This optional subject can be chosen by the candidates as it is also listed among the list 48 UPSC optional subjects. Many candidates who are related to science choose this subject for their Mains examination. Well, you must know that the UPSC exam is conducted majorly in three phases.

These three sections are prelims, mains, and interviews. The prelims exam consists of the General Science Paper 1 and CSAT which is General Science Paper 2. The Mains exam is conducted theoretically where the aspirants have a choice to choose their subject from the list of 48 subjects.

Now, going ahead let’s learn about the Botany syllabus for the UPSC IAS exam. This subject is chosen by many candidates as per their choice. You should have a look at its syllabus to make your perfect choice.

Also Read: Time Table for UPSC Preparation 2021-22: Step by Step Guide to Crack The UPSC Exam

UPSC Botany Optional Syllabus

You might be searching for the updated syllabus of Botany. The syllabus for the UPSC exam is given below. If you want to choose Botany as your optional subject, you must go through this article to understand the syllabus and its topics well. You should go through all the significant points of the syllabus and ace it with precision.

You can start preparing according to the easy and tough topics or can just start from the beginning. The preparation depends on you because something that matters the most is your excellence at it. Let’s have a deep knowledge of both the papers on the subject.

UPSC Botany Syllabus: Paper 1

#1. Microbiology and Plant Pathology

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.

#2. Cryptogams

Algae, fungi, lichens, bryophytes, pteridophytes – structure and reproduction from evolutionary viewpoint; Distribution of Cryptogams in India and their ecological and economic importance.

#3. Phanerogams

Gymnosperms: Concept of Progymnosperms; Classification and distribution of gymnosperms; Salient features of Cycada-les, 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. Angiosperms: Systematics, anatomy, embryology, palynology, and phylogeny. Taxonomic hierarchy; 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 angiosperms 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.

Also Read: UPSC Mains 2022 Syllabus: Let’s Move a Step Ahead of the Basic UPSC Preparation

#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 the Indian context; Energy plantations; Botanical Gardens and Herbaria.

#5. Morphogenesis

Totipotency, polarity, symmetry, and differentiation; Cell, tissue, organ, and protoplast culture; Somatic hybrids and Cybrids; Micropropagation; Somaclonal variation and its applications; Pollen haploids, embryo rescue methods, and their applications.

UPSC Botany Syllabus: Paper 2

#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);

Cytoskeleton 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 the 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 (the 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 – evidence, mechanism, and theories. Role of RNA in origin and evolution.

#3. Plant Breeding, Biotechnology and Biostatistics

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 and regression.

Also Read: Previous Year’s Question Papers: Let’s Develop The Skills for the Most Esteemed Examination

#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 (anaerobic 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 Geography

Concept of ecosystem; Ecological factors; Concepts and dynamics of the 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 India.

Also Read: UPSC Exam Subject List: The Ultimate Preparation Strategy for the Civil Service Examination

UPSC Preparation Tips

Preparation is required to succeed in each field, competition, and examination. This exam requires a potential preparation level for better performance. This subject increases the chances of selection for the candidates. If you are updated on the topics along with the syllabus, you can answer perfectly in the interview as well. Remember, your preparation should be thorough to score well.

Botany has many environmental sections that deal with multiple plants and their functions. You must take a maximum number of mock tests to be excellent at it. You must prepare extremely precisely for the definitions and facts related to each topic.

Enrol yourself in a course so that the experts can tell you about the important topics and concepts. You will rise when you have the skills. Work on improving the skills.

Botany Optional in UPSC

This subject is highly specialized. You can choose this as your UPSC optional if you have studied botany in your curriculum or if you are interested in plant biology. This subject can be thought of because of the terminologies. You have to prepare it well during the preparation. Revisions are highly required for this subject to remember the functions and terminologies.

If you want to choose this subject, determine your strong background in the biological aspects of plants. If you have an inclination towards this subject, go through the syllabus provided in this article.

Also, please find the best sources for the preparation including the books and online websites. This subject requires extreme practice and learning. Moreover, emphasize the previous year’s question paper and mock tests. Keep an eye on the updates on the relevant topics. Focus on the current concepts to answer well.

Also Read: Optional Subject List for UPSC: Detailed Guide to Help You Choose the Perfect Optional Subject


Therefore, if you are doing UPSC preparation, the article on Botany optional UPSC must have helped you immensely. You can work on this subject by choosing it for your UPSC exam. It doesn’t have a heavy syllabus but you must know about the relevant news and updates of your topics. This article must have proved magnificent for your preparation and performance.

If you want to go through more such articles related to different subjects and their syllabus, you can visit the UPSC Pathshala website. Also, you will get several articles on the biographies of toppers of different years and other candidates who have succeeded in this exam.

Along with this, you can get in touch with the best professionals in UPSC preparation. The high-quality video lectures will mould you into the best candidate for the exam. All the best for your examination.

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Botany Syllabus for UPSC IAS Exam: Check Out the Knowledge and Facts about the Optional Subject
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Botany Syllabus for UPSC IAS Exam: Check Out the Knowledge and Facts about the Optional Subject
Are you looking for the Botany syllabus for the UPSC IAS exam? Do you want to choose Botany as your optional subject? Click here to know everything about this subject. It will bring the best scores.
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Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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