100 List of Plant Physiology Terms and Their Explanations

Joko Warino S.P M.Si

100 List of Plant Physiology Terms and Their Explanations

Plant physiology is a branch of biology that focuses on the study of how plants function, grow, and respond to their environment.

It encompasses a wide range of research topics related to the internal processes and mechanisms that govern the life of plants.

List of Plant Physiology Terms and Their Explanations

Plant physiology is the study of how plants function and respond to their environment.

Here is a list of some common plant physiology terms and their explanations:

  1. Photosynthesis: The process by which green plants and some other organisms convert sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water into glucose (sugar) and oxygen, using chlorophyll and other pigments.
  2. Transpiration: The loss of water vapor from the aerial parts of a plant, primarily through small openings called stomata on leaves and stems.
  3. Respiration: The metabolic process in plants where organic compounds (usually sugars) are broken down in the presence of oxygen to release energy and produce carbon dioxide and water as byproducts.
  4. Stomata: Small pores or openings found primarily on the leaves and stems of plants that allow for gas exchange, including the intake of carbon dioxide and the release of oxygen and water vapor.
  5. Chloroplast: A specialized organelle within plant cells where photosynthesis occurs, containing chlorophyll and other pigments that capture sunlight energy.
  6. Chlorophyll: A green pigment in chloroplasts that plays a central role in capturing light energy during photosynthesis.
  7. Xylem: A complex tissue in plants that conducts water and minerals from the roots to the rest of the plant.
  8. Phloem: A tissue in plants that transports sugars, amino acids, and other organic compounds from where they are produced (usually leaves) to other parts of the plant.
  9. Turgor Pressure: The pressure exerted by the fluid (usually water) inside plant cells, which helps maintain cell shape and provides support to non-woody plant structures.
  10. Hormones: Chemical messengers produced by plants that regulate various physiological processes, such as growth, development, and response to environmental stimuli. Examples include auxins, gibberellins, and abscisic acid.
  11. Photoperiodism: The response of plants to the length of daylight or darkness, which influences processes like flowering and dormancy.
  12. Phototropism: The tendency of plants to grow or bend toward a light source, driven by the hormone auxin.
  13. Gravitropism (Geotropism): The response of plants to gravity, where roots typically grow downward (positive gravitropism) and stems grow upward (negative gravitropism).
  14. Osmosis: The movement of water molecules across a selectively permeable membrane from an area of lower solute concentration to an area of higher solute concentration.
  15. Abscisic Acid (ABA): A plant hormone that plays a role in stress response, including drought tolerance and seed dormancy.
  16. Ethylene: A plant hormone involved in fruit ripening, leaf abscission (shedding), and other physiological responses.
  17. Cytokinin: A plant hormone that promotes cell division and is involved in various aspects of growth and development.
  18. Gibberellins: Plant hormones that regulate stem elongation, germination, and flowering.
  19. Photoreceptors: Proteins in plant cells that sense light and play a role in various photomorphogenic responses, such as phototropism and de-etiolation.
  20. Senescence: The natural aging and deterioration of plant tissues and organs, often accompanied by leaf yellowing and death.
  21. Apical Meristem: The region of actively dividing cells at the tips of roots and shoots, responsible for primary growth and lengthening of plant structures.
  22. Lateral Meristem: Tissues that contribute to secondary growth in woody plants, such as the vascular cambium and cork cambium, which produce secondary xylem and phloem.
  23. Vascular Bundles: Clusters of xylem and phloem tissues within a plant stem, leaf, or root that transport water, nutrients, and sugars throughout the plant.
  24. Guard Cells: Specialized cells surrounding stomata that regulate their opening and closing to control gas exchange and water loss.
  25. Parenchyma Cells: The most common type of plant cell, involved in various functions, including photosynthesis, storage, and wound healing.
  26. Sclerenchyma Cells: Plant cells with thick, rigid cell walls, often providing structural support in mature plant tissues. They are divided into fibers and sclereids.
  27. Macronutrients: Essential elements required by plants in relatively large quantities for growth and development, including nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K).
  28. Micronutrients (Trace Elements): Essential elements required by plants in smaller quantities, such as iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), and zinc (Zn).
  29. Endodermis: A single layer of cells surrounding the vascular cylinder in roots that regulates the movement of water and nutrients from the root cortex into the vascular tissue.
  30. Mycorrhizae: Symbiotic associations between plant roots and beneficial fungi that enhance nutrient uptake, especially phosphorus.
  31. Translocation: The movement of sugars and other organic compounds through the phloem from source (where they are produced) to sink (where they are utilized or stored) tissues.
  32. Photophosphorylation: The process in which light energy is used to add a phosphate group to ADP (adenosine diphosphate) to form ATP (adenosine triphosphate) during photosynthesis.
  33. CAM Photosynthesis (Crassulacean Acid Metabolism): A variant of photosynthesis found in some succulent plants, where carbon dioxide is absorbed at night and stored for use during the day to reduce water loss.
