taxonomic placement, and additional information on names.  The index is now searchable from the Smithsonian Institute’s Web site.

  • Index of Mosses. St. Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden, 1989-  . Triennial. (Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden).The Index is a guide to newly published nomenclature for mosses, and supersedes Index Muscorum.  The index is also available online as the Index of Mosses (W³MOST) and includes information on the name of the bryophyte, its place of publication, type, specimen lists and distribution where available.

  • Kirk, P. M. et al. IndexFungorum. Wallingford, England: CAB International.This database contains over 345,000 names of fungi (including yeast, lichens, chromistan fungi, protozoan fungi and fossil forms) at the species level and below.  It is comprised of data taken from Saccardo’s Sylloge Fungorum, Petrak’s Lists, Saccardo’s Omissions, Lamb’s Index, Zahlbruckner’s Catalogue of Lichens (not reviewed), and the Index of Fungi.

  • Saccardo, Pier A. Sylloge Fungorum Omnium Hoc Usque Cognitorum. New York: Johnson, 1966. 25 vol. Volume 26, New York: Johnson, 1972. ISBN 0384528317 (set), 0384528309 (paper/set).This catalog of names with Latin descriptions of fungi predates Petrak’s List and is included in the online IndexFungorum.  Both data sets can also be searched at the USDA’s Systematic Botany and Mycology site.  Reprint of the 1931 edition.

  • World Checklist and Bibliography Series. Richmond, Surrey, England: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 2000-  . Rev ed. Multi-volume.This series presents global checklists of selected families of seed plants.  To date, publications include Araceae, Magnoliaceae, Fagales, Conifers, Euphorbiaceae, and Sapotaceae with several other volumes planned.  The families are chosen because of their interest to researchers at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, in particular families covered in the garden’s database Survey of Economic Plants for Arid and Semi-Arid Lands.  At the time of viewing in late 2004, only the data for the Fagales were available at the Web site.

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Databases, Abstracts & Indexes

  • Bibliography of Systematic Mycology. Vol. l‑ . Wallingford, England: CAB International, 1947‑ . Semiannual. $340.00. ISSN 0006‑1573.The bibliography covers the literature of the taxonomy, classification, nomenclature and phylogeny of the fungi.  Citations are arranged by systematic group and there is an author index in each issue; books and book reviews are also included.  A partial database covering citations beginning with 1986 but excluding the most recent five years is available for free at

  • Index to Plant Chromosome Numbers. 1956-  . Various locations: various publishers. Biennial. Price varies.The Index to Plant Chromosome Numbers has variously been published as part of the Regnum Vegetabile series (Volumes 50, 55, 59, 68, 77, 84, 90, 91, 96, and 108) and the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Monographs in Systematic Botany series (Volumes 5, 8, 13, 23, and 30).  Entries are arranged alphabetically by family within these groupings:  algae, fungi, bryophytes, pteridophytes, and spermatophytes to provide references to the literature of plant chromosome number information for the period covered.  These compilations provide a useful service for botanists and should be included in any botanical library; between compilations, chromosome number information is updated in the periodical, Taxon.  The most recent print compilation was published in 2000; data from 1984 to date can be viewed online.

  • The International Plant Names Index. Plant Names Project, 1999-  .A database of the names and associated basic bibliographical details of 1.3 million names of seed plants.  The database is a collaboration  among The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the Harvard University Herbaria, and the Australian National Herbarium.  Data comes from Index Kewensis (IK), the Gray Card Index (GCI), the Australian Plant Names Index (APNI), and Index Filicum.  It can be searched by scientific name, author, or publication.  Common names are not included.

