Plant physiology

Plant physiology. The processes governing the life of plants: the ways they absorb water and minerals, the ways they grow, develop, and bear fruit, photosynthetic processes, respiration, biosynthesis and storage of the necessary substances, and so on. Knowledge of plant physiology provides a basis for the rational planting and of crops, their acclimatization, and the maintenance of proper ecological balance (see Crop cultivation).

The founder of the Ukrainian school of plant physiologists was Yevhen Votchal, who investigated the relationship between photosynthesis and water metabolism. His students and followers include Volodymyr Zalensky (who studied water balance regulation in plants), V. Kolkunov (who studied the correlation between the anatomic structure of beet roots and their sugar content), and Volodymyr Liubymenko (who discovered that the chlorophyll present in chloroplast is bound to proteins and does not exist in a free state). Other Ukrainian plant physiologists include Mykola H. Kholodny (auxins), A. Nychyporovych (the composition of the organic substances produced by a plant and its relationship to the conditions of photosynthesis), Yosyp Baranetsky (the water regimen of plants and their resistance to drought), Dmytro Hrodzinsky (plant biophysics), R. Butenko (the physiology of plant morphogenesis), Andrii Manoryk, Fedir Matskov, Arkadii Okanenko, Kostiantyn Sytnyk, and Anastasii Zaikevych.

The principal center for plant physiology studies in Ukraine has been the AN URSR (now ANU) Institute of Plant Physiology in Kyiv. It published the journal Fiziologiia i biokhimiia kul’turnykh rastenii from 1969.

Ihor Masnyk

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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