Definition of Biology and 19 Branches of Biology in it (Part 1)

Sinaumedia Literacy – Biology is a science that studies living things and various kinds of organisms. The meaning of biology itself according to KBBI is the science of the condition and nature of living things such as humans, animals, plants. While the general understanding of biology is the study of life and living organisms, including structure, function, growth, evolution, distribution, taxonomy and characteristics of living things in each species and organism. Check out the meaning of biology and the following 18 branches of knowledge, Sinaumeds.



Biology or life science is the study of life, and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Modern biology is very broad and eclectic, and consists of various branches and sub-disciplines. However, despite its broad scope, there are some general concepts that govern all research, unifying it in one area.

Biology generally recognizes the cell as the basic unit of life, genes as the basic unit of inheritance, and evolution as the mechanism that drives the creation of new species. In addition, organisms are believed to survive by consuming, and transforming energy and by regulating their internal states to keep them stable, and vital.

To get to know more about this science of biology, Sinaumeds can read the Middle-High School Biology Smart Dictionary, complete with the names of inventors in the field of biology, which briefly explains all the knowledge you need to know.



1. ANATOMY – Branch of Biology

Anatomy is the science that examines the structure of organisms in animals, plants and humans, or another definition, is the study of the structure or composition of the body of organisms and the relationship between one part and another. In language, anatomy comes from the Greek which means surgery or cutting. With the complexity of the bodies of animals and humans, scientists then break it down into several branches of science, namely:

  • Gross anatomy, the study of the body structures of organisms that can be seen with the eye.
  • Microscopic anatomy or histology that studies the arrangement of the organs of the body using a microscope or magnifying glass. For example investigations about tissue and studying cells.
  • Systemic anatomy studies every system in the body. Every system in the body has the same network and performs a specific function; for example the muscular system, heart, and others.
  • Regional anatomy that examines the location of organs in the body. This is very important to learn before performing surgery or surgery. For example knowing the location of blood vessels, nerves, and others.
  • Developmental anatomy (embryology) which examines the changes in the first cells of pregnancy until the child is born.
  • Surface anatomy (surface anatomy) which studies the location of organs in the body which are then projected onto the surface of the body.
  • Comparative anatomy (comparative anatomy) which studies the comparison of the composition of the human body with other organisms.
  • Anatomy radiology (anatomy X-ray) which studies the structure of human organs radiologically or X-rays or X-rays.
  • Anthropological anatomy which studies the differences in human body size in one place and another.

For Sinaumeds who are interested in anatomy, they can master it by reading the book Demystified Anatomy, a Compulsory Book for Practitioners and Nursing Students by Dr. Dale Layma who provides an effective and easy way to learn and study anatomy.


2. PHYSIOLOGY – Branch of Biology

Physiology is a branch of biology that studies the functioning of living systems. The term physiology is borrowed from the Dutch language, physiologie, which consists of two ancient Greek words physis meaning “study”. The term “faal” is taken from Arabic, meaning “logia”, which means (study). The term “faal” is taken from Arabic, with the meaning “sign”, “function”, “work”. Physiology uses a variety of methods to study the biomolecules, tissues, cells, organs, organisms and organ systems that as a whole carry out their chemical and physical functions to support life.

Human physiology is the science of the mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions of healthy humans, their organs, and the cells of which they are composed. The main level of focus of physiology is at the level of organs and systems. Most aspects of human physiology are closely homologous to related aspects of animal physiology, and animal experiments have provided much of this basic physiological knowledge.

Anatomy and physiology are closely related fields of study: anatomy, the study of form, and physiology, the study of function, are intrinsically bound and studied together as part of the medical curriculum. Animal physiology from the methods and equipment used to study physiology in humans which then extends to animal species except humans. If Sinaumeds wants to study this science, the book Anatomy and Physiology, Competency of Nursing Assistant Skills, Class X SMK / MAK is the right choice.

