Plant Biology by Alison M. Smith and others: A Review
Plant Biology is a new textbook written for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students. It is an account of modern plant science, reflecting recent advances in genetics and genomics and the excitement they have created. The book begins with a review of what is known about the origins of modern-day plants. Next, the special features of plant genomes and genetics are explored. Subsequent chapters provide information on our current understanding of plant cell biology, plant metabolism, and plant developmental biology, with the remaining three chapters outlining the interactions of plants with their environments. The final chapter discusses the relationship of plants with humans: domestication, agriculture and crop breeding.
Plant Biology contains over 1,000 full color illustrations, and each chapter begins with Learning Objectives and concludes with a Summary. The book is also available as a PDF download from various sources, such as [Taylor & Francis], [Internet Archive], and [Routledge]. However, some of these sources may require a subscription or a payment to access the full content. Alternatively, one can also borrow the book from a library or purchase a hard copy from a bookstore.
The book is written by nine authors who are experts in their respective fields of plant science. They are Alison M. Smith, George Coupland, Liam Dolan, Nicholas Harberd, Jonathan Jones, Cathie Martin, Robert Sablowski, Abigail Amey, and Nicholas Harberd. The authors have collaborated to produce a coherent and comprehensive text that covers the most important topics in plant biology. The book is divided into nine chapters, each focusing on a different aspect of plant science. The chapters are as follows:
Origins: This chapter traces the evolutionary history of plants from their origins in the water to their diversification on land. It also discusses the major groups of plants and their phylogenetic relationships.
Genomes: This chapter examines the structure and organization of plant genomes, as well as the mechanisms of genome evolution and variation. It also covers the tools and methods used to study plant genomes and genetics.
Cells: This chapter describes the structure and function of plant cells, including their membranes, organelles, cytoskeleton, cell wall, and plasmodesmata. It also explains how plant cells communicate with each other and respond to external signals.
Metabolism: This chapter explores the metabolic pathways and processes that enable plants to synthesize and degrade various molecules. It also covers the regulation of metabolism by environmental and developmental factors.
Development: This chapter investigates the molecular and cellular basis of plant development, from embryogenesis to senescence. It also covers the role of hormones, transcription factors, signaling pathways, and epigenetic mechanisms in controlling plant development.
Environmental Signals: This chapter analyzes how plants perceive and respond to various environmental cues, such as light, temperature, gravity, water, nutrients, and pathogens. It also covers the role of circadian rhythms, photoperiodism, vernalization, and dormancy in regulating plant growth and development.
Environmental Stress: This chapter examines how plants cope with various biotic and abiotic stresses, such as drought, salinity, flooding, heat, cold, oxidative stress, herbivory, and disease. It also covers the role of stress hormones, reactive oxygen species, signaling networks, and acclimation mechanisms in modulating plant stress responses.
Interactions with Other Organisms: This chapter explores how plants interact with other organisms in their ecosystems, such as symbionts, mutualists, competitors, predators, and parasites. It also covers the role of secondary metabolites, defense genes, signaling molecules, and co-evolution in mediating plant interactions.
Domestication and Agriculture: This chapter discusses how humans have influenced the evolution and diversity of plants through domestication, breeding, genetic engineering, and biotechnology. It also covers the challenges and opportunities for improving crop production and quality in the face of global change.
In summary, Plant Biology is a comprehensive and up-to-date textbook that covers the most important topics in modern plant science. It is suitable for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students, as well as researchers and educators in the field of plant biology. It is also available as a PDF download from various sources, but some of them may require a subscription or a payment to access the full content.