Physiology and Behaviour of Plants / Edition 1

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Physiology and Behaviour of Plants looks at plants and how they sense and respond to their environment. It takes the traditional plant physiology book into a new dimension by demonstrating how the biochemical observations underlie the behaviour of the plant. In many ways the book parallels courses studied at university on animal physiology and behaviour. The plant has to meet the same challenges as an animal to survive, but overcomes these challenges in very different ways. Students learn to think of plants not only as dynamic organisms, but aggressive, territorial organisms capable of long-range communication.

Hallmark features include:

  • Based on a successful course that the author has run for several years at Sussex University, UK
  • Relates plant biochemistry to plant function
  • Printed in four colour throughout
  • Includes a wealth of illustrations and photographs that engages the reader’s attention and reinforce key concepts explored within the text
  • Presents material in a modern ‘topic’ based approach, with many relevant and exciting examples to inspire the student
  • An accompanying web site will include teaching supplements

This innovative textbook is the ultimate resource for all students in biology, horticulture, forestry and agriculture. 

Companion website for this title is available at

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book, with Scott's enthusiasm and clear writing style, offers a refreshing approach to introductory plant biology. Recommended." (CHOICE, March 2009)

“Author Peter Scott's approach is to present basic concepts of plant physiology and development in an enthusiastic and engaging manner. Hence, he tries to use his passion for his subject to be an effective teacher, and his enthusiasm is evident throughout the book. One of the clear strengths of this book are the high quality color diagrams. I enjoyed reading … and came away with good ideas for new approaches to teaching topics in plant biology. The book could be useful in a number of courses in botany and plant biology at the freshman and sophomore level.” (Plant Science Bulletin, Winter 2008)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470850251
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/31/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 318
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Having first been excited by the complexity and beauty of the plant kingdom as a student in Cambridge, Peter Scott is now Senior Lecturer in Plant Biology at the University of Sussex, where his research interests include orchids, resurrection plants and helping students to understand the wonder of the natural world around them.