  • Kew Record of Taxonomic Literature. 1971‑2001. London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. Quarterly. ISSN 0307-2835.This publication reported worldwide taxonomic literature of the flowering plants, gymnosperms and ferns in a systematic arrangement.  It is comprehensive and includes all articles, books, and papers reporting new plant names with the exception of cultivars.  Entries are arranged by subject, including systematics, bibliography, botanical institutions, chromosome surveys, anatomy, floristics, etc.  There are also author and genus indexes.  The Kew Record was formerly an annual, but in 1987 it merged with the Current Awareness List and became a much more timely quarterly.  It is no longer being printed but is being updated and made available for free on the Web.

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Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

  • Hoen, Peter. Glossary of Pollen and Spore Terminology. 2nd rev. ed. Utrecht, The Netherlands: Laboratory of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 1999-  .The glossary is based on the publication by the same name printed by the Laboratory for Palaeobotany and Palynology in 1994.  The terminology of palynology includes many esoteric terms for anatomical features of pollen and spores, so the fact that almost all definitions also include a diagrammatic illustration is a particularly nice feature of this highly hyperlinked glossary.  The full glossary can also be downloaded for personal use.

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Handbooks and Methods

  • Brickell, Christopher, et. al, eds. International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants: (I. C. N. C. P. or Cultivated Plant Code): Incorporating the Rules and Recommendations for Naming Plants in Cultivation. 7th ed. Leuven, Belgium: International Society for Horticultural Science, 2004. 123 p. (Acta Horticulturae, no. 647; Regnum Vegetabile, vol. 144). $70.00. ISBN 9066055278.”As well as containing the international rules for naming plants in cultivation, the Code also contains much ancillary information such as lists of special denomination classes, International Cultivar Registration Authorities (ICRAs), statutory registration authorities, and herbaria maintaining specimens that act as nomenclatural standards, together with a comprehensive glossary of terms used in nomenclature generally.”  Largely follows the rules set out in Greuter’s International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, below, with the addition of allowing cultivar names for cultivated varieties.  The text of the code is available for free online.

  • 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 Botanical Gardens, Kew, 1992. 804 p. $100.00. ISBN 0947643435.The subtitle pretty much sums up the contents of this authoritative book.  It is divided into three parts, consisting of an alphabetical list of all 14,000 generic names accepted at the Kew Gardens, a list of genera listed alphabetically by family, and a comparison of eight classification systems.  The eight systems are Bentham and Hooker, De la Torre and Harms, Melchior, Thorne, Dahlgren, Young, Takhtadzhian (AKA Takhtajan), and Cronquist. For more comparisons, see Swift’s Botanical Classifications.  The contents of the book are also available as a searchable database at the Kew Gardens site.

  • Catalog of New World Grasses. Museum of Natural History, 2000-2003. 4 vol. (Contributions from the United States National Herbarium, vol. 39, 41, 46, 48).This is an on-going project gathering together taxonomic and distributional information on North and South American grasses, including grasses from Greenland.  The Web site is still being updated and is to be considered the most authoritative version of the project.  On the Web, the species can be searched by scientific name or browsed using indexes to all taxa, accepted taxa, and suprageneric, generic and subgeneric taxa.

  • Earle, Christopher J. Gymnosperm Database. 1997-  .The database provides basic information on each of the 1,000 species or higher taxa of gymnosperms.  Most of the accounts include taxonomic notes, description, range, largest and oldest specimens, economic use, dendrochronology, remarks, bibliography, and photographs.  Some obscure species have almost no information beyond the name and a citation.  Species can be located by browsing through a taxonomic tree, or searched by name.  The author also provides several topical essays, for instance on the gymnosperm flora of some regions or on dendrochronology.

  • access to the published family, genera, and species accounts from Flora of China, Flora of Missouri, Flora of North America, Flora of Pakistan, Moss Flora of China, and Trees and Shrubs of the Andes of Ecuador. Users can search within each flora or across all of them, and there are links to other databases such as Solomon’s W3Tropicos (below) and The International Plant Names Index (above). The site also provides links to an English to Chinese botanical glossary and keys to plant families.