Plant physiology makes extensive use of techniques from both fields. Which includes animal physiology, namely all living things. The large number of subjects that lead to research in the field of animal physiology is more directed towards understanding how physiological characteristics changed throughout the evolutionary history of animals. Before further studying the functions of the body, there are some basic concepts from physiology:

  • Mechanism: Life is based on matter and the laws that apply to the physical world.
  • Homeostasis: Efforts to regulate and control the reactions caused by changes in the environment. The constant state of the internal environment and which is responsible for that constant state.
  • Regulators: Groups of creatures capable of maintaining internal environmental conditions relative to the external environment.
  • Converter: The internal environment changes as the external environment changes.
  • Homeokinesis: the mechanism of maintaining the internal environment by avoiding an unsuitable external environment.
  • Adaptation: Response to changes in the environment in an effort to sustain living beings. In biology specifically given the term “compensation”.
  • Acclimation: Adjustment to laboratory environmental conditions that have very limited controllable variables.
  • Acclimatization: Adjustment that takes place under natural conditions with multiple variables, making it more complicated to analyze.
  • Tolerance: The ability of an organism to regulate and conform is limited to a certain range of conditions.

As a branch of biology, plant physiology is used to study the metabolic processes that occur in the body of a plant that causes it to grow and reproduce. This is discussed in the book Fundamentals of Plant Physiology by Benyamin Lakitan.


3. TAKSONOMY – Branch of Biology

Taxonomy is the science of the branch of biology that examines the naming, grouping and detailing of living things based on their similarities and differences in their properties. The name of the classification group is called the taxon (plural taxa). In this science will learn about grouping procedures called taxonomy. The lowest and most specific taxon is the species, while the highest and more inclusive taxon or can also be called general is the kingdom.

In plants, taxonomy is used to understand the evolutionary strategy of different plant groups over time and their struggle for survival, and this is discussed in the book Taxonomy’s Journey of Evolution by M. Daniel.

The level of kingdom to species is determined by the similarity of the most common characteristics of living things to the most specific characteristics. Taxa have been standardized and standardized throughout the world by the International Code Of Botanical Nomenclature and the International Committee on Zoological Nomencleature. Taxa have been standardized and standardized worldwide, by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature and the International Committee on Zoological Nomenclature. The levels contained in the taxonomy:

  • Species is a group of living things that can mate to produce fertile offspring. (Some species are subdivided into subspecies or varieties).
  • Genus is a group of species that have something in common and are closely related.
  • Family is a group of clearly related genera.
  • The Order is a group of families that are clearly closely related.
  • Class is a group of orders within a phylum.
  • Phylum is a group of living things with the same design or the highest taxon level in the world.
  • Divisions are clearly related organisms or the highest taxon level in the world.
  • Kingdom is the largest and most common group, for example plants, animals or fungi.

4. HISTOLOGY – Branch of Biology

Histology (histology) is a branch of biology that studies cells and tissues of plants, animals and humans. Histology is derived from the Greek words “histos” meaning tissue, and “logia” meaning knowledge. When combined, these two words will mean analysis of the composition, structure, and function of networks. The scientific discipline also studies cells and organs. Cells and tissues are studied down to the microscopic level for the presence of disease or other disorders.

In studying histology, this book is very appropriate because it has been recognized as authoritative, has good and up-to-date illustrations which can help speed up learning because it includes important summaries and tables in it.

Histology will relate to other disciplines that also study the structure of humans, animals or plants. Tissues, which are collections of cells, are studied in groups. In plants, cell histology investigates how cells process nutrients, remove wastes, and interact with other cells.

Human histology places a more detailed focus on how cells form tissues, which in turn form organs, and ultimately the systems of the human body. Histology can be broken down into three sub-classifications: cytology (studying cells), proper histology (studying tissues), and organology (studying organs). Not only trying to identify disease, histology also focuses on understanding everything about cells and tissues, and organs.

5. GENETICS – Branch of Biology

Genetics (derived from the loan word Dutch: genetica, an adaptation from English: genetics, formed from the Greek word: γέννω, genno which means “to give birth”. The branch of biology that studies inheritance is called genetics or genes. As for what is studied in this branch of biology, such as viruses and prions.

In short it can also be said that genetics is the science of genes and all its aspects. A scientist named Gregor Johan Mendel was the first to conduct research on heredity, therefore he was named the father of genetics. Gene functions include:

  • Regulates development and metabolic processes of individuals (organisms)
  • Passing genetic information from one generation to the next
  • As a separate particle contained in the chromosome.

