What is Plant Physiology
Plant physiology describes the physiology and functioning of the plants. It is a sub-discipline of botany. It primarily describes the key processes such as the respiration, photosynthesis, hormone functions, nutrition, nastic movements, tropisms, parthenogenesis, phototropism and circadian rhythms. It also deals with the topics including seed germination, environmental stress physiology, stomata function and dormancy. Besides, the subject is closely connected to the fields such as plant morphology, phytochemistry, plant ecology, biophysics, genetics, molecular biology and cell biology.
In order to understand the plant way of life, knowing the structure and functioning of is crucial. Plant Physiology provides information on how the plants survive. Therefore, studying the subject is necessary to get a deeper insight into the plants. Now our experts from Assignment Help Australia will tell you about the role of Plan Physiology.
Role of Plant Physiology in Knowledge Development
Plant physiology focuses on studying every internal activity of the plant. The key physical and chemical processes are analyzed in the subject. It also covers the activities of different scale of time and size. In other words, molecular interactions such as photosynthesis, internal diffusion of minerals, water and nutrients are studies as part of the subject. Along with with it, the large scale activities such as seasonality, plant development, reproductive control and dormancy.
Now assignment help Canada will tell you about the subjects that plays a key role to develop knowledge in the following areas—
Phytochemistry or Plant Chemistry in plant physiology:
It is one of the key knowledge areas in the domain. The plants require producing a number of chemical compounds for survival and functioning. Many of these compounds are unique in nature as those are not found in other organisms. The photosynthesis process needs a generation of different enzymes, pigments and other compounds to be completed. The plants are unable to move. So, chemical compounds are generated for defense also. The compounds are generated by categories such as pathogens, herbivores. In most of the cases, the toxins are produced. Additionally, the smelling and foul-tasting chemicals are also produced by the plants for self-defense. There are some chemicals which give protection against diseases. Survival at the time of drought is crucial for the plants. The chemical compounds are useful for this purpose as well.
Dormancy can be described as a period during which growth and development in an organism stop completely. During this time, the metabolic activity minimizes. As an effect, the organism becomes able to save energy. The environmental conditions influence the dormancy period significantly. Dormancy is an important part of the plant life-cycle. Chemical compounds are necessary for preparing the plant for the period. Attracting pollinators is another crucial activity for the plant. It keeps the reproduction works uninterruptedly. The chemicals play a key role in this case also. These compounds attract the herbivores and pollinators for spreading the ripe seeds. The discussion indicates that studying Phytochemistry is essential for getting an idea on the chemical processes at the different stages of the lifecycle.
The subject aims at developing knowledge in the domain of chemical and biological processes in the cells. The cells of a plant show a number of attributes. These attributes are different from those of the animal cells. Due to the unique attributes, the plant cells respond and behave differently than the animals.
For example, the walls of the plant cell are more rigid. So, these walls influence the shape of cells. Mobility and flexibility of the plants are also limited by the walls. Presence of the chlorophyll is another unique feature of these cells.
It is a chemical compound which makes interactions with the light. On the basis of interactions, the plants become able to create their own nutrients. This is a distinctive feature of them. other animals cannot create nutrients for themselves. The plants in this regard are completely independent. It states that the subject is effective to create an understanding of the unique processes within the plant cells.
The plant cells, organs and tissues interact in a unique manner. Different cells are designated to perform different duties. Those have special physical and chemical abilities for performing the tasks. For example, the rhizoids and the roots play a key role in holding the plant. These parts also play a crucial role in acquiring minerals from the soil. The leaf is another important part of the plant. The leaves create the necessary nutrients at the presence of light. The minerals collected by the roots and the rhizoids are transferred to the leaves. The nutrients which are manufactured in the leaves are then sent to the roots. Such transportation tasks are performed in several ways. For example, the vascular tissues are a major part of the process. It reflects that the subject gives importance to understanding the processes using which the plants live
Above all, the plants interact with the environment in several ways. The study on the physiological attributes of the plants also helps in developing the knowledge of how these plants interact with the environment. The plants respond to different types of environment condition in a different manner. The subject gives importance to gaining knowledge on how the responses change with the environmental conditions. The subject gives importance to discussing how the plants get stressed due to water loss. The alternations in air chemistry are also reviewed as part of the subject. The way of functioning in a plant changes with the crowding. Such changes also occur due to the chemical, genetic and physical factors. The subject also discusses how the functioning of plants is influenced by different factors.