  • Expert Center for Taxonomic Identification. World Taxonomist Database Amsterdam, The Netherlands: ETI, 1995- .This database was set up to expedite contact between taxonomists.  The database contained information on about 4,000 individuals at the time of viewing.  It can be searched by name, institution, country, or specialty.  Entries for each taxonomist include contact information and areas of interest.  The Plant Specialists Index offers similar information.

  • Flora Mesoamericana. Vol. 1- . St. Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden, 1994- . Multi-volume. $85.00 (vol. 1), $85.00 (vol. 6). ISBN 9683647006 (vol. 1), 9683633102 (vol. 6).A major new series covering the vascular plants from southern Mexico to Panama, this flora provides the basic information expected in a flora: scientific and common names, technical description, keys, and distribution.  The series will be published out of sequence, with seven volumes expected, all in Spanish.  As of late 2004, Volumes 1 and 6 had been published.  The flora’s Web site contains the data from the published volumes.

  • Flora of Australia. Vol. 1- . Canberra, Australia: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1981- . Multi-volume. Irregular. Price varies. ISSN 0726-3449.The massive Flora of Australia will cover all vascular and non-vascular plants of Australia.  Volume 1 is an introduction with background information on the project, a key to flowering plant families, and a glossary.  Volumes 2-48 cover the 20,000 species of vascular plants, Volumes 49-50 will cover several islands, Volumes 51-53 the bryo­phytes, and Volumes 54-58 the lichens.  The algae and fungi are expected to require another 20-30 volumes.  The flora is also available online in three separate sections covering Australia proper (Volumes 2-48 and 51 and continue), Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands (Volume 49), and other Oceanic islands (Volume 50).

  • Flora of China. Vol. 1- . St. Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden, 1994- . Multi-volume. Price varies.Another of the Missouri Botanical Garden’s flora projects, this will cover all of the vascular plants of China in a projected 25 volumes over a period of fifteen years.  Information will include brief descriptions, keys, synonymy, distribution, and indexes to Chinese and scientific names.  Flora of China is an English-language revision of the Flora Republicae Popularis Sinicae.  The project’s home page contains information about the flora, the full text of published volumes, and more.

  • Flora of North America, North of Mexico. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993- . Multi-volume. Price varies.This is the first comprehensive, modern flora discussing all of the vascular plants of North America.  It is intended to be published in 30 volumes covering 20,000 species.  Volume 1 contains the introduction, Volume 2 covers the ferns and gymnosperms, Volumes 3-26 will cover the vascular plants, Volumes 27-29 will cover the bryophytes, and Volume 30 will contain an index.  The project’s Web site provides information on the project, full text of published volumes, and other information.  As of late 2004, eight volumes had been published out of sequence.  For another project with similar aims, see the mono­graphic series North American Flora.

  • Greuter, Werner, et al, eds. International Code of Botanical Nomenclature: Saint Louis Code. Königstein , Germany : Koeltz Scientific Books, 2000. (Regnum Vegetabile, vol. 138). 474 p. ISBN 3904144227.Botanical nomenclature is governed by the International Code as adopted by each International Botanical Congress held about every six years.  The Code aims at the provision of a stable method of naming taxonomic groups of plants (including fungi), avoiding and rejecting the use of  names that may cause error, ambiguity, or confusion.  Updates to the Code may be found in Taxon or Mycotaxon.  This code also governs the use of scientific or Latin names for plants whether they are cultivated or wild; see the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants, which is revised after each new International Code of Botanical Nomenclature appears.  The full text of the St. Louis code is also available on the Web.  An attempt is being made to combine all five biological nomenclatural codes into a single code; the Draft Biocode was developed in 1997.

