Transport of Food and Minerals in Plants
The following Topics and Sub-Topics are covered in this chapter and are available on MSVgo:
There exist three types of movements in plants, and these are:
- Active transport
Definition of Diffusion
The movement of gases, liquids, and solids in plants from the higher concentration region to lower concentration is called diffusion. It is a physical process.
Definition of Osmosis
It is the unique movement of diffusion. It involves the movement of molecules from the higher concentration region to lower concentration through a semipermeable membrane. With the help of osmosis, plants can absorb water and minerals from the soil.
Definition of Active Transport
When plants are in the phase of moving the substances like ions, salts, minerals from the region of their lower concentration to the region of a higher concentration, they utilize the energy to do so. And this energy is utilized in the form of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). This process is called active transport.
Minerals are naturally occurring inorganic nutrients. Minerals are essential for the optimum growth of the body. For example, zinc is necessary for the manufacturing of proteins and cell division also.
The plants require nutrients in a very small amount. And these types of nutrients are termed to be microelements or micronutrients. Some of the examples are iron and chlorine.
Nutrients that are required in larger amounts are termed to be macronutrients. Some of these are calcium and potassium.
- Phosphorus: boost the root growth and the translocation of carbohydrates.
- Potassium: acts as an enzyme activator. Deficiency may lead to mottled chlorosis.
- Copper: An essential component of ascorbic acid oxidase that is responsible for activating the enzymes.
- Zinc: An essential constituent of the enzymes like carbonic anhydrase, lactic dehydrogenase, etc.
- Helps in the conduction of water and minerals
- Maintains osmosis with the cells
- Creates the cooling effect
- Causes the elimination of water from the plant body
- Creates the suction force helping in the upward movement of water
- Help in keeping the leaves moist
- Balances salts and minerals within the body
- Maintains the osmotic pressure
- Construct the plant body or help in the growth
- Influence the pH of the cell sap
- The surface area of the leaves: Leaves having more surface area show a higher rate of transpiration.
- Environmental factors:
- Wind speed
- Atmospheric pressure
- Cellular factors:
- Availability of water
- The distribution of stomata within the leaves
- Xylem tissues are present in roots, stems, and leaves, whereas phloem tissues are present in stems and leaves.
- These tissues form a bundle, and both together work as a unit.
- Xylem transports soluble water molecules and mineral nutrients from the roots to other parts of the plant. Whereas when it is about the transportation of food and other nutrients like amino acids and sugar, phloem helps in their transportation from leaves to the storage organs and the plant’s growing parts.
Stems are the essential parts of the plants that connect leaves to the roots. But not all stems are similar. Some twist while some are like creepers or climbers growing long all in the garden. The vascular system helps make the plant grow and produce fruits or vegetables. The system helps transport minerals, nutrients (food), and water.
- What is the effect of osmosis on guard cells in the leaves?
These cells are present on the outside of the leaves. They open and close, allowing the movement of gases and liquid molecules.
- How does osmosis affect the human body?
Osmosis affects humans, as well. When a person is infected by cholera, bacteria get clogged into the intestine, making the intestine unable to absorb water from the outer concentration. It is how bacteria reverse the flow of absorption. Water gets dehydrated out of the intestine. And this causes dehydration leading to death.
- What is the role of root cells in the roots of the plants?
In plants, diffusion occurs in the root cells helping in the absorption of the water and minerals.
- Why do the slugs and snails die when salt is sprinkled over them?
Due to the salt, the cell mass becomes a hypertonic solution, and water rushes out of the cells, resulting in their shrinking and the eventual death of slugs and snails.
- Explain the process of transpiration.
There is only a small amount of water retained in the plants during the process of photosynthesis. The rest of the water gets evaporated as water vapour with stomata present in the leaves. This process creates a suction that pulls up the water from the roots’ xylem and then to the leaves. The water is lost from the parts of the plants, and the process is called transpiration.