Botany deals with the study of plants. In this branch of science we study their size, external and internal form, cell structure, cell division, physiological processes e.g., respiration, photosynthesis etc., their life cycles, heredity, adaptations to environment, reproduction, interrelationship between different plants and plants and animals, and their geographical distribution etc.
On the basis of above mentioned facts botany can be divided into the following branches.
26 branches of botany
1. Morphology (Morphe=form, logos=science) : Under this branch we study the form and structure of plants. That branch of morphology which is based upon the external form and structure of plant is called External Morphology.
2. Anatomy : The study of internal structure of the plants with the help of section cutting, is called Internal Morphology or Anatomy.
3. Histology : The study of cells and tissues with the help of microscope is called histology,
4. Cytology : Detailed study of the cells is called cytology. It includes structure, function of different cell organelles, nucleus and cell inclusions. Different types of cell divisions are included in this branch. The study of this branch has become possible only with the help of electron microscope.
5. Plant Physiology : This branch includes the study of various vital activities of the plant. All chemical and physical changes taking place in the cell and any exchange of substances between the cell and its environment are called vital activities of the cell, e.g., photosynthesis, respiration etc.
6. Taxonomy : In this branch the plants are classified according to their characteristics and interrelationship. With the help of plant taxonomy we are able to identify the plants and know their characters.
7. Ecology (Oikos = house; logos = science) : This branch deals with the study of environment of plants and their communities and vice-versa. Included in this branch are the studies of adaptations of plants with reference to their environment. This branch also includes the studies of soil erosion, soil conservation and pollution.
8. Plant geography : This branch deals with the distribution of plants on the earth and reasons thereof.
9. Genetics : Is the study of heredity and variations. What are the Laws of inheritance and why the offspring resembles or differs from the parent are studied under this branch.
10. Plant breeding : Branch of botany dealing with the development of improved varieties of plants.
11. Embryology : The male and female gametes of a plant fuse to form the zygote. Zygote develops into an embryo (in embryophyta) with plumule, cotyledons and radicle. When germination of seed takes place, the entire plant develops from these organs. We study all these developments in embryology.
12. Paleobotany : Paleobotany is the study of fossil plants. Plants which flourished and lived on the surface of globe several million year ago but are not living now and are found as rocks. In which rocks and parts of the world they are found, what is their structure and how they are interrelated to the plants of the present day.
13. Economic Botany : In this branch of Botany we study the plants with reference to their products. Which plants produce medicines, gums, oils, fibers, fuel, wood etc., are studied under this branch.
14. Plant Pathology : This branch includes different types of disease of plants, their symptoms, causal agent and methods of control.
15. Organic evolution : This is the branch of Botany in which we study the evolution of complex organisms from simple ones and the principles involved in it. Some new aspects of Botany based on modern technology are as follows.
16. Biochemistry (Phytochemistry) : Study of chemistry of plants.
17. Biophysics : Study of plant activities on the basis of principles of physics.
18. Microbiology : Study of microorganisms. It includes the study of viruses, bacteria, microfungi, microalgae and protozoa in relation to plants.
19. Molecular biology : Study of biochemistry at molecular level.
20. Palynology : Study of pollen grains in relation to taxonomy and evolution etc.
21. Biometrics : Statistical analysis of different results of biological experiments.
22. Genetic Engineering : Adding, removing or repairing part of genetic material, thereby changing the phenotype of organism as desired.
Branches allied to Botany :
23. Agronomy : Is the science which deals with the crop plants.
24. Horticulture : Is the science which deals with the study of flowering and fruiting plants.
25. Pharmacognosy : Is the branch of science dealing with the medicinal plants.
26. Pedology : Is the science dealing with the study of soils.