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Table of Contents

Preface     xi
Introducing plants     1
The beginning: the evolution of plants and the major divisions     1
Conquering the land     1
The evolution of lignin     6
Plants and mass extinction     7
Floristic kingdoms, biogeography and biomes     7
What makes a plant?     9
Structure of the whole plant     9
Structure of the plant cell     11
Chloroplasts and other plastids     11
The vacuole     14
Microbodies     14
The cell wall     14
Plasmodesmata     14
Photosynthesis: the ultimate in autotrophy     17
Light harvesting     17
Leaf form     17
Chlorophyll and the chloroplast     19
Converting light energy into chemical energy     21
Photosystem I     23
Photosystem II     25
The Calvin cycle     26
The cycle and its functions     26
Regeneration     26
CO[subscript 2] fixation or carboxylation     26
Synthetic flux     28
Regulatory enzymes     28
The remarkable role of RUBISCO     28
Photorespiration     30
The troubles with photosynthesis     30
The solution to the problem     31
Carbohydrate synthesis and storage     32
The major carbohydrates of photosynthesis     32
Sucrose     32
Starch     35
The fate of carbon fixed during photosynthesis     37
The efficiency of photosynthesis     40
Non-photosynthetic metabolism     43
Phloem transport     43
Structure of the phloem     44
Phloem loading     45
Phloem unloading     46
Coping with damage to the phloem     49
The sink tissues     50
How is sink strength dictated?     51
Metabolism of carbohydrate     54
Respiration     54
Storage of carbohydrate or lipid     56
Potatoes and starch storage     56
Bananas and starch storage and ripening     56
Sugarcane and the storage of sucrose     57
Grapes and developing fruit     57
Peanuts and lipid storage     58
Growth and the synthesis of cell components     59
Sink regulation of photosynthesis     59
Roots and the uptake of water     61
Types of root     61
Functions of roots     63
Structure of roots     64
Shoot and root growth     66
Interaction with the soil     66
Uptake of water     67
Osmosis     67
Loading and movement in the xylem     67
Structure of the xylem     67
Cohesion-tension theory of water movement in the xylem     68
Transpiration rates     72
Cavitation     72
Stomata     72
Stomatal function     74
Mineral nutrition of plants     75
Soil structure and mineral ions     75
General ion uptake     76
Phosphorus uptake and assimilation     78
Nitrogen uptake and assimilation     80
Amino acid synthesis     82
Symbiotic nitrogen fixation     82
Iron uptake and assimilation     83
Sulphur uptake and assimilation     85
Function and effects of deficiencies of mineral ions on plants     86
Major elements     86
Other important major elements     86
Minor elements     87
Mycorrhizal associations and saprophytic nutrition      89
Mycorrhizal associations     89
Vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizal associations     90
Orchidaceous mycorrhizal associations     92
Ectomycorrhiza     96
Ericaceous mycorrhiza     96
Ericoid mycorrhiza     96
Arbutoid mycorrhiza     97
Monotropoid mycorrhiza     98
Ectendomycorrhiza     99
Development of the mycorrhizal association     99
The role of the mycorrhizal association     99
Saprophytic nutrition     101
Parasitic plants     103
Establishing a parasitic relationship     103
Facultative parasitic plants     106
Obligate parasitic plants - hemiparasites     108
Obligate parasitic plants - holoparasites     111
Parasitic species other than the dicotyledons     112
Carnivorous plants     115
Carnivory: the search for a definition     115
Why have some plants turned to carnivory?     115
Trapping mechanisms     116
The pitfall trap - North American pitcher plant     116
Active spring trap - bladderworts     120
Sticky flypaper - sundews     124
Asexual and sexual reproduction      131
Asexual reproduction     131
Roots     131
Stems     132
Leaves     132
Apomixis     132
Sexual reproduction     133
Wind-based pollination     134
Insect-based pollination     136
Pollination     139
Mechanisms for improving cross-fertilization     141
Self-incompatibility mechanisms     142
Gametophytic incompatibility     145
Sporophytic incompatibility     146
Seed development     146
Plant growth     149
Types of growth     149
Cell division and the cell cycle     150
Polyploidy in plants     151
Seed formation and germination     151
The dividing meristem     151
Shoot apical meristem     152
Leaf primordia     153
Root apical meristem     154
The origin of root hairs     155
The origin of lateral roots     155
Flower development     155
Vascular cambium and secondary growth     157
Intercalary meristem     157
Cell death     157
Plant growth regulators and cell growth     159
Plant movement     161
Tropism and nastic movements     161
Tropic movements     161
Auxins and plant movement     161
Phototropism     163
Heliotropism     165
Gravitropism     166
Sensing gravity     167
Hydrotropism     167
Thigmotropism     167
Chemotropism     170
Nastic movements     171
Nyctinasty (sleep movements)     171
Seismonasty     171
Thermonasty     172
Epinasty     172
Circumnutation     174
Plants and stress     175
Adaptations to drought stress     175
Crassulacean acid metabolism     176
C4 photosynthesis     180
Resurrection plants     182
Adaptations to salt stress     184
Adaptations to flooding stress and anoxia     186
Adaptations to cold stress     187
Adaptations to heat stress     190
Plant senses and perceiving the world     193
Sensing light (sight)     193
Protochlorophyllide     193
Phytochromes      194
Seed germination     194
Shade-avoidance response     194
How do phytochromes work?     196
Phytochromes and ion movement     198
Phytochromes and regulation of gene expression     198
Cryptochrome     198
Sensing time     198
Circadian clock     198
Photoperiodism     199
Sensing touch (feeling)     201
Sensing wind and vibrations     201
Sensing chemicals (taste)     202
Communicating (smell)     204
Ethylene     204
Ripening fruits     205
Pathogenic defence and stress responses     206
Abscission     206
Detection of ethylene     206
Jasmonic acid     207
Nitric oxide     207
Sensing sounds (hearing)     207
Seed dispersal, dormancy and germination     211
Seed dispersal     211
Gravity-mediated dispersal     211
Wind-mediated dispersal     211
Water-mediated dispersal     213
Animal-mediated dispersal     213
Importance of post-dispersal mechanisms     214
Dormancy and germination      215
Recalcitrant seeds     215
Dormant seeds     216
Factors governing dormancy and germination     217
Presence of germination inhibitors     217
Presence of inhibitory tissues     218
Presence of germination promoters     218
Light     218
Temperature     219
Oxygen     219
Soil conditions     220
Gibberellic acid     220
Cytokinins     221
Ethylene     221
Smoke signals     221
Pyrogenic flowering     222
Serotiny     222
The role of heat in fires     222
Chemicals in smoke that trigger germination     223
Interactions with the animal kingdom     225
Animal-mediated pollination     225
Mimicry in plants     227
Batesian mimicry     227
Mimicry of toxic or poisonous species     227
Rewardless flowering     227
Lithops     230
Grass species as crop weeds     231
Mullerian mimicry     231
Aggressive mimicry     231
Egg mimics     231
The bee orchids     232
Pollination in the Araceae     234
Seed dispersal and food reserves: the role of humans     235
Plant defences     239
Physical defence structures     239
The cuticle     241
The cell wall     242
The cell wall as a passive barrier     242
The cell wall as an active barrier     242
Poisons by injection or touch     243
Chemical defences     243
Terpenes     244
Pyrethrins     244
Phenolic-based defence chemicals     245
Coumarins     245
Isoflavenoids     246
Tannins     247
Nitrogen-containing organic compounds     248
Non-protein amino acids     249
Proteinase and amylase inhibitors     249
Cyanogenic glycosides     249
Glycosinolates     250
Lectins     251
Alkaloids     251
Defence reactions and signal pathways     251
Jasmonic acid     252
Salicylic acid     252
Systemin     252
Phytoalexins     252
Allelopathy     252
Recognizing self     253
Mimicry and the enrolment of other organisms for protection     254
Plants and medicines     257
Doctrine of signatures     257
Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis)     257
Greater celandine (Chelidonium majus)     257
Viper's bugloss (Echium vulgare)     259
Common self-heal (Prunella vulgaris)     259
Sage (Salvia officinalis)     259
Ethnobotany     259
The origins of aspirin     261
The origins of antimalarial drugs     261
St. John's Wort (Hypericum spp.)     262
Natural alternatives to Viagra     262
Natural treatments for AIDS     263
A cure for certain cancers     264
Vincristine and vinblastine     265
Etoposide and teniposide     266
Topotecan and irinotecan     266
Taxol     266
Sustainable development of medicines from plants     267
Plant tissue culture and the rise of plant biotechnology     269
The development of plant tissue culture media     269
Components of the medium     269
Major elements     270
Minor elements     270
Carbohydrates     271
Vitamins     272
Plant growth regulators     272
Auxins     272
Cytokinins     273
Gibberellins     273
Abscisic acid     274
Tissue culture sterility     274
Types of plant tissue culture     275
Applications of plant tissue culture     276
Micropropagation     277
Cloning     277
Genetic manipulation     277
Hybridization     279
Dihaploid plants     280
Removal of viruses from plant tissues     281
Generation of somaclonal variation     281
Remarkable plants     283
Insect mimicry in the orchidaceae     283
Venus flytrap     284
The oldest and biggest plants in the world     286
Tallest plants     289
Cycads     289
Welwitschia mirabilis     289
The castor bean plant     290
Garlic     291
Theobroma cacao     292
Wheat and agriculture     292
Glossary     297
Index     301
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