Name: Introduction to Botany – James Schooley
Author: James Schooley
Publication: Delmer Publisher
Category: Medical Books
Size: 95.9 MB
Format: E-Book (PDF)
Total Pages: 414
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Summary : Introduction to Botany – James Schooley
The study of biology historically has been divided into two realms: botany, for plants, and zoology, for animals. This suggests that all living organisms are either plants or animals, a theory that presented little problem when applied to giraffes and elm trees. But when bacteria were discovered, there resulted some puzzlement regarding to which realm these organisms should be relegated. Further research and discoveries only increased the uncertainty until, in 1959, Professor R.H. Whittaker pro- posed a five-kingdom system as follows: Monera, Protista, Fungi, Plants, and Animals. Members of the Monera kingdom are prokaryotic (having no definite nuclei) cells such as bacteria and blue-green algae.
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Members of the Protista kingdom are eukaryotic (having true nuclei) cells. Members of the Fungi kingdom are plantlike but lack chlorophyll. Such organisms, therefore, do not manufacture car- bohydrate as do green plants, and must therefore live as either parasites or saprophytes (organisms that live on dead matter). Because people are so accustomed to classifylng organisms as either plant or animal, this system has been slow to take hold. And while this five-kingdom system does not solve all problems relating to classification, it does constitute a step forward. It is thus the system of clas- sification employed in this text. The author wishes to thank Dr. Knut Norstog, formerly editor of the American Journal of Botany, first, for his friendship, and second, for helping to put in clear language some comments regarding the ori- gin of seed plants.
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The author also wishes to express appreciation to the following, all at Delmar Publishers: Cathy Esperti, acquisitions editor, for fine-tuning the manuscript; Wendy Troeger, who worked on art and book manufacturing; and Maura Theriault and Suzanne Fronk, for their work in marketing. Appreciation is also expressed to those other professionals at Delmar Publishers who aided this work without even making themselves known, and to Thomas J. Gagliano, Gagliano Graphics, Albuquerque, New Mexico for the illustrations. Finally, the author wishes to thank the following reviewers, who provided constructive comments and input: The study of botany very properly begins with a few comments Notes &! about the origin of life. How did life come about?
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Further, knowing that organisms are composed of cells, we concur with what Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902) said in 1858: that “all cells come from previously existing cells.” Our common sense tells us so. Yet, this is modem-day common sense. Common sense in other times told people quite a different thing. They saw earthworms arising from the mud, especially after a rain. The saw maggots coming out of the garbage. They saw evidence all around them of life arising from nonliving precursors-of the spontaneous generation of life. In fact, Jan van Helmont (1577-1644) passed on a recipe for making mice: put some old rags in a dark comer, sprin- kle some grains of wheat on the rags, and in twenty-one days you have mice. The mice presumably generated spontaneously.
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Francesco Redi (1626-1697) was the first to investigate the theory of spontaneous generation of life. He took two dishes of meat, covered one with gauze, left the other dish uncovered, and let both dishes stand for a time. While the meat in both dishes decayed, only the uncovered dish developed maggots. Redi’s experiment did not disprove the spontaneous generation of life, however; it disproved only the spontaneous generation of maggots. Here, then, was microscopically sized life; and while the spontaneous gen- eration of maggots had been disproven, and the “creation” of mice by rags in a dark corner seemed unlikely, surely these extremely small creatures must have arisen from a nonliving precursor.
Lazzaro Spallanzani (1729-1799) was a skilled experimenter who studied blood circulation, respiration, digestion, the senses of bats, and the breeding of eels. His name belongs here, however, because of his experiments with bacteria. He repeated John Needham’s experiments. But after boiling the broth to destroy the microorganisms, he drew out the neck of the flask and sealed it against any further invasion by organisms. When he broke open the flask after several days and examined the contents for microorganisms, none could be found. This may appear to be a turning point in the study of the origin of life. Another hundred years would pass before Louis Pasteur’s series of experiments in 1859 finally put to rest the concept of spontaneous generation of life.
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