Welcome to the Plant Biology Scientific Guide

The aim of this section is to offer guidance to plant biology students, and it is hoped to eventually include detailed information on all aspects of plant biology typically taught in Schools and colleges today. The information will be at quite a high level and standard, pitched at a level relevant to plant biology students, postgraduate researchers and anyone with an interest in furthering their botanic knowledge.

With this in mind we are pleased to make available the following articles in the plant biology guide.

Plant Salt Tolerance

Over 20% of arable land has salt levels that restrict the growth and yield of crop plants. A greater understanding of salt tolerance in plants should hopefully enable plant breeders to produce plants that are able to grow in saline soils. Subjects covered include the compartmentalisation and long distance transport of salt in plants and how plants deal with osmotic stress.


Cytokinins are an important plant hormone that play roles in cell proliferation and differentiation. These plant growth factors are also involved in many plant growth and developmental processes such as the control of nitrogen balance and the delay of senescence. Information is given on the biosyntheses of cytokinins and the regulation of cytokinins.

Flowering time

The timing of flowering is a critical factor for flowering plants, if it was to misfunction then it would be likely that reproduction would take place in non-optical conditions. The transition in flowering time that occurs from vegetative to reproductive growth is one of the major phase changes during the life cycle of a plant. The investigation of flowering time can potentially provide great commercial benefits by increasing crop plant yields.


The use of microarrays allows the rapid collection and mining of expression data of thousands of gene. This section gives an overview of microarray technology and feature an in depth look at affymetrix microarrays. It contains sections on how to best filter and analyse data, and drawbacks associated with the affymetrix arabidopsis microarray. Microarrays are able to provide information on the expression of a large number of genes; over 24000 in the case of the Affymetrix Arabidopsis microarray genome chip ATH1. This section will be useful for plant biologists who have an interest in using microarray technology to further their experiments.


Phytochromes help to mediate the plants development by allowing the plant to ascertain the external environment. There are two articles on phytochromes, namely what are phytochromes? and classification of phytochromes.

Leaf Senescence

Senescence of leaf tissue is beneficial to plants as it allows the transfer of nutrients from sources where it is no longer required to areas of development such as reproductive areas. Information is given on programmed cell death and the control of senescence.

Stomatal Development

Stomata help a plant to interact with its environment by allowing the exchange of gases and the retention of water. Much is known about stomatal development and this section starts with the question What are stomata?

Vitamin A and E biosynthesis

The biosynthesis of vitamin A and E takes place in the plastid and involves the Carotenoid (vitamin A) and Tocochromanol (vitamin E) pathways.

©2005-2015 Plant Biology Advice - Dean Ravenscroft