Plant biology is the study of plant species, which encompasses understanding all aspects required for plant life and proper functioning. In a basic sense, plants, similar to animals, are living organisms which require water, oxygen and nutrients to grow and depend on glucose to produce energy.
The study of plant biology requires an understanding of the biochemical and physiological processes required for development and growth. The processes of photosynthesis and respiration are absolutely essential for plant life. Any mutations in the enzymes or machinery involved in these processes could lead a plant to cease functioning. Furthermore, in terms of physiology, it is important to understand the structure of a plant at both the cellular and organism level, to comprehend how a plant is able to function on a day-to-day basis.
Plants are extremely diverse and thus, there are a variety of different species. According to a report from 2011, done by the United Nations Environment Programme, there are about 298 000 plant species on Earth and not all of these plants have been discovered (1). Evidently, there are a variety of unique plants present all around the globe. Thus, plant taxonomy is another important field in plant biology because it is this discipline which provides a way to classify and name all of these species.
Aside from all the pure scientific topics related to plant biology, plant biology also includes learning the multiple ways in which plants can be utilized. For example, plants can be used as a food source, for medicinal purposes and as clothing, among other functions. Additionally, plant biotechnology is becoming an important field of exploration as more research is being conducted and illustrating that plants have many real-world applications.
Plant biology is an exciting field of science which covers a wide spectrum of topics. Since early civilizations, much knowledge has been gained with regards to the inner-workings of plants. However, further research is still rigorously being performed to provide a full understanding of the intricacies of plant organisms.