Plant science

Plant science

Botany, plant science(s), or plant biology (from Ancient Greek --- botane, "pasture, grass, or fodder" and that from ---? boskein, "to feed or to graze"), a discipline of biology, is the science of plant life.[1][2][3] Traditionally, the science included the study of fungi, algae, and viruses. A person engaged in the study of botany is called a botanist. Botany covers a wide range of scientific disciplines including structure, growth, reproduction, metabolism, development, diseases, chemical properties, and evolutionary relationships among taxonomic groups. Botany began with early human efforts to identify edible, medicinal and poisonous plants, making it one of the oldest branches of science. Nowadays, botanists study about 400,000 species of living organisms. The beginnings of modern-style classification systems can be traced to the 1500s–1600s when several attempts were made to scientifically classify plants. In the 19th and 20th centuries, major new techniques were developed for studying plants, including microscopy, chromosome counting, and analysis of plant chemistry. In the last two decades of the 20th century, DNA was used to more accurately classify plants. Botanical research focuses on plant population groups, evolution, physiology, structure, and systematics. Subdisciplines of botany include agronomy, forestry, horticulture, an

paleobotany. Key scientists in the history of botany include Theophrastus, Ibn al-Baitar, Carl Linnaeus, Gregor Johann Mendel, and Norman Borlaug. The history of botany includes many ancient writings and classifications of plants found in several early cultures. Examples of early botanical works have been found in ancient sacred texts from India, ancient Zoroastrian writings,[4] and ancient Chinese works. Modern botany traces its roots back more than twenty three centuries, to the Father of Botany, Theophrastus (c. 371–287 BC), a student of Aristotle. He invented and described many of the principles of modern botany.[5] His two major works, Enquiry into Plants and On the Causes of Plants constitute the most important contribution to botanical science during antiquity and the Middle Ages, and held that position for some seventeen centuries after they were written.[5][6] Also from Greece, Pedanius Dioscorides, in the middle of the first century, wrote De Materia Medica, a five-volume encyclopedia about herbal medicine that was widely read for more than 1,500 years.[7] Works from the medieval Muslim world included Ibn Wahshiyya's Nabatean Agriculture, Abu ?anifa Dinawari's (828–896) the Book of Plants, and Ibn Bassal's The Classification of Soils. In the early 13th century, Abu al-Abbas al-Nabati, and Ibn al-Baitar (d. 1248) also wrote on botany.