The Complete Biology Reference Book: Genetics and the Immunity System can be used by Sinaumeds as a reference in studying genetics.



6. ECOLOGY – Branch of Biology

Ecology is a science that studies the interaction between organisms and the environment and others. In other words, the branch of biology that specifically studies interactions within ecosystems is called ecology.

Ecology comes from the Greek words oikos (habitat) and logos (science). In addition, Ecology is defined as a science that studies both the interactions between living things and the interactions between living things and their environment. In general, ecology studies the interactions of organisms with their environment. The subject limits or scope of ecology are as follows:

  • Individuals are units of organisms of each type or species. For example, a human, a bird, a fish, and others.
  • Population is a group of similar individuals who are in a certain place and time. For example, such as human population, bird population, grass population, and others.
  • An ecosystem is a condition where there is a reciprocal relationship and interdependence between living things and their environment. For example, such as forest ecosystems, seawater ecosystems, and so on.
  • Community is a group of living things consisting of several populations and interacting with each other at a certain place and time. For example, such as grassland communities in which there are grass populations, bird populations, snake populations, and so on.
  • The biosphere is the largest level of biological organization in which all life on earth exists and there are interactions between the physical environment as a whole.

7. ZOOLOGY – Branch of Biology

The definition of Zoology based on the field of biology is a branch of biology that studies the function, structure, evolution, and behavior of animals. In addition, zoology also covers comparative anatomy, molecular biology, animal psychology, evaluation biology, behavioral ecology, paleontology and taxonomy. Based on the above understanding, zoology has a branch of knowledge that must be known as follows:

  • Malacology: Is a branch of zoology that studies all aspects of mollusk animal life. Such as basic knowledge, cultivation and applied fields.
  • Nematology : Is a branch of biology that studies millworms or nematodes, which are a group of invertebrates with several parts of their members as important parasites in the fields of agriculture, health and medicine.
  • Ichthyology: Is a branch of zoology that studies the life of fish. However, this branch of science focuses on cultivation and the field of pathology. A total of 25,000 fish were found and also identified. Every year scientists alone announce as many as 250 species of new fish. In the application of branches of ichthyology related to marine biology, oceanography, and limnology.
  • Herpetology: Is a branch of zoology that studies the life of amphibians and reptiles. The object of study used is a type of cold-blooded and four-legged animal. The knowledge of this branch is being studied more and more because most reptiles are now kept as pets. Besides that, both groups of animals can produce poison to be used as the main ingredient in stroke and heart disease.
  • Entomology: Is a science related to insects, which means that it is a branch of science related to arthropods. The examples are luwing, spiders and their relatives.
  • Ornithology : Is a branch of zoology that has studied all aspects of birds. This branch of science focuses on the ability to see higher and the process of approaching birds aesthetically.
  • Paleozoology : Is a branch of paleobiology that is used to study and identify the types of fossils of multi-celled animals. The fossils will be used for environmental reconstruction and prehistoric ecology.
  • Primatology: Is a branch of zoology which studies the life of primates other than humans. For example apes, monkeys and their relatives.

As a branch of zoology, namely nematology which discusses invertebrate animals, Sinaumeds can read Invertebrate Zoology (Theory and Practice) to understand it better.


8. MORPHOLOGY – Branch of Biology

Morphology in biology is a field of science that examines the forms of organisms, especially plants and animals, as well as the parts that include these two organisms. As an example of morphology in fish, it means the study of the structure and shape of fish. An organism needs to be identified through its shape and structure so that it is easy to recognize. In addition, morphology also determines the function of the parts of an organism.

Studying the meaning of morphology certainly cannot be separated from the basic classification of living things. Living things are classified based on the similarities in the characteristics that exist in each individual or species. Therefore it is very necessary to study the science of the structure of a part of an organism, in order to classify that part and identify other organisms that have similar characteristics.

To understand the classification of living things and also the morphology of plants, a book entitled Plant Morphology by Dewi Rosanti can help Sinaumeds to understand more about plants.