Role of plant physiology in Agriculture
The study of plant physiology is important in agriculture. It is the science and art of how plants are cultivated. Agriculture is the base of the development of human civilization. The works related to farming of domesticated species generate food surpluses which make people able to live in cities. The modern agriculture deals with plant breeding, agronomy and agrochemicals such as the use of the fertilizers and the pesticides. The technological developments have changed the conventional agricultural processes significantly. The technological developments have increased the number of crops. Along with it, the technological tools caused environmental and economic changes.
The modern agricultural practices are also shaped by depletion of aquifers, global warming, deforestation, use of growth hormones and antibiotics. Increase demand for Genetically modified organisms is another key trend in agriculture. The products in the agricultural industry are broadly categorized as fibres, foods, raw materials and fuels. The food products obtained from the agricultural industry are classified as vegetables, cereals, oil and fruit.
The knowledge of the physiological factors associated with the plants is essential for conducting the agricultural works effectively. Crop physiology is an important part of the subject. It deals with investigating different processes in the plants. The key areas of focus in the domain of Crop physiology are — the activities which drive growth in the plants, the development processes and the production of crop plants in an economic manner.
This area of the subject includes both the basic and applied research to determine the functionalities of the crop plants. The basic researches in the crop physiology give importance to developing knowledge in the area. The applied researches, on the contrary, give importance to solving practical problems. However, the crop physiology studies the plants and plant communities as a whole. This is because the processes which control the production. The area also gives importance to studying how the plants interact with the environment.
The key areas related to the crop physiology are—
Crop alteration is a widely used practiced in agriculture. Altering crops with the help of breeding practice brings changes in the genetic structure of a plant. It helps the farmers in the development of the crops which possess more beneficial attributes. As an effect, these crops become more suitable for society. The larger fruits or seeds are an example in this case as those products are more economical. Production of the drought-tolerance crops is another useful application. Such crops can be produced in harsh environmental condition. The recent developments in crop physiology and plant breeding enabling the farmers to produce pest-resistant crops. Such products have a lower risk of getting damaged. As an effect, the losses in agriculture reduces
Significant Advancements in Plant Breeding
The plant breeding domain has experienced several new advancements. These advancements are based on the studies done by Gregor Mendel, in the area of plant physiology. His works developed knowledge of recessive and dominant alleles. The findings were ignored for several years. Later, the same findings provided plant breeders with a better understanding of breeding technique and genetics. The widely used crop breeding development includes the use of techniques which enable the farmers to choose a plant with persevered traits. The other developments in the domain include cross-pollination, self-pollination along with the use of the molecular techniques for modifying the organism genetically.
Domestication of Plants
Domestication is another important practice in the domain of agriculture. It helps to enhance disease resistance. It also increases the tolerance to the drought. Additionally, domestication leads to make harvesting easier. Taste of the crops improves which is another benefit of the domestication. Finally, domestication increases the nutritional value of the food. It is another benefit of the domestication.
The knowledge on crop physiology also helps the farmers to understand the effects of variation in farming techniques such as pest control using the chemicals, use of fertilizers and controlling growth using the chemicals. The variation in the crop is also observed due to the changes in climate and genetics.
Genetic Engineering of Plants
Studying the physiological feature of plants is necessary to determine the effects of genetic engineering. Genetically modified organisms (GMO) are organisms which posses modified genes. The genetic engineering techniques are used for altering the genetic materials It is also known as the recombinant DNA technology. These techniques are often used to develop new crops. The other benefits of genetically modified crops are higher nutritional value, increased level of durability, a higher level of resistance to the virus and insect.