  • Greuter, Werner, ed. Family Names in Current Use for Vascular Plants, Bryophytes, and Fungi. Königstein, Germany: Koeltz, 1993. 95 p. (NCU 1; Regnum Vegetabile, vol. 126). ISBN 1878762427 (paper).An inventory of currently used family names (NCU) for all plants and fungi exclusive of algae and extinct families of plants.  The intent is simply to list names in use, not proscribe which are correct.  The author and original publication of each name is also included.  Similar inventories have been published for species names in select families and all accepted generic names. (see titles under Names in Current Use below).  Updated and corrected on the Vascular Plant Family Nomenclature: Names in Current Use web page.

  • Greuter, Werner, et al., eds. Names in Current Use for Extant Plant Genera. Königstein, Germany: Koeltz, 1993. 1,464 p. $398.00. ISBN 1878762486. (NCU 3; Regnum Vegetabile, vol. 129).Lists 28,041 generic names in current use for extant plants, including algae and fungi as well as the higher plants.  This list includes the original citation for the generic name and is intended to stabilize plant nomenclature.  The data is searchable on the Web at the NCU-3e. Names in Current Use for Extant Plant Genera web page.

  • Guiry, M. D. and E. Nic Dhonncha. AlgaeBase. version 2.1. Galway, Ireland: National University of Ireland, 2004.A taxonomic database covering the algae of the world.  At the time of viewing, the amount of information on each species varied, with the marine species more complete.  Full records include photograph, synonymy, publication details, etymology, common names, references, GenBank link, and classification hierarchy.  The database can be searched by common name, genus, and species.

  • Hassler, Michael and Brian Swale. 2001-  .This site provides a browseable checklist of the ferns.  Most genera are listed with taxonomic hierarchy, synonymy, original publication, and distribution.

  • Hickman, James C., ed. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1993. 1,400 p. $85.00. ISBN 0520082559.An updated version of Willis Jepson’s Manual of Higher Plants of California, originally published in 1951.  Unusual among floras, this manual is intended  for use by both amateurs and professional botanists.  Therefore, while there are the usual dichotomous keys and technical descriptions, the manual also includes horticultural information, an illustrated glossary, and a chapter on the geological history of California.  There are line drawings of most of the over 4,000 taxa.  The checklist and distribution maps for the plants can be found online.

  • Hill, Ken. The Cycad Pages. Sydney, Australia: Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney.Based on the World List of Cycads originally published in Encephalartos, the journal of the Cycad Society of South Africa, in 1985 and subsequently updated, this site provides a searchable and browseable list of cycads with descriptions and taxonomic information for each species as well as several articles covering cycad ecology, physiology, and cultivation.

  • Holmgren, Patricia K., et al., eds. Index Herbariorum. Part I: The Herbaria of the World. 8th ed. Bronx, NY: New York Botanical Garden, 1990. 693 p. (Regnum Vegetabile, vol. 120) $35.00. ISBN 0893273589.Detailed directory of the public herbaria of the world.  Herbaria are arranged alphabetically by country and alphabetically by city.  Data includes address, correspondent(s), telephone number, status, date established, names of herbarium, director and curators, staff names and specialties, associated gardens and institutions, publications, and remarks.  Appendixes include tables and lists of herbaria by size, age, importance, etc.  Both parts 1 and 2 (Plant Specialists Index, below) are also available on the Web.  The database can be searched by herbarium acronym, institution name and location, and personal name and research specialty.

  • International Organization for Plant Information (IOPI). Provisional Global Plant Checklist.This database provides basic nomenclatural information (original reference, status, and synonyms).  At the time of viewing in July of 2004, the database contained 201,397 different plant names taken from six major databases.  The checklist is designed as a tool for authors working on the Species Plantarum project (see below).

  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System: ITIS. Washington, DC: U. S. Dept. of Agriculture, 1990s-  .Provides authoritative information on plants, fungi, animals, and microbes of North America and the world.  The database includes the authority (author and date), taxonomic rank, associated synonyms and common names, and references.