9. BOTANI – Branch of Biology

Botany is the study of organisms in the kingdom Plantae, otherwise known as plants. The word botany comes from the adjective botanical, which in turn comes from the ancient Greek word botane, referring to herbs, grasses, and meadows. Botany also has other, more specific meanings; it can refer to the biology of a particular type of plant (eg flowering plant botany) or plant life in a specific area (eg rainforest botany).

People who study botany are also known as botanists. Botany along with the study of plants also includes the study of fungi and algae; hence the three major groups of these organisms are included under the International Botanical Congress. Branch of botany: Botany is the scientific study of plants, or multicellular organisms, that carry out photosynthesis. As a branch of biology, botany is sometimes referred to as plant science or plant biology.

Botanical research can be broken down into categories based on the subcategory of biology on which the research is based. For example, a botanist may study: Plant anatomy, Plant genetics, Cytology (study of cells — in this case, plant cells), Ecology, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Plant taxonomy, Physiology, Microbiology, Biology, Molecular, Paleobotany (study of plant fossils) .

Apart from that, the Pharmaceutical Botany book also discusses the morphology and anatomy of various medicinal plants in Indonesia. That way the knowledge of people who read it will be wider about the various existing medicinal plants.

10. PALEONTOLOGY – Branch of Biological Sciences

Paleontology is the study of ancient or prehistoric life on earth. Its main objective is to investigate the evolution of plant and animal species as well as ancient ecosystems and the climate of the earth as a whole. Although related to life, paleontology is actually a branch of geology or the study of the physical world.

Paleontology uses the fossils of organisms to predict the conditions on earth at the time that those organisms lived. Changes in certain species will also help answer questions about evolution. Because fossils are generally buried in the formations of various types of rock, paleontology has a close relationship with geology.

By looking at the composition, location, and environment in which fossils are found, paleontologists are able to predict climate and other environmental changes over specific time periods in the past. Paleontology itself has other branches of science, including micropaleontology, paleobotany, and paleozoology.

Micropaleontology refers to the study of fossilized microorganisms such as single-celled creatures or spores and pollen grains. Paleobotni is concerned with the study of plant fossils, whereas paleozoology is concerned with fossilized animals such as dinosaurs and primitive humans. As well as being important as an academic and scientific study, paleontology is useful in the mining industry. Many fields of study require information about the age of geological formations for various purposes.

Responding to this need, paleontology is very useful because it has a systematic approach to determining the age of fossils. After finding fossils in rock, paleontologists can quickly determine the age of the rock. The analysis process can be carried out more quickly and accurately than determining the age of rocks by only looking at their physical properties.

Although not commonly considered a conservation science, paleontology is invaluable for enhancing our understanding of the natural environment and climate cycles that occur on Earth. Understanding the fact that the Earth has gone through multiple heating and cooling cycles, paleontology can give us insight into how organisms responded, whether they were able to adapt or go extinct. All of these understandings will be a significant contribution to efforts to prevent or at least slow down environmental damage which is a problem for modern society.

11. VIROLOGY – Branch of Biology

The branch of biology that studies viruses is Virology. During its development, apart from viruses, viroids and prions were also found. The two groups are currently also still in the field of virology studies. Has a strategic position in life and is widely studied because it is beneficial for the pharmaceutical and pesticide industries. Virology is also a concern in the fields of medicine, veterinary medicine, animal husbandry, fisheries and agriculture.

Viruses are subcellular organisms. It is so small that it can only be seen with an electron microscope. Its size is even smaller than bacteria so viruses cannot be filtered with a bacterial filter. The smallest viruses are only 20 nm in diameter (smaller than a ribosome), whereas even the largest viruses are difficult to see with a light microscope.

The viral genome can be either DNA or RNA. The viral genome can consist of double-stranded DNA, single-stranded DNA, double-stranded RNA, or single-stranded RNA. In addition, the nucleic acid of the viral genome can be either single linear or circular. The number of viral genes varies from four for the smallest to several hundred for the largest. The genetic material of most animal and human viruses is DNA, and most plant viruses are single-stranded RNA.

12. ENTOMOLOGY – Branch of Biology

Entomology is the study of insects (insects), however, this meaning is often broadened to include the study of other arthropods, especially spiders and their relatives (Arachnida or Arachnoidea), and mongooses and their relatives (Millepoda and Centipoda). ). The inclusion of other arthropods as part of the discussion in Entomology because there is an evolutionary or phylogenetic relationship in the context of taxonomic discussions with insects.

