UPSC » UPSC – Botany Syllabus

UPSC – Botany Syllabus


1. Microbiology and Plant Pathology : 

Structure and reproduction/multiplication of viruses,viroids, bacteria, fungi and mycoplasma;  Applications of microbiology in agriculture, industry, medicine and in control of soil and water pollution;  Prion and Prion hypothesis. 

Important crop diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, mycoplasma, fungi and nematodes; Modes of  infection and dissemination; Molecular basis of infection and disease resistance/defence; Physiology of  parasitism and control measures. Fungal toxins. Modelling and disease forecasting; Plant quarantine. 

2. Cryptogams : 

Algae, fungi, lichens, bryophytes, pteridophytes-structure and reproduction from evolutionary  viewpoint; Distribution of Cryptogams in India and their ecological and economic importance. 

3. Phanerogams :  

Gymnosperms : Concept of Progymnosperms. Classification and distribution of gymnosperms.  Salient features of Cycadales, Ginkgoales, Coniferales and Gnetales, their structure and reproduction.  General account of Cycadofilicales, Bennettitales and Cordiaitailes; Geological time scale; Type of fossils  and their study techniques. 

Angiosperms : Systematics, anatomy, embryology, palynology and phylogency. 

Taxonomic hierarchy; International Code of Botanical Nomenclature; Numerical taxomomy and  chemotaxomomy; Evidence from anatomy, embryology and palynology. 

Origin and evolution of angiosperms; Comparative account of various systems of classification of  angiosperms; Study of angiospermic families— Mangnoliaceae, Ranunculaceae, Brassicaceae, Rosaceae,  Fabaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Malvaceae, Dipterocarpaceae, Apiaceae, Asclepiadaceae, Verbenaceae,  Solanaceae, Rubiaceae, Cucurbitaceae, Asteraceae, Poaceae, Arecaceae, Liliaceae, Musaceae and  Orchidaceae. 

Stomata and their types; Glandular and non-glandular trichomes; Unusual secondary growth;  Anatomy of C3 and C4 plants; Xylem and phloem differentiation; Wood anatomy. 

Development of male and female gametophytes, pollination, fertilization; Endosperm—its  development and function. Patterns of embryo development; Polyembroyony, apomixes; Applications of  palynology; Experimental embryology including pollen storage and test-tube fertilization.

4. Plant Resource Development : 

Domestication and introduction of plants; Origin of cultivated plants, Vavilov’s centres of origin.  Plants as sources for food, fodder, fibres, spices, beverages, edible oils, drugs, narcotics, insecticides,  timber, gums, resins and dyes; latex, cellulose, starch and its products; Perfumery; Importance of  Ethnobotany in Indian context; Energy plantations; Botanical Gardens and Herbaria. 

5. Morphogenesis : 

Totipotency, polarity, symmetry and differentiation; Cell, tissue, organ and protoplast culture.  Somatic hybrids and Cybrids; Micropropagation; Somaclonal variation and its applications; Pollen  haploids, embryo rescue methods and their applications.


1. Cell Biology : 

Techniques of cell biology. Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells—structural and ultrastructural details;  Structure and function of extracellular matrix (cell wall) and membranes-cell adhesion, membrane  transport and vesicular transport; Structure and function of cell organelles (chloroplasts, mitochondria,  ER, dictyosomes ribosomes, endosomes,lysosomes, peroxisomes; Cytoskelaton and microtubules;  Nucleus, nucleolus, nuclear pore complex; Chromatin and nucleosome; Cell signalling and cell receptors;  Signal transduction Mitosis and meiosis; molecular basis of cell cycle. Numerical and structural  variations in chromosomes and their significance; Chromatin organization and packaging of genome;  Polytene chromosomes; B-chromosomes—structure, behaviour and significance. 

2. Genetics, Molecular Biology and Evolution : 

Development of genetics, and gene versus allele concepts (Pseudoalleles); Quantitative genetics and  multiple factors; Incomplete dominance, polygenic inheritance, multiple alleles; Linkage and crossing over  of gene mapping including molecular maps (idea of mapping, function); Sex chromosomes and sex-linked  inheritance; sex determination and molecular basis of sex differentiation; Mutations (biochemical and  molecular basis); Cytoplasmic inheritance and cytoplasmic genes (including genetics of male sterility).  

Structure and synthesis of nucleic acids and proteins; Genetic code and regulation of gene  expression; Gene silencing; Multigene families; Organic evolution-evidences, mechanism and theories. 

Role of RNA in origin and evolution. 

3. Plant Breeding, Biotechnology and Biostatistics : 

Methods of plant breeding—introduction, selection and hybridization (pedigree, backcross, mass  selection, bulk method); Mutation, polyploidy, male sterility and heterosis breeding. Use of apomixes in  plant breeding; DNA sequencing; Genetic engineering—methods of transfer of genes; Transgenic crops and  biosafety aspects; Development and use of molecular markers in plant breeding; Tools and techniques— 

probe, southern blotting, DNA fingerprinting, PCR and FISH. Standard deviation and coefficient of  variation (CV). Tests of significance (Z-test, t-test and chi-square tests). Probability and distributions  (normal, binomial and Poisson). Correlation and regression. 

4. Physiology and Biochemistry :  

Water relations, mineral nutrition and ion transport, mineral deficiencies. Photosynthesis— photochemical reactions, photophosphorylation and carbon fixation pathways; C3, C4 and CAM  pathways; Mechanism of pholem transport, Respiration (anerobic and aerobic, including fermentation)— electron transport chain and oxidative phosphorylation; Photorespiration; Chemiosmotic theory and ATP  synthesis; Lipid metabolism; Nitrogen fixation and nitrogen metabolism. Enzymes, coenzymes; Energy  transfer and energy conservation. Importance of secondary metabolites. Pigments as photoreceptors  (plastidial pigments and phytochrome). Plant movements; Photoperiodism and flowering, vernalization,  senescence; Growth substances—their chemical nature, role and applications in agri-horticulture; growth  indices, growth movements. Stress physiology (heat, water, salinity, metal); Fruit and seed physiology.  Dormancy, storage and germination of seed. Fruit ripening—its molecular basis and manipulation.

5. Ecology and Plant Geography :  

Concept of ecosystem; Ecological factors. Concepts and dynamics of community; Plant succession.  Concepts of biosphere; Ecosystems; Conservation; Pollution and its control (including phytoreme-diation); Plant indicators; Environment (Protection) Act. 

Forest types of India—‘Ecological and ecomomic importance of forests, afforestation, deforestation  and social forestry; Endangered plants, endemism IUCN categories, Red Data Books; Biodiversity and its  conservation; Protected Area Network; Convention of Biological Diversity, Farmers’ Rights; and Intellectual  Property Rights; Concept of Sustainable Development; Biogeochemical cycles. Global warming and  climatic change; Invasive species; Environmetal Impact Assessment; Phytogeographical regions of India.