Civil Services Preliminary Examination
BOTANY - Optional
1. Cell Biology :
Structure and function of cell
wall (extracellular matrix or ECM), cell membrane and cell organelles. Nucleus,
nucleolus, nuclear pore complex (NPC), chromosome and nucleosome. Mitosis, meiosis,
molecular control involving checkpoints in cell division cycle. Differentiation,
2. Genetics, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology :
Laws of inheritance. Concept
of gene and allelomorph. Linkage, crossing over and gene mapping. Structural and
numerical changes in chromosomes and gene mutations. Sex determination and differentiation.
Structure and synthesis of nucleic acids and proteins. Genetic code. Regulation of gene expression. Genetic engineering and crop improvement. Protoplast, cell, tissue and organ cultures. Somatic hybridization. Biofertilizers and biopesticides.
Biotechnology in agri-horticulture, medicine and industry.
3. Tissue Systems:
Origin, development, structure and function of primary and secondary
4. Plant Diversity and Systematic:
Structure and function of plant forms from evolutionary
aspects (viruses to Angiosperms including fossils). Principles of nomenclature,
classification and identification of plants. Modern approaches in plant taxonomy.
Recent classification of living organism into three groups (bacteria, archaea and
5. Plant Physiology:
Water relations. Mineral nutrition. Photosynthesis. Respiration.
Nitrogen metabolism. Enzymes and coenzymes. Dynamics of growth, growth movements,
growth substances, photomorphogenesis. Secondary metabolites. Isotopes in biological
studies. Physiology of flowering.
6. Methods of Reproduction and Seed Biology :
Vegetative, asexual and sexual methods
of reproduction. Pollination and fertilization. Sexual incompatibility. Development,
structure, dormancy and germination of seed.
7. Plant Pathology :
Diseases of rice, wheat, sugarcane, potato, mustard, groundnut
and cotton crops. Factors affecting infection (host factors, pathogen factors, biotic factors like rhizosphere and phyllosphere organisms). Chemical, biological and genetic
methods of disease control (including transgenic plants).
8. Plant and Environment :
Biotic and abiotic components. Ecological adaptation.
Types of vegetational zones and forests of India. Deforestation, afforestation,
social forestry and plant introduction. Soil erosion, wasteland, reclamation. Environmental
pollution and its control (including phytoremediation). Bioindicators. Global warming.
9. Biodiversity, Plant Genetic Resources:
Methods of conservation of plant genetic
resources and its importance. Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD). Endangered,
threatened and endemic taxa. Role of cell/tissue culture in propagation and enrichment
of genetic diversity. Plants as sources of food, fodder, forage, fibres, oils, drugs,
wood and timber, paper, rubber, beverages, spices, essential oils and resins, gums,
dyes, insecticides, pesticides and ornamentation. Biomass as a source of energy.
10. Origin of Life and Evolution:
Basic concepts of origin of earth and origin of
life. Theories of organic evolution, molecular basis of evolution.
MAINS - PAPER-I
1. Microbiology and
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.
fungi, lichens, bryophytes, pteridophytes - structure and reproduction from evolutionary
viewpoint; Distribution of Cryptogams in India and their ecological and economic
of Progymnosperms; Classification and distribution of gymnosperms; Salient features
of Cycadales, Ginkgoales, Coniferales and Gnetales, their structure and reproduction; General account of Cycadofilicales, Bennettitales and Cordaitales; Geological time
scale; Type of fossils and their study techniques.
anatomy, embryology, palynology and phylogeny.
International Code of Botanical Nomenclature; Numerical taxonomy and chemotaxonomy;
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, Ranunculaceae, 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 and apomixes; Applications
of palynology; Experimental embryology including pollen storage and test-tube fertilization.
4. Plant Resource Development:
Domestication and introduction of plants; Origin of cultivated plants; Vavilov’s
centres of origin; Plants as sources for food, fodder, fibre, 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.
polarity, symmetry and dfferentiation; Cell, tissue, organ and protoplast culture;
Somatic hybrids and Cybrids; Micropropagation; Somaclonal variation and its applications;
Pollen haploids, embryo rescue methods and their applications.
1. Cell Biology:
Techniques of cell biology;
Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells - structural and ultrastructural details; Structure
and function of extracellular matrix (cell wall), 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;
Gene versus allele concepts (Pseudoalleles); Quantitative genetics and multiple
factors; Incomplete dominance, polygenic inheritance, multiple alleles; Linkage
and crossing over; Methods 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.
Role of RNA in origin and evolution.
3. Plant Breeding, Biotechnology
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
test); Probability and distributions (normal, binomial and Poisson); Correlation
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 phloem transport; Respiration (anerobic and aerobic, including fermentation)
– electron transport chain and oxidative phosphorylation; Photorespiration; Chemiosmotic
theory and ATP synthesis; Lipid metabolism; Nitrogen fixation and nitrogen metabolism;
Enzymes, coenzymes; Energy transfer and energy conservation; Importance of secondary
metabolites; Pigments as photoreceptors (plastidial pigments and phytochrome); Plant
movements; Photoperiodism and flowering, vernalization, senescence; Growth substances
– their chemical nature, role and applications in agri-horticulture; Growth indices,
growth movements; Stress physiology (heat, water, salinity, metal); Fruit and seed physiology; Dormancy, storage and germination of seed; Fruit ripening – its molecular
basis and manipulation.
5. Ecology and Plant
Concept of ecosystem;
Ecological factors; Concepts and dynamics of community; Plant succession; Concept
of biosphere; Ecosystems; Conservation; Pollution and its control (including phytoremediation);
Plant indicators; Environment (Protection) Act.
Forest types of India - Ecological and economic importance of forests, afforestation,
deforestation and social forestry; Endangered plants, endemism, IUCN categories,
Red Data Books; Biodiversity and its conservation; Protected Area Network; Convention
on Biological Diversity; Farmers’ Rights and Intellectual Property Rights; Concept
of Sustainable Development; Biogeochemical cycles; Global warming and climatic change;
Invasive species; Environmental Impact Assessment; Phytogeographical regions of