  • 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: BONAP; College Station, TX: TAMU-BWG, 1998.The data for this checklist came primarily from John Kartesz and the Biota of North America Program (BONAP).  The checklist includes nomenclature and geographical distribution maps for the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands and can be browsed by family name, genus or common name.  The entries may include links to illustrations or information from other Web floras. (Update: This resource is no longer available online.)

  • Liesner, R. Field Techniques Used by Missouri Botanical Garden. St. Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden, 1995.This Web site outlines the best practices for collecting plant specimens as used by the Missouri Botanical Garden.  The techniques are recommended for use in other herbaria as well.  The site is available in English, French, and Spanish and includes a list of recommended readings.

  • Maddison, D. R. and W. P. Maddison.  The Tree of Life: A Multi-Authored, Distributed Internet Project Containing Information About Phylogeny and Biodiversity. 1998- .While still a work in progress, The Tree of Life provides phylogenies for all groups of organisms, living and extinct and is designed for researchers and advanced students.  The treatments include extensive bibliographies dealing with the systematics of that group, and most also include photos or drawings of representative species, plus links to other Web sites dealing with the taxon.  Some groups are treated in more detail than others depending on the availability of volunteer authors.  See the University of California, Berkeley’s Phylogeny of Life site, below, for a similar Web survey of phylogenies.

  • Reveal, James L. Vascular Plant Family Nomenclature. College Park, MD: University of Maryland, 1996- .Reveal’s Web site provides a list of valid plant family names as well as links to a number of other plant nomenclature databases, an essay on nomenclature above the genus level, and more.

  • Solomon, Jim. W3Tropicos. Rev. 1.7. St. Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden, 2000-  .This search engine provides access to the Missouri Botanical Garden’s VAST (VAScular Tropicos) nomenclatural database and associated authority files for vascular plants and bryophytes.  The database includes information on the plant name and authors, original publication, synonymy and higher taxa, as well as references.

  • Species 2000. International Union of Biological Sciences, 2000- .According to its Web site, “Species 2000 has the objective of enumerating all known species of organisms on Earth (animals, plants, fungi and microbes) as the baseline dataset for studies of global biodiversity”. The database consists of checklists and nomenclatural information taken from several other major databases and projects, including the Global Plant Checklist, International Plant Name Index, Plant Fossil Record, Moss/TROPICOS, Species Fungorum, and World Database of Legumes.  More names and databases are added continually.

  • Species Plantarum: Flora of the World. Canberra, Australia: Australian Biological Resources Study, 1999-  . Irregular. ISSN 1441-1393. This flora has the rather optimistic (not to mention ambitious) goal of covering all species of vascular plants in the world.  The most recent attempt at a comprehensive flora prior to Species Plantarum was Engler’s Das Pflanzenreich.  The flora is issued in a number of small parts and as of late 2003 was up to 10 parts.  Nomenclatural and distributional data from the series will be available as part of the Global Plant Checklist.

  • Stevens, P. F. Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. 2001-  . Version 5, May 2004.Designed as an angiosperm phylogeny teaching aid, this site describes all families and orders of angiosperms as well as some higher and lower clades.  The descriptions are quite technical, and the site includes phylogenetic trees, descriptions of the characters used to determine the phylogenies, references, glossary, and a search function.

  • Thorne, Robert F. and James L. Reveal. An Updated Classification of the Class Angiospermae. University of Maryland, 2007.Thorne’s classification system is one of the standard alternatives.  It was originally published in 1992 as an article in the journal Botanical Review.  This Web site gives access to the system, along with some additional information provided by Reveal.

  • Tutin, T. G., et al., eds. Flora Europaea. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1964-1980. 5 vol. plus CD-ROM. $1,150.00 (set). ISBN 0521805708 (set). 2nd ed. Vol. 1, 1993 (ISBN 052141007X).Flora Europaeapresents a synthesis of all the national and regional floras of Europe, based on critical reviews of existing litera­ture and on studies in herbaria and in the field.  The first edition was published from 1964-1980; a second edition of Volume 1 was published in 1993 but no further volumes of the second edition have been completed. The CD-ROM and all individual volumes are available separately.  The data from Flora Europaea is also searchable on the Web.  The information available on the Web site includes family, genus, species, original citation, synonymy, and distribution within Europe.  Note: the search engine is case-sensitive!

