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Plant Water Relations and Mineral Nutrition

Transport In Plants

Transportation of food

The transportation of food from the leaves to other parts of the plant occurs in the vascular tissue, namely the phloem. This process of transporting food is known as translocation. The phloem also transports amino acids and other substances to storage organs of the plant (along with the growing organs) such as roots, fruits, and seeds. The phloem consists of companion cells, sieve tubes, phloem parenchyma, and fibres.

The translocation of food occurs in the sieve tubes with the help of companion cells.

Translocation in the phloem, unlike the xylem, is achieved by utilizing energy from ATP. For example, a food material such as sucrose is transported into the phloem tissue using ATP energy. As a result, the osmotic pressure in the tissue increases, causing the water to move into it. This pressure moves the material in the phloem to the tissues, which have less pressure. This is helpful in moving materials according to the requirements of the plant.

We know