Plant Science

Plant science is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. The study of plants is vital because they underpin almost all animal life on Earth by generating a large proportion of the oxygen and food that provide humans and other organisms with aerobic respiration with the chemical energy they need to exist. Plants, algae and cyanobacteria are the major groups of organisms that carry out photosynthesis, a process that uses the energy of sunlight to convert water and carbon dioxide[54] into sugars that can be used both as a source of chemical energy and of organic molecules that are used in the structural components of cells. Increasing knowledge of plant anatomy, morphology and life cycles led to the realisation that there were more natural affinities between plants than the artificial sexual system of Linnaeus had indicated. The Candollean system reflected his ideas of the progression of morphological complexity and the later classification by Bentham and Hooker, which was influential until the mid-19th century, was influenced by Candolle's approach. Darwin's publication of the Origin of Species in 1859 and his concept of common descent required modifications to the Candollean system to reflect evolutionary relationships as distinct from mere morphological similarity.Virtually all staple foods come either directly from primary production by plants, or indirectly from animals that eat them. Plants and other photosynthetic organisms are at the base of most food chains because they use the energy from the sun and nutrients from the soil and atmosphere, converting them into a form that can be used by animals. This is what ecologists call the first trophic level. The modern forms of the major staple foods, such as maize, rice, wheat and other cereal grasses, pulses, bananas and plantains, as well as flax and cotton grown for their fibres, are the outcome of prehistoric selection over thousands of years from among wild ancestral plants with the most desirable characteristics.

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