Plant anatomy

Plant anatomy

Plant anatomy or phytotomy is the general term for the study of the internal structure of plants. While originally it included plant morphology, which is the description of the physical form and external structure of plants, since the mid-20th century the investigations of plant anatomy are considered a separate, distinct field, and plant anatomy refers to just the internal plant structures.[1][2] Plant anatomy is now frequently investigated at the cellular level, and often involves the sectioning of tissues and microscopy.[3] About 300 BCE Theophrastus wrote a number of plant treatises, only two of which survive. He developed concepts of plant morphology and classification, which did not withstand the scientific scrutiny of the Renaissance. A Swiss physician and botanist, Gaspard Bauhin, introduced binomial nomenclature into plant taxonomy. He published Pinax theatri botanici in 1596, which was the first to use this convention for naming of species. His criteria for classification included natural relationships, or 'affinities', which in many cases were structural. Italian doctor and microscopist, Marcello Malpighi, was one of the two founders of plant anatomy. In 1671 he published his Anatomia Plantarum, the first major advance in plant physiogamy since Aristotle. The British doctor, Nehemiah Grew was one of the two founders of plant anatomy. He published An Idea of a Philosophical History of Plants in 1672 and The Anatomy of Plants in 1682. Grew is credited with the recognition of plant cells, although he called them 'vesicles' and 'bladders'. He correctly identified and described the sexual organs of plants (flowers) and their parts. In the Eighteenth Century, Carolus Linnaeus established taxonomy based on structure, and his early work was with plant anatomy. While the exact structural level which is to be considered to be scientifically valid for comparison and differentiation has changed with the growth of knowledge, the basic principles were established by Linnaeus. He published his master work, Species Plantarum in 1753. In 1802, French botanist, Charles-Francois Brisseau de Mirbel, published Traite d'anatomie et de physiologie vegetale (Treatise on Plant Anatomy and Physiology) establishing the beginnings of the science of plant cytology. In 1812, Johann Jacob Paul Moldenhawer published Beytrage zur Anatomie der Pflanzen, describing microscopic studies of plant tissues. In 1813 a Swiss botanist, Augustin Pyrame de Candolle, published Theorie elementaire de la botanique, in which he argued that plant anatomy, not physiology, ought to be the sole basis for plant classification. Using a scientific basis, he established structural criteria for defining and separating plant genera. In 1830, Franz Meyen published Phytotomie, the first comprehensive review of plant anatomy.