In addition, in the functional context of other Arthropods, it acts as a predator and competitor for insects. Through entomology we will be invited to get to know insects further. As a rapidly growing scientific discipline, entomology can now be divided into two branches of knowledge, namely Basic Entomology and Applied Entomology. Basic Entomology is further divided into more specialized sub-branches, including:

  • Insect morphology is the study of the shape and structure of the insect’s body, usually with more emphasis on the shape and external structure of the insect’s body.
  • Insect Anatomy and Physiology is the study of the shape and structure of the internal organs of insects and their functions.
  • Insect behavior is the science that studies what insects do, how and why they do it.
  • Insect Ecology is the science that studies the relationship between insects and their environment, both biotic and non-biotic environments.
  • Insect pathology is the study of diseased insects both at the individual level (pathobiology) and at the population level (epizootiology).
  • Insect taxonomy is the study of the nomenclature and classification of insects.

Applied entomology has now specialized into more specific sub-disciplines, namely:

  • Forensic Entomology focuses on studying human deaths by using insects as clues.
  • Medical entomology (Medical Entomology), focuses on the study of insect groups that disturb humans, both directly (stingers/biting prey such as wasps, bees, fleas and other venomous insects), and indirectly (disease vectors such as flies, mosquitoes, cockroaches, fleas /lice).
  • Animal Husbandry Entomology (Veterinary Entomology), focuses on the study of insects that interfere with livestock both directly such as ticks, fleas which are ectoparasites in livestock and those that act as disease vectors.
  • Urban entomology (Urban Entomology), specifically examines insects that are a problem in urban areas. Here it is more focused on insects associated with humans (human facilities) that are still alive, such as cockroaches, flies, mosquitoes, and termites in housing, hotels, apartments, warehouses, offices, ships, aircraft.
  • Forest Entomology, here the study is more focused on insects that are in forest ecosystems, both useful insects such as honey bees play a role as producers and pollinators in forest ecosystems
  • Agricultural Entomology (Agricultural Entomology), the focus of study on insects associated with agricultural ecosystems such as horticultural crops, food crops and plantations.

13. ORNITOLOGY – Branch of Biological Sciences

Ornithology is the science of birds, including their description and classification, distribution, and life. Ornithology (from Greek: ορνισ, ornis, “bird”; and λόγος, logos, “science”) is the branch of zoology that studies birds. Birds are the most beautiful, most melodious, most admired, most studied, and most persistently defended animals.

They far outnumber all other vertebrates except fish, and can be found in all corners of the world, from the edges of the polar ice caps and the highest Slopes of the Himalayas and Andes to the most turbulent seas, the darkest jungles, the most barren deserts, and the most crowded cities. .

Some of them even enter the fish environment to a depth of 30 meters or more. With all these advantages, making birds the most widely observed, most researched and most documented. So the science that studies these animals is one of the oldest and earliest sciences to develop.

14. MYCOLOGY – Branch of Biology

Mycology is a branch of science that studies fungi (mushrooms) or often called fungi. Studies in mycology include mushroom taxonomy, mushroom physiology, mushroom biotechnology, mushroom cultivation. So, the branch of biology that studies fungi is called mycology.

Mycology has a great influence on phytopathology because many plant diseases are caused by fungi; so that once phytopathology was referred to as applied mycology. Aspects studied in mycology include:

  • Fungus physiology: The branch of mycology that studies the physiology of fungi
  • Systematics and taxonomy of fungi: A branch of mycology that studies the grouping and classification of fungi and members of the kingdom
  • Fungus biotechnology: A branch of science that studies the use of fungi in the field of modern biotechnology and the use of fungi in the field of technology
  • Fungus genetics: Studying inheritance, identification and utilization of genes from fungi
  • Mycology also studies other aspects such as the use of fungi in the medical world.

With such a wide range of biodiversity in Indonesia, there are still many microorganisms that have yet to be identified, isolated or identified. Fungi are expressed as a small part of the existing world of microorganisms as a whole. This is because there are still few mycologists in Indonesia, therefore the book Basic and Applied Mycology is here to help you understand more about this fungus or fungus.