  34. Nitrogen Fixation: The conversion of atmospheric nitrogen gas (N2) into ammonia (NH3) or other nitrogen compounds by nitrogen-fixing bacteria or symbiotic relationships (e.g., legume plants and rhizobia).
  35. Phytochromes: Photoreceptor proteins in plants that perceive red and far-red light, influencing processes like seed germination and flowering.
  36. Hydrotropism: Plant growth responses to water, where roots grow toward sources of moisture.
  37. Ethnobotany: The study of the relationship between plants and humans, including their cultural, historical, and economic significance.
  38. Epiphyte: A plant that grows on another plant (usually a tree) but does not derive nutrients from it; instead, it absorbs nutrients from the air and rain.
  39. Nitrogen Cycle: The natural cycling of nitrogen through various forms and compounds in the environment, including its uptake by plants and return to the soil.
  40. Salinity Stress: Adverse effects on plants due to high salt concentrations in the soil, which can disrupt water uptake and nutrient absorption.
  41. Absorption Spectrum: The range of wavelengths of light that a pigment or substance absorbs, often used to study photosynthetic pigments like chlorophyll.
  42. Transcription Factors: Proteins that regulate gene expression by binding to specific DNA sequences and controlling the transcription of genes involved in various plant processes.
  43. Photoinhibition: The damage or reduction in photosynthetic efficiency that occurs when plants are exposed to excessive light, particularly when the rate of light absorption exceeds the capacity for photosynthesis.
  44. Osmotic Potential: The pressure exerted by solute particles in a solution that affects the movement of water, influencing processes like water uptake by plant roots.
  45. Drought Stress: The physiological and biochemical responses of plants to a lack of water, including wilting, reduced growth, and altered metabolic processes.
  46. Transgenic Plants: Plants that have had foreign genes (often from other species) inserted into their genome to confer specific traits or characteristics, such as pest resistance or increased nutritional value.
  47. Nitrate Reductase: An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of nitrate (NO3-) into nitrite (NO2-) during the process of nitrate assimilation in plants.
  48. Stomatal Conductance: The rate at which stomata are open and allow for the exchange of gases (such as CO2 and O2) between the plant and the atmosphere.
  49. Rhizosphere: The soil region directly influenced by the root exudates and interactions with root-associated microorganisms, which can affect nutrient availability and plant health.
  50. Photomorphogenesis: The developmental changes in plants in response to light, including processes like seed germination, stem elongation, and leaf expansion.
  51. Allelopathy: The production of chemical compounds by plants that inhibit or promote the growth of other nearby plants, affecting plant interactions and competition.
  52. Photopigments: Pigments, such as phytochromes and cryptochromes, that are sensitive to specific wavelengths of light and play a role in various light-mediated responses in plants.
  53. Drought Tolerance: The ability of plants to survive and maintain their physiological functions under prolonged periods of water scarcity.
  54. Apoptosis: A programmed cell death process in plants, which is crucial for development and response to stress.
  55. Secondary Metabolites: Chemical compounds produced by plants that are not directly involved in primary metabolic processes but often have important ecological and physiological functions, such as defense against herbivores and pathogens.
  56. Epigenetics: Heritable changes in gene expression and phenotype that do not involve alterations in the DNA sequence itself but are influenced by factors like DNA methylation and histone modification.
  57. Phototaxis: The movement of plant organs or cells in response to light, such as the orientation of leaves or stems toward light sources.
  58. Tropisms: Plant growth responses to environmental stimuli, including phototropism (light), geotropism (gravity), and thigmotropism (touch).
  59. Nitrogen-Fixing Plants: Certain plants, like legumes, that have a symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria in their root nodules, allowing them to convert atmospheric nitrogen into a usable form for themselves and neighboring plants.
  60. Translocation: The movement of organic compounds, such as sugars and amino acids, through the phloem from source to sink tissues for growth, storage, or energy production.
  61. Photoinhibition: The process by which excessive light exposure damages the photosynthetic apparatus of plants, leading to reduced photosynthetic efficiency and potential harm to plant cells.
  62. Phenology: The study of seasonal changes in plant life cycles, including flowering, leafing, and fruiting, in response to environmental cues like temperature and day length.
  63. Adventitious Roots: Roots that develop from non-root tissues, such as stems or leaves, often serving functions like anchoring and nutrient uptake.
  64. Sucrose: A disaccharide sugar composed of glucose and fructose, commonly transported through the phloem as the primary product of photosynthesis.
  65. Nitrogen Uptake: The process by which plants absorb nitrogen from the soil in the form of ammonium (NH4+) or nitrate (NO3-) ions for use in various metabolic processes.
  66. Plasmodesmata: Small channels that connect plant cells, allowing for direct communication and transport of molecules between adjacent cells.
  67. Endomycorrhizae: A type of mycorrhizal association where fungi penetrate the root cells of the host plant, facilitating nutrient exchange.
  68. Parasitic Plants: Plants that obtain nutrients from other plants by attaching to their host’s vascular system and extracting water and nutrients, often without photosynthesizing much themselves.
