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Botany is the branch of biology concerned with the scientific study of plants. Traditionally, botanists studied all organisms that were not generally regarded as animal. However, advances in our knowledge about the myriad forms of life, especially microbes (viruses and bacteria), have led to spinning off from Botany the specialized field called Microbiology. Still, the microbes are usually covered in introductory Botany courses, although their status as neither animal nor plant is firmly established.