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Carl Maurice Gicaro

on 17 October 2012

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Transcript of Botany

Learn from his hoots! Plant Biology Introduction Our independence on green organisms to produce the oxygen in the air we breathe and to remove the Carbon Dioxide we give off doesn't stop there. Plants are also the sources of products that are so much a part of human society that we largely take them for granted. We know, of course, that rice, corn, potatoes, and other vegetables are plants; but all foods, including meat, fish, poultry, eggs, cheese, and milk, to mention just a few, owe their existence to plants. Condiments such as spices and luxuries such as perfumes are produced by plants,
as are some dyes, adhesives, digestible surgical stitching fiber, food stabilizers, beverages, and emulsifiers. Botany as a Science The study of plants, called botany—from three Greek words botanikos (botanical), botane (plant or herb), and boskein (to feed), and the French word botanique (botanical)—appears to have had its origins with Stone Age peoples who tried to modify their surroundings and feed themselves. At first, the interest in plants was mostly practical and centered around
how plants might provide food, fibers, fuel, and medicine. Eventu ally, however, an intellectual interest arose. Individuals became curious about how plants reproduced and how they were put together. This inquisitiveness led to plant study becoming a science, which broadly defined is simply “a search for knowledge of the natural world.” Botanists are scientists who study plants. Plant life constitutes to more than 98% of the total biomass of the earth. Plants and other green organisms have their exclusive capacity to produce oxygen while converting the sun's energy into forms vital to the existence of both plant and animal life. At the same time, plants remove a large amount of Carbon Dioxide given off by all organisms as they respire. In other words, virtually all living organisms are totally dependent on green organisms for their existence. If some major disease were to kill off all or most of the green organisms on land and in the oceans and lakes, all the animals on land, in the sea, and in the air would soon starve. Even if some alternative source of energy were available, animal life would suffocate within 11 years—the time estimated for all the earth’s oxygen to be completely used up if it were not replaced. Just how do green plants capture the sun’s energy, use carbon dioxide, and give off oxygen? Human and animal dependence on plants Our houses are constructed with lumber from trees, which also furnish the cellulose for paper, cardboard, and synthetic fibers. Some of our clothing, camping equipment, bedding, draperies, and other textile goods are made from fibers of many different plant families. Coal is fossilized plant material, and oil probably came from microscopic green organisms or animals that either directly or indirectly were plant consumers. All medicines and drugs at one time came from plants, fungi, or bacteria, and many important ones, including most of the antibiotics, still do. Microscopic organisms play a vital role in recycling both plant and animal wastes and aid in the building of healthy soils. Others are responsible for human diseases and allergies. Methane gas, which can be used as a substitute for
natural gas, has been produced from animal manures and decomposed plants in numerous villages in India and elsewhere for many years, and after several years of trial on a small scale in the United States, the production of methane on a larger scale from human sewage is being investigated. Potatoes, grains, and other sources of carbohydrates are currently used in the manufacture of alcohols, some of which are being blended with gasoline (“gasohol”), and such uses probably will increase in the future. In fact, electric cars, as well as buses and automobiles that can run on propane and either methanol (wood alcohol) or gasoline—or a mixture of both—are now in use in many communities in the United States and other parts of the world. At present the idea that humanity may not be able to save itself from itself may seem radical, but there are a few who have suggested that it might become necessary in the future to emigrate to other planets. Regardless of humanity's future, it is essential that our understanding of plants be used to sustain life on this and maybe even other planets. Experiments with portable oxygen generators have been in progress for many years.Tanks of water teeming with tiny green algae are taken aboard a spacecraft and installed so that they are exposed to light for
at least part of the time. The algae not only produce oxygen, which the spacecraft inhabitants can breathe, but they also utilize the waste carbon dioxide produced by respiration. As the algae multiply, they can be fed to a special kind of shrimp, which in turn multiply and become food for the space travelers. Other wastes are recycled by different microscopic organisms. When this self-supporting arrangement, called a closed
