The Relevance / Importance of Botany

Topics: Botany, Plant, Life Pages: 4 (1009 words) Published: May 30, 2011

1a. Definition of Botany:
Botany, also known as Plant Science(s), Phytology, or Plant Biology is a specific branch of biology and is the scientific study of plant life and development. Botany is a science that deals with plants, algae, and fungi studying their varied structures, growth patterns, reproductive functions, metabolisms, development rates and patterns, potential threats and diseases, chemical properties and evolutionary relationships between different species and/or groups.

The study of plants and botany began with tribal lore, used to identify edible, medicinal and poisonous plants, making botany one of the oldest sciences in the world. From this ancient interest in plants, the scope of botany has increased to include the study of over 550,000 kinds or species of living organisms.

1b. Definition of Plant Breeding:
Plant Breeding is the art and science of changing the genetics of plants for the benefit of humankind. Plant breeding can be accomplished through many different techniques ranging from simply selecting plants with desirable characteristics for Propagation, to more complex molecular techniques such as Cultigens and Cultivars. [For more information see 1c/d]

Plant breeding has been practised for thousands of years, since near the beginning of human civilization. It is now practised worldwide by individuals such as gardeners and farmers, or by professional plant breeders employed by organizations such as government institutions, universities, crop-specific industry associations or research centres.

International development agencies believe that breeding new crops is important for ensuring Food Security by developing new varieties that are higher-yielding, resistant to pests and diseases, drought-resistant or regionally adapted to different environments and growing conditions.

1c. Cultigens
A Cultigen is a plant that has been deliberately altered or selected by humans;...
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