BOTN-5101                                                                                     Diversity of Plants                                                    4(3+1)

This course offers an evolutionary survey of the origin and diversification of land plants through geological time. The course will start with the green algae and on how plants may have transitioned from aquatic to the land environment. Land plants that will be discussed include bryophytes, lycophytes, pteridophytes, gymnosperms and angiosperms with emphasis on representative fossil and living taxa. Lectures will emphasize on life histories, anatomical and morphological adaptations, ecology and climate change, extinction, phylogenetics, economic importance, and conservation strategies of representative taxa. Plants are one of the most successful and abundant groups of organisms on earth, comprising the majority of terrestrial biomass, being integral to ecosystem structure, and providing humans with food, shelter, and materials. The laboratory will provide ample hands-on opportunities for analysis of plant anatomy and morphology, reproductive mechanisms, evolutionary adaptations, and identification of a variety of living and preserved specimens. Plants are multi-cellular and mostly photosynthetic organisms which found essentially everywhere, both in water and on land. Plants are really important for the planet and for all living things. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen from their leaves, which humans and other animals need to breathe.  


Comparative study of life form, structure, reproduction and economic significance of:

  1. Viruses (RNA and DNA types) with special reference to TMV
  2. Bacteria and Cyanobacteria (Nostoc, Anabaena, Oscillatoria) with specific reference to bio fertilizers, pathogenicity and industrial importance;
  3. Algae (Chlamydomonas, Spirogyra, Chara, Vaucheria, Pinnularia, Ectocarpus, Polysiphonia)
  4. Fungi (Mucor, Penicillium, Phyllactinia, Ustilago, Puccinia, Agaricus) their implication on crop production and industrial applications.
  5. Lichens (Physcia)
  6. Bryophytes (Riccia, Anthoceros, Funaria)
  7. Pteridophytes: Psilopsida (Psilotum) ,Pteropsida (Marsilea), Sphenopsida (Equisetum) Lycopsida (Selaginella)
  8. Gymnosperms (Cycas,Pinus, Ephedra)
  9. Angiosperms: Monocot (Poaceae) , Dicot (Solanaceae)

Lab work

  1. Culturing, maintenance, preservation and staining of microorganisms.
  2. Study of morphology and reproductive structures of the types mentioned in theory.
  3. Identification of various types mentioned from prepared slides and fresh collections.

Recommended Texts

  1. Bellinger, E. G., & Sigee, D. C. (2015). Freshwater Algae. New Jersey: Wiley Publishers.
  2. Prestre, P. G. (2017). Governing Global Biodiversity: The Evolution and Implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Abingdon: Routledge Publishers.

Suggested Readings

  1. Şen, B., & Grillo, O. (2018). Selected Studies in Biodiversity. London: Intech Open Publishers.
  2. Zotz, G. (2016). Plants on Plants: The biology of vascular epiphytes. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
  3. Cronk, J.  K., & Fennessy, M. S. (2016). Wetland plants: biology and ecology. Florida: CRC Press.
  4. Pullaiah T., Bahadur, B., & Murthy, K. (2015). Plant biodiversity. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

Assessment criteria:

  • Sessional (Attendance, assignment & presentation) 10 Marks
  • Practical Exam           15 Marks
  • Mid Term Exam         30 Marks
  • Final Term Marks       45 Marks

Course Material