[Plant-education] Re: plant physiology textbooks?

David R. Hershey via plant-ed%40net.bio.net (by dh321 At excite.com)
Mon Jan 15 18:44:43 EST 2007

Hopkins & Huner (2003) and Taiz & Zeiger (2006) seem to be the two main
choices for a recent plant physiology text. Salisbury and Ross (1992)
and Mohr and Schopfer (1995) are older texts that are still available.
There are also several recent texts from India (Jain 2005, Pradhan
2000, Sharma 2004, Sinha 2004). A landscape plant physiology course at
the University of Tennessee uses Williams (2002) as the main text.

Landscape Plant Physiology course at University of Tennessee

The field of plant physiology has changed dramatically since I earned a
Ph.D. in the subject in 1986. Molecular biology techniques are standard
in much of plant physiology research so students need to be exposed to
that kind of research somewhere in the curriculum. North Carolina State
University has a junior level course in Whole Plant Physiology and a
senior level course in Plant Physiology, which covers the biochemical,
cell and molecular aspects. Older, but still relevant information is
always being displaced from textbooks to make room for new knowledge.
Meyer et al. (1973) had a table of stomatal densities for 39 species,
which I have often found useful as a reference. Some newer plant
physiology texts do not even have the term stomatal density in their

In the first plant physiology course I took, the instructor provided
typed lecture notes (with a few blank sections that students had to
fill in during the lectures), and the text was used mainly for
background reading. There are instructors who use Taiz and Zeiger's
text and still seem to cover mainly traditional plant physiology

Plant Physiology course at College of St. Benedict/St. John's

Plant Physiology course at University of Minnesota, Crookton

Plant Physiology: Plants in Action course at University of Western

The shift away from organismal coverage is an ongoing problem. Many
biology departments long ago shifted from a two-semester zoology and
botany sequence to a two-semester biology sequence that minimized
organismal topics and especially plant topics.

An instructor can add more organismal coverage with supplementary
reading material. The journal, Plant Physiology, has all articles over
a year old online for free. Many of the older articles deal with whole
plant physiology and are not overly technical. American Journal of
Botany, Physiologia Plantarum, Botanical Gazette, Annals of Botany, New
Phytologist, and other journals have older articles on whole plant
physiology. Salisbury and Ross (1992) had a chapter on "Photosynthesis:
Environmental and Agricultural Aspects" and several relevant essays on
organismal topics. The New Phytologist has dozens of Tansley Reviews
available free online. Professor Saupe has an informative webpage on
why sap flows in sugar maple.

Biology of Maple Sap Flow

Other relevant organismal topics might be

- Cut flower physiology, including preservatives to extend vase life of
cut flowers
- Post harvest physiology of fruits and vegetables
- Photoperiod control for commercial flower production
- Physiology of carnivorous plants, including Charles Darwin's work
- Phytoremediation of contaminated soils
- Irrigation water quality effects on plant growth
- Container soil physical property effects on plant growth
- Forcing flower bulbs
- Commercial acclimatization of houseplants
- Commercial use of chemical plant growth retardants, such as Alar
- Carbon dioxide enrichment in commercial greenhouses
- What physiological problems occur when plants are grown in the space
- Why is a plant in an outside container killed over the winter but the
same species planted in the ground survives?
- Why don't houseplant fertilizers (e.g. Miracle-Gro) work in
- Why is distilled water harmful to plant roots?
- Is there any basis for widespread claims that music or talking
affects plant growth?
- Is there any basis for widespread claims that hydroponic crop
production gives much higher yields than crop production in soil?
- Why do many deciduous oak trees retain their dead leaves over the
- Why do many ornamental trees and shrubs bloom in midwinter in the
Northeastern U.S. when the winter is mild?
- Who are some famous plant physiologists? (the journal Plant
Physiology had a series of brief biographies of famous plant

David R. Hershey


Hopkins, W.G. & Huner, N.P.A. 2003. Introduction to Plant Physiology,
3rd ed. Wiley.

Jain, V.K. 2005. Fundamentals of Plant Physiology, 8th ed. S. Chand &
Co Ltd., India.

Meyer, B.S., Anderson, D.B., Bohning, R.H. and Fratianne, D.G. 1973.
Introduction to Plant Physiology, 2nd ed. NY: D. Van Nostrand.

Mohr, H. and Schopfer, P. 1995. Plant Physiology. Berlin:

Pradhan, S. 2000. Plant Physiology. Har Anand Publications, India.

Salisbury, F.B. and Ross, C.W. 1992. Plant Physiology, 4th ed.,

Sharma, R. 2004. An Introduction to Plant Physiology. Campus Books

Sinha, R.K. 2004. Modern Plant Physiology. Alpha Science International,

Taiz, L. & Zeiger, E. (eds.). 2006. Plant Physiology, 4th ed. Sinauer.

Teaching a Plant Physiology Laboratory Course for the First Time?

Williams, P. 2003. Digging Deeper: Understanding How Your Garden Works.

Fisher, Roxanne wrote:
> Dear Plant-ed folks:
> What do you all think about plant physiology textbooks?  I am teaching
> plant phys for the first time in a few years and I took a quick look at
> the latest edition of Taiz and Zeiger and chose it.  Now I'm realizing
> that this latest edition is really focused on molecular genetics and
> high tech cell bio and doesn't cover the traditional topics in a more
> organismal way.  Since many of my students are environmental science
> students or sophomores who haven't had cell biology beyond intro bio,
> this is not a good fit.  I do have an exam copy of Hopkins and Huner
> which seems to be more balanced.  Any thoughts on these texts or
> suggestions on other texts?
> Thanks!
> Roxanne
> ************************************************************************
> *********
> Roxanne Fisher (rfisher At chatham.edu)
> Assistant Professor of Biology
> Buhl Hall
> Chatham College
> Woodland Road
> Pittsburgh, PA 15232
> (412)365-1893
> ************************************************************************
> *********

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