Department of Botany

Botany deals with the scientific study of plants. The study of Botany is important because it covers almost all animal life on Earth by generating a large proportion of oxygen that provides us and other organisms with aerobic respiration with the chemical energy that is essential to be alive. The various branches of botany includes Morphology, Anatomy, Histology, Cytology, Genetics, Plant physiology, Plant breeding, Embryology, Paleobotany, Ethnobotany, Economic Botany, Plant pathology, Taxonomy, Phytogeography, plant ecology, population genetics, cytotaxonomy, cytogenetics, phytochemistry, Biostatistics, Evolution, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Microbiology, Molecular biology, Palynology, Biometrics and Genetic engineering. Botany also relates to other scientific disciplines in many ways, especially to Agronomy, Horticulture, Pharmacognosy, Pedology, Zoology, Medicine, Chemistry, Forestry and Bioinformatics. The specialized areas of botanical information may relate closely to such humanistic fields as art, literature, history, religion, archaeology, sociology, and psychology.

Botanists apply their plant knowledge of characteristics and traits of crops, plants and flowers to influence the fields of medicine, science and cosmetics among others. Plants support basic daily functions of human life by providing food and nutrition, supplementing medicines and cosmetic products and serving as important ingredients in a variety of medicines which in turn used in many aspects of human life.

Botanists find employment in educational institutions (Teaching in high schools, community colleges and universities, Research associate, Technicians, Museum curators, Administrators), governmental and state agencies (Medicinal Plant Resources Laboratory, the Animal and Plant Inspection Service, the National Arboretum, Forest Service, The National Park Service, The Bureau of Land Management, The Geological Society, The Public Health Service, The State Department, Customs, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Recreation Services, Water Management Districts, Fish and Game Commissions and Utility Companies) and industry. City and municipality governments employ botanists as arborists, consultants and ecologists involved with city planning. Environmental organizations like the Nature Conservancy also need botanists. Industry and the private sector employ botanists in Pharmaceutical companies, Chemical companies, The oil industry, Lumber and paper companies, Plastics industry, Fruit growers, Food and beverage companies, Biological supply houses, Museums and botanical gardens, Publishing companies and Biotechnology firms.

About the Department

The Department of Botany was established in 1947 with graduate course in Botany under Madurai Kamaraj University, Tamilnadu. Now it is affiliated to Alagappa University, Karaikudi and it offers under graduate, post graduate and Ph.D courses in Botany. The department has a well equipped laboratory, renowned museum, Instrumentation room and fully furnished class rooms. The Department has identified various thrust areas of research viz. Plant systematics, Pharmacognosy, Phytochemistry, Seed Physiology, Environmental Sciences, Plant Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering. Steps are under way to start a fully-fledged laboratory in phytochemistry to give impetus to the medicinal plant research. As the glorious years roll in to the history of the department, it has developed by leaps and bounds contributing significantly to the development of the college and the society.

The Department has undertaken research projects in the areas of crop biotechnology, plant physiology, plant pathology, medicinal plant biology and secondary metabolites and algal biotechnology for which it has received generous funding from Government funding agencies like UGC, DBT, DST, CSIR, MOEF, TNSCST, TANSCHE etc. Many of the faculty members have active collaborations with scientists from Institutes in or outside India. The faculty members of the department have contributed vigorously to scientific world through scientific and research publications and have received many distinguished national and international awards. The faculty members are contributing to the academic world by editing journals. They have been on the editorial boards of many journals and are referees for both national and international journals. The faculty members are also on the panel of regional and national level expert committees.