It is divided into four parts: Part 1: Genes and Cells, looks at the origins of plants, cell structure, biochemical processes and genes and development. Part 2: The Functioning Plant, describes the structure and function of roots, stems, leaves, flowers and seed and fruit development. Part 3: Interactions and Adaptations, examines environmental and biotic stresses and how plants adapt and acclimatise to these conditions. Part 4: Future Directions, illustrates the great importance of plant research by looking at some well chosen, topical examples such as GM crops, biomass and bio-fuels, loss of plant biodiversity and the question of how to feed the planet.
Throughout the book there are text boxes to illustrate particular aspects of how humans make use of plants, and a comprehensive glossary proves invaluable to those coming to the subject from other areas of life science.