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Botany

plant plants deals study

Botany, the study of plants. Botany has several closely related branches. Plant morphology, the study of plant structure, has 2 subdisciplines: (1) plant anatomy deals with the gross structure of the plant—the shapes of the roots, stems, and leaves and the organization of the flowers; (2) plant histology deals with the structure and arrangement of the cells and tissues inside the plant. Plant physiology is concerned with how the plant works—how it gets its water from the soil, how the water passes up the stem, how the plant grows and moves, how its flowers open, and so on. Biochemistry deals with the chemical reactions going on in the plant. Cytology is the study of the cell protoplasm and its contents, including the nucleus. Plant breeding helps to produce bigger and better crops. Plants have been bred for thousands of years, but it was not until the present century, when Gregor Mendel's work in the 19th century was rediscovered, that scientists understood how characteristics are passed on from parent to offspring. By cross-pollinating selected plants, 2 or more desirable features can be combined into 1 variety. Plant pathology deals with plant diseases and their control. Plant ecology deals with the relationships between plants and their surroundings and is concerned especially with why plants grow where they do. Plant taxonomy deals with the naming and classification of plants. The Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus (1707–78) put forward the idea of the species as the smallest unit and the genus as a group of closely related species, giving species a generic name and a specific name. For example, the plant whose common name is ragwort is scientifically known as Senecio jacobaea. Taxonomy is designed to show the relationships between living things, drawing information from morphology, physiology, and other branches of botany. Species with many features in common are grouped into a genus, genera with common features are grouped into a family, and families with common features are grouped into an order. If relationships exist, they may be discovered by specialists in paleobotany, the study of fossil plants.

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