May 21, 2022

Botany (botany) is "a subdivision of biology for plants". In ancient times, it was common to divide living things into animals and plants, and zoology and botany existed before the birth of biology. In addition, with the development of molecular biology and life science in recent years, it is sometimes called botanical science with the nuance of breaking away from classical botany.

Academic field

Subfields of botany include various fields such as plant morphology, plant development, plant physiology, plant geography, and plant ecology. In addition, pteridology, moss science, algae science, dendrology, etc. may be divided according to the target organism. He is also deeply involved in agriculture, forestry, horticulture, and grassland science. Since Linne's Binomial nomenclature, taxonomic studies have developed, and since Mendel's laws, genetic breeding has also been carried out.

Anatomy / Cytology / Histology

The tissue is easy to observe because plant cells have a cell wall, just as the first cells found were corks. Histological studies proceeded with the discovery of cells shortly after the use of microscopes. The cell theory is one step ahead of the plant. However, the progress since then is not fast. One of the factors is that vivisection like animals is difficult in plants. In animals, there are various organs in the body that can be taken out separately, whereas in plants, each of them functions on a cell-by-cell basis and is in close contact with each other. Therefore, the function of plants at that level was often speculated by assuming a simple mechanism. Research is still ongoing in this field as of the 21st century.

Plant Physiology

The growth of plants without food has long been explored, including experiments by Helmont (1648) measuring willow growth and soil loss in between. Although the existence of light and dark reactions was predicted at the beginning of the 20th century due to various conditions related to photosynthesis and the appearance of their effects, it was not until the concrete elucidation of the mechanism was made. It was after the elucidation of the respiratory chain. In addition, individual-level physiology includes the discovery of plant hormones from the study of growth regulation and nastic movements.


Genetics began to develop when Mendel used peas to clarify the laws, and research on Arabidopsis, rice, and tobacco as model plants has been actively conducted. However, even before that, plants were often used in genetic experiments. This is probably because many of the organisms bred and cultivated by humans have shorter lifespans and are easier to manage. However, since Drosophila and Neurospora crassa have been used as model organisms, the use of model plants has decreased at the forefront of research.

Plant Geography / Ecology

Phytogeography discusses the distribution of flora in different parts of the world, and flora is an important factor in determining the aspect of a region. Therefore, it was strongly linked to geography and headed for the division of climatic zones. In addition, research on the composition of various plant communities in various regions has evolved into community ecology related to plants called phytosociology. On the other hand, the succession theory evolved from such transitions of plant communities. Furthermore, the concept of ecosystem was born by thinking about the animal community together. These are an important part of ecology. Footnote