It is divided into four parts: Part 1: Genes and Cells, looks at the origins of plants, cell structure, biochemical processes and genes and development. Part 2: The Functioning Plant, describes the structure and function of roots, stems, leaves, flowers and seed and fruit development. Part 3: Interactions and Adaptations, examines environmental and biotic stresses and how plants adapt and acclimatise to these conditions. Part 4: Future Directions, illustrates the great importance of plant research by looking at some well chosen, topical examples such as GM crops, biomass and bio-fuels, loss of plant biodiversity and the question of how to feed the planet.
Throughout the book there are text boxes to illustrate particular aspects of how humans make use of plants, and a comprehensive glossary proves invaluable to those coming to the subject from other areas of life science.
Since the last edition was published, the role of applied science in agricultural production has been brought into greater focus as fluctuations in global food production feed through into prices and availability to consumers. At the same time, technological advances are changing the way plant science is done.
This Second Edition has been expanded to include specific chapters on the leading crops and crop-types, as well as updated chapters on plant development, photosynthesis, metabolism, nutrition, reproduction, seed biology, plant pests and diseases, weed biology, and responses to environmental stresses. The updated chapters reflect progress, particularly in genome sequencing and molecular genetics and biotechnology, including genetic modification, that have taken place since the first edition was published. In addition, the book places these developments in the wider context of biodiversity, food security, intellectual property, and ethical considerations.
Presents complete, up-to-date, authoritative information on over 25 separate areas of plant science, covering both theory and applicationsEdited and written by a distinguished international group of editors and contributorsProvides concise, easy to read gateway entries to topics, each supplemented with a further reading list that allows practitioners, students, and researchers to delve deeper into each topic