Development of Herbicide-resistant Seed
Development of Herbicide-resistant Seed is another instance of the genetic engineering and its applications on the domain of physiological studies of plants. When the gene is modified in the seeds, the plants become able to tolerate a higher level of exposure to herbicides. Controlling weed is one of the crucial activities in farming. By using the modified seeds, the farmers become able to g produce a crop which can tolerate the herbicides. Therefore, controlling the weed in the fields becomes easier.
Development of Insect-Resistant Crops
Genetic engineering techniques are used to develop insect resistant crops. These crops are modified using the gene found in the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). These crops generate a toxin for the insects. In this way, the attacks of the insects are prevented.
Coping with Global Warming
Global warming is one of the key issues in the current agricultural systems. Both global warming and agricultural practices are interrelated to each other. Global warming impacts on agriculture by bringing changes in average temperatures. The pattern of rainfall also changes with global warming. With the changing nature of the global climate, weather extremes are being observed more frequently. For example, incidents like heat waves and storms are being observed in a frequent manner. The change in weather also brings changes in the natural pests and diseases. The level of ground-level ozone concentrations along with the atmospheric carbon dioxide is changing with the climate. It indicates that the plants are being exposed to harsher weather in the modern days.
The exposure to extreme weather is impacting the crops in different ways. The nutritional quality of the crops is being changed due to the adverse impacts of weather. Global warming is leading to the rise of sea level. As an effect, crop production in the low-altitude countries is being affected. Global warming might cause food insecurity in some areas. Under these circumstances, understanding the plant physiology is especially necessary to develop strategies for protecting the crops.
Role in Horticulture
Horticulture is another area which is closely related to the plant physiology. It is defined as the study which includes the culture of plants. The horticulture primarily focuses on producing food and materials for the purpose of beauty and comfort. The key areas of focus in the domain of horticulture are– the restoration of the landscape, conservation of plants, management of soil, designing the garden and the landscape, development and maintenance of the garden.
Key areas of Horticulture
The primary activities in Horticulture can be classified in the following manner—
It deals with fruit culture. The activities in Pomology mainly include the production of pome fruits such as pear, apple and quince. It also includes the production of stone fruits such as cherry, peach, nectarine, plum and apricot. Production on small fruits such as raspberry, blueberry, grape and strawberry falls under the domain of Pomology. Finally, the production of nut tree fruits is also one of the notable activities in the field of Pomology.
It is the activity which deals with the culture of food crops. The crops are obtained from vegetable plants. Different parts of the vegetable plants are used as the product. Such parts include fruits, roots, and seeds.
It is a domain that deals with the growing of flowers. The domain also focuses on growing the bedding plants, potted plants, bulbs and floral design.
It is the domain which deals with nursery production of woody plants and herbaceous. The domain also emphasizes on managing and designing the landscape.
This area of horticulture deals with harvest the crops, handling and storing those. The crops which are managed as part of the domain include fruits, flowers, and vegetables.
The key difference between agriculture and horticulture is the scale of production. Agriculture aims at the production of the crop at a large scale. On the contrary, horticulture emphasizes producing a crop at a smaller scale. However, in both the domains, having knowledge of the physiology of plants is equally important. In horticulture, application of skills, knowledge and technology is needed producing the plants which meet the food-related and non-food requirements. The knowledge of the physiological attributes of the plants is required for cultivation and propagation purpose.
The application of knowledge aims at the improvement of the growth rate of the plants, increasing the yields, improving the quality and enhancing the nutritional value. In horticulture, the presence of the insects can damage the plants. Similarly, plants can also be damaged due to diseases. The knowledge of physiology plays a crucial role to prevent such attacks. It indicates that knowledge is also useful for developing strategies to cope with the damage. Our Assignment Expert will give you more detailed information on topics related to biology.