Plant Science

Agriculture focusses on the subject Plant Science. Plant cells are immobile, encased in a fixed cell wall. Unlike animal cells, migration and programmed cell death play less role in the patterning of plant cells fates, nor can they move when their environment changes. If the supply of food is less or if there is a predator, animals can move, fight or fly. But plants cannot. They have to adapt constantly to their environment and their development is highly plastic. Development of the animal is mostly embryonic. The shape of the body is defined during embryogenesis and the adult derive from the enlargement of the embryo. In contrast, in plants, most of the development takes place post-embryonically and never ceases. In fact, because plants can't escape from their physical locations, they adapt and "escape" through development. When there is a lack of nutrients or energy, the plant develops its root system to explore the ground or its aerial system to get some light. Under attack from a pathogen or herbivore, the plant is able to synthesize signalling molecules to change its development and defend itself.

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