  • University of California, Berkeley. Museum of Paleontology. Phylogeny of Life.This Web site provides an introduction to almost all higher taxa of organisms, both extinct and living.  The information for most taxa include a brief introduction to the taxonomy, ecology, and life history of organisms in the group plus illustrations, short lists of Web sites for further research, information on the paleontology of the taxa, and links to an online glossary.  An excellent resource for information on even the most obscure group of plants.  See also Maddison’s Tree of Life Web site, above, for a similar guide to phylogeny on the Web.

  • Watson, L. and M. J. Dallwitz. The Families of Flowering Plants: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. 1992-  . Version: 14th December 2000.All families of flowering plants are included in this Web site.  The descriptions are written in very technical language and include taxonomic information on both lower and higher taxa for each family.  Many families also include information on use, technical drawings, and even some poetry.  The same information was also published on CD-ROM by CSIRO in 1993-1994 under the same title.
    • No longer available online.

  • San Francisco, CA:, 2000- .A Web guide to over 4,800 plants and animals of North America taken from the Audubon Society Field Guide series and includes pictures and descriptions taken from the books.  The plant section includes Audubon guides to trees and wildflowers as well as material taken from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s Native Plant Guide.  Users can search by name or by region, leaf type, color, bloom period, habitat, and other characteristics.  The site is sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation.

  • Thonner, Franz. Thonner’s Analytical Key to the Families of Flowering Plants. Boston, MA: Leiden University Press, 1981. 231 p. ISBN 9060214617, 906021479X (paper).A translation of the classic Anleitung zum Bestimmung der Familien der Blutenpflanzen (Phanerrogames), 2nd ed., 1917.  This is one of the few keys to all families of flowering plants, and can be substituted, in some respects, for Hutchinson and Newcomb.  It has been translated from the German and brought up to date so that it may be used with Willis’ Dictionary of the Flowering Plants and Ferns, 8th edition and Hutchinson’s Families of Flowering Plants 3rd edition.  Thonner self-published his key at the beginning of the Twentieth Century and it was ignored for a long time, but it has since been acknowledged as one of the best world-wide keys available.  The key is also available on the Web.

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  • International Organization of Plant Biosystematists (IOPB). Scientists in 35 countries interested in promoting international cooperation in the study of biosystematics.  Publishes IOPB Newsletter.
    • Update: Now an interest groups of the IAPT (above).

  • Missouri Botanical Garden.One of the world’s top research botanical gardens, and host to many of the taxonomic databases and floras mentioned in this chapter. Hosts annual systematics seminar.  Publishes Annals of the Missouri Botanical Gardens, Novon, and many books on systematic botany.

  • New York Botanical Garden.One of the great research botanical gardens.  Hosts annual systematics symposium.  Publishes Botanical Review, Brittonia, and Economic Botany, as well as books on systematics, economic botany, and conservation.

  • Organization for Flora Neotropica (OFN).Established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.  Representatives from countries and organizations actively concerned with the taxonomy of neotropical flora, and interested individuals.  Conducts research on plants of the New World.  Publishes Flora Neotropica Monographs.

  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.One of the world’s great research botanical gardens.  Publishes Kew Bulletin, Kew Journal, Kew Scientist, and many bibliographies, catalogs, floras, databases, and reference works.

  • Willi Hennig Society.
  • An international association established to promote scientific exchange in the field of phylogeny.  The society publishes Cladistics and sponsors an annual meeting.  Their Web site contains educational material such as links to databases and explanations of cladistics, information on performing cladistic analyses, and society activities.

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