15. BACTERILOLOGY – Branch of Biology

Bacteriology is the science or study that studies bacteria and their effects on a disease and medicine, as well as other fields such as agriculture, industry, economics related to the spoilage of food and wine. Some of the things studied in bacteriology are origin, epidemiology, clinical or pathological review, and bacterial identification techniques from all aspects, both clinically, laboratory standards, and culture technique capabilities.

In the health sector, bacteriology is usually used to detect the presence of good bacteria in the human body or objects, such as water and food. Early advances made by bacteriology were successful in identifying the bacterial characters associated with certain diseases. Today, most of the bacterial diseases in humans have been identified, although other variants continue to develop and occasionally occur, such as Legionnaire’s disease, tuberculosis and toxic shock syndrome.

A major advance in bacteriology during the last century has resulted in the development of many effective vaccines (such as the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, diphtheria toxoid, and tetanus toxoid). To better understand this branch of bacteriology biology, book Bacteriology: microorganisms that cause infection which discusses the pathogenicity and pathogenesis of microorganisms, and much more.


16. EVOLUTION – Branch of Biology

Evolution is the study of the development of living things from a low level to a high level. Evolution (in the study of biology) also means changes in the inherited characteristics of a population of organisms from one generation to the next. These changes are caused by a combination of three main processes: variation, reproduction, and selection.

The traits that form the basis of this evolution are carried by genes that are passed on to the offspring of a living thing and become varied within a population. When organisms reproduce, their offspring will have new characteristics. New properties can be obtained from changes in genes due to mutations or gene transfer between populations and between species. In sexually reproducing species, new gene combinations are also produced by genetic recombination, which can increase variation between organisms.

Evolution occurs when these inherited differences become more common or rare within a population. Evolution itself is driven by two main mechanisms, namely natural selection and genetic drift. Natural selection is a process that causes inherited traits that are useful for the survival and reproduction of organisms to become more common in a population – and conversely, traits that are detrimental to them become less.

This happens because individuals with favorable traits are more likely to reproduce, so that more individuals in the next generation inherit these beneficial traits.

17. CITOLOGY – Branch of Biology

Cytology is the study of living cells. The cell is an organization in life that is the smallest and complete or a structural unit and a functional unit that becomes a hereditary unit in the growth of living things. In biology there is a branch that specifically studies cells, starting from cell structure, cell function and to cell parts. This branch of biology is known as cell biology or cytology.

A cell which is the smallest part of life already represents life in a higher organization of life. A cell can reproduce, obtain nutrition, produce energy and perform other life functions. So that every living thing must have cells, at least one cell, so that these creatures can live independently.

18. MICROBIOLOGY – Branch of Biology

Microbiology is the study of microorganisms or living organisms that cannot be seen with the naked eye because of their very small size. Microbiology has several sub-disciplines, namely virology (the study of viruses), mycology (the study of fungi), bacteriology (the study of bacteria) and parasitology (the study of parasites). The sub-discipline of microbiology is made based on microorganisms that carry infectious diseases, so that these sciences are included as a group of “medical microbiology”, namely the branch of medical science that deals with preventive care, diagnosis and treatment caused by microorganisms.

Medical microbiologists study pathogens or disease-transmitting organisms. They analyzed the speed at which the pathogen spreads and its effect on infected people. Microbiologists work with doctors by providing information about diseases and treatment recommendations for patients. Microbiological evaluation can recognize infectious diseases in samples of body fluids of patients who experience certain symptoms. The most important part to consider is how the patient’s body acquires the pathogen.

As a science that studies microorganisms, microbiology includes various groups of microscopic organisms that you can learn about in the Applied Microbiology book below.



19. MAMOLOGY – Branch of Biology

Mammology is the study of mammals, a class of vertebrate animals characterized by a heart and four chambers, warm blood, fur or hair, and a complex nervous system. Mammology is also known as “mastology”, “theriology”, and “therology”. Mammology is subdivided into other branches such as primatology, which studies primates, and cetology, which studies cetaceans Sinaumeds.

This is an explanation of the meaning of biology and the 19 branches of science in it. Hopefully useful Sinaumeds!