system, is perfected, the range of spacecraft should greatly increase because heavy oxygen tanks will not be necessary, and the amount of food reserves needed will be reduced. A science is distinguished from other fields of study by
several features. It involves the observation, recording, organization, and classification of facts, and more importantly, it involves what is done with the facts. Scientific procedureinvolves the process of experimentation, observation, and the verifying or discarding of information, chiefly through inductive reasoning from known samples. There is no universal agreement on the precise details of the process. A fewdecades ago, scientific procedure was considered to involvea routine series of steps that involved first asking a question, then formulating a hypothesis, followed by experiments, and finally developing a theory. This series of steps came to be known as the scientific method, and there are still instances where such a structured approach works well. In general, however, the scientific method now describes the procedures of assuming and testing hypotheses. Diversification of Plant Study (cc) photo by tudor on Flickr Plant Anatomy Plant anatomy, which is concerned chiefly with the internal
structure of plants, was established through the efforts
of several scientific pioneers. Early plant anatomists of note
included Marcello Malpighi (1628–1694) of Italy, who discovered various tissues in stems and roots, and Nehemiah Grew (1628–1711) of England, who described the structure of wood more precisely than any of his predecessors Plant Physiology Plant physiology, which is concerned with plant function,
was established by J. B. van Helmont (1577–1644), a
Flemish physician and chemist, who was the first to demonstrate
that plants do not have the same nutritional needs as
animals. Modern plant physiologists use cloned genes (units of
heredity that are found within the nuclei of cells) to learn
in precise detail much more about plant functions, including
how plants conduct materials internally; how temperature,
light, and water are involved in growth; why plants flower;
and how plant growth regulatory substances are produced,
to mention just a few. Plant Taxonomy Plant taxonomy involves describing, naming, and classifying
organisms. Plant systematics is a related field, but is
broader than taxonomy. It is the science of developing methods
for grouping organisms. Plant taxonomy is the oldest branch
Figure 1.10 A thin section of Magnolia wood as seen
through a light microscope. ×40. What is Plant Biology? 9
of plant study, begun in antiquity, but Linnaeus did more
for the field than any other person in history. Thousands of
plant names in use today are those originally recorded in
Linnaeus’s book Species Plantarum, published in 1753. An
expanded account of Linnaeus and his system of classification
is given in Chapter 16. Plant Morphology The study of the form and structure of plants, plant morphology, was developed during the 19th century, and during the 20th century, much of our basic knowledge about the form and life cycles of plants was incorporated in the plant sciences as we know them today. During this time, the number of scientists
engaged in investigating plants also greatly increased. Genetics Genetics, the science of heredity, was founded by the
Austrian monk Gregor Mendel (1822–1884), who performed
classic experiments with pea plants. Today, various branches of genetics include plant breeding, which has greatly improved yields and quality of crop plants, and genetic engineering. Genetic engineering includes the introduction of genes from one organism to another and has already improved the pest, frost, and disease resistance, as well as yields, of some crop plants. Although some aspectsof genetic engineering are controversial, it holds enormous
potential for continued development of better agricultural,
medicinal, and other useful plants. Future control of human,
animal, and plant diseases is also anticipated. Economic Botany Economic botany and ethnobotany, which involve
practical uses of plants and plant products, had their origin
in antiquity as humans discovered, used, and eventually cultivated plants for food, fiber, medicines, and other purposes. Today there is increased interest in herbal medicines and many other uses of plants by the general
public. Research is being conducted with indigenous peoples
with an eye to discovering new medicines and other useful
plant products previously unknown in developed countries. Mr. Hoot's Evaluation: Refer outside the Folder Hoot-Hoot's Minions No exams, we hope! Faith Alejaga
Sheramil Baroquina
Jan Ariane Futolan
Carl Maurice Gicaro
Keshia Marian Mabunay
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