  69. Photoreceptor: A protein or pigment molecule in plant cells that detects light and initiates specific cellular responses, such as phototropism.
  70. Senescence: The programmed aging and deterioration of plant tissues or organs, often leading to the shedding of leaves and the recycling of nutrients.
  71. Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC): A measure of a soil’s ability to retain and exchange positively charged ions (cations) like calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+), and potassium (K+), important for nutrient availability to plants.
  72. Nitrogen Fixation: The biological process by which certain bacteria convert atmospheric nitrogen gas (N2) into ammonia (NH3), making it available to plants as a nitrogen source.
  73. Ethylene: A gaseous plant hormone that regulates various processes, including fruit ripening, senescence, and responses to stress.
  74. Guard Cell Turgor: Changes in water pressure within guard cells that regulate stomatal opening and closing to control gas exchange and transpiration.
  75. Drought Avoidance: Strategies employed by plants to minimize water loss and maintain adequate hydration during dry periods, such as reducing leaf size or curling leaves.
  76. Casparian Strip: A band of waxy material in the endodermis of plant roots that acts as a barrier, controlling the movement of water and ions into the vascular tissue.
  77. Indole-3-Acetic Acid (IAA): A natural auxin hormone that plays a key role in plant growth and development, including cell elongation and phototropism.
  78. Halophyte: Plants adapted to grow in saline or salty environments, possessing mechanisms to tolerate or exclude salt from their tissues.
  79. C3 Plants: Plants that utilize the C3 photosynthetic pathway, characterized by the initial fixation of carbon dioxide into a three-carbon compound during photosynthesis.
  80. C4 Plants: Plants that utilize the C4 photosynthetic pathway, which involves the initial fixation of carbon dioxide into a four-carbon compound, enhancing photosynthetic efficiency in hot and arid conditions.
  81. Plant Pathogen: Microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses, that cause diseases in plants, disrupting normal physiological processes.
  82. Systemic Acquired Resistance (SAR): A defense response in plants triggered by exposure to pathogens, resulting in increased resistance to future infections throughout the plant.
  83. Water Potential: The measure of water’s potential energy in a system, including its osmotic potential (related to solute concentration) and pressure potential (related to physical pressure).
  84. Hormone Transport: The movement of plant hormones, such as auxins and cytokinins, throughout the plant, often through the phloem, to regulate growth and development.
  85. Parenchyma Cells: Versatile plant cells with thin cell walls, often involved in photosynthesis, storage, and wound healing.
  86. Rhizome: A horizontal, underground stem that serves as a storage organ and a means of vegetative reproduction in some plants.
  87. Ethylene Gas: A plant hormone that regulates fruit ripening, leaf abscission, and responses to stress, often used in agriculture to control fruit maturation.
  88. Deciduous Plants: Plants that shed their leaves in response to seasonal changes, such as temperature or day length.
  89. Xerophyte: A plant adapted to arid or dry conditions, possessing specialized features like reduced leaves or water-storing tissues.
  90. Endocytosis: The process by which plant cells engulf and internalize materials, such as nutrients or signaling molecules, through invagination of the cell membrane.
  91. Apomixis: A mode of asexual reproduction in plants where seeds are produced without fertilization, resulting in offspring genetically identical to the parent plant.
  92. Vegetative Propagation: A method of plant reproduction in which new plants are produced from non-reproductive plant parts, such as stems or leaves.
  93. Phosphorespiration: The release of energy through the degradation of stored phosphates during dark respiration in plants.
  94. Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation: The mutualistic relationship between nitrogen-fixing bacteria and the roots of certain plants, such as legumes, which benefits both partners.
  95. Xerophytes: Plants adapted to thrive in dry, water-scarce environments, often with features like thick, waxy cuticles and reduced leaf surfaces.
  96. Apoplast: The non-living portion of plant tissue, including cell walls, that allows for the passive movement of water and solutes.
  97. Hydroponics: A method of growing plants without soil, where nutrients are provided in a nutrient solution, allowing precise control of nutrient availability.
  98. Guttation: The exudation of water droplets from the tips of leaves, usually occurring at night when transpiration is low and root pressure is high.
  99. Photoinhibition: The reduction in photosynthetic efficiency due to excessive light exposure, which can lead to damage to the photosynthetic apparatus.
  100. Growth Regulators: Chemical compounds that can promote or inhibit plant growth and development, including synthetic growth hormones used in agriculture and horticulture.

These are just a few of the many terms and concepts in the field of plant physiology.

The study of plant physiology is complex and encompasses a wide range of processes that allow plants to grow, adapt, and thrive in their environments.

Read Also : 100+ Terminology in Agronomy Along with Their Explanations



Joko Warino S.P M.Si

Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Joko Warino, a lecturer at one of the universities in Indonesia (Faculty of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, UIN Suska Riau Indonesia). My field of expertise is soil science.

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