Botany Syllabus

Botany Syllabus for UPSC

Botany Optional Subject has 2 papers (paper I and paper II) in civil services examination. Each paper is of 250 marks with a total of 500 marks. .

UPSC Botany Optional Paper I

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.

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. PAPER-II

3. Phanerogams :

Gymnosperms : Concept of Progymnospernis. 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, Rantmculaceae, 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.

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.

UPSC Botany Optional Paper-II

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.

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

IAS aspirants should note that Botany for UPSC can potentially increase their chances of selection. So, preparation should be thorough to be able to score well in this paper. Also, candidates should solve more questions from previous years’ UPSC question papers as well as from mock tests to be able to crack the UPSC Botany syllabus.