Diversity

What Organisms are Studied by Botanists

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Introduction: Botany is more than the biology of plants in the strictly modern sense. Botany includes the study of all organisms that were once considered to be plants according to the old two-kingdom system of classification where all organisms were considered to be either plant or animal. Today the discipline encompasses the direct study of prokaryotic organisms (Domains Archaea and Bacteria) and members of three of the four kingdoms of Eukaryotes (Domain Eukarya). Of the major groups of organisms, only the taxonomy of animals is not directly considered. Even animals, however, are studied for their roles as herbivores, pollinators, seed dispersers etc. In Botany 130, we will study organisms from the domain Bacteria, and from the domain Eukarya, including members of the kingdoms Fungi, Protista and Plantae.

Instructional Objectives: Our objectives are explicit from our lab manual. These pages serve to aid you in reviewing what you observed in lab. In every case, you should recognize organisms seen in lab to Domain. In the lab manual is a list of phylogenetic groups beyond domain that you should recognize. Further, you should recognize those characteristics shared by members of a given taxonomic group as described n the lab manual. While in many cases you cannot directly observe these characteristics (for example you will not test for chitin in the cell walls of a fungus) you should integrate these ideas from lecture to what you observe in lab (you should know that the walls of Penicillium are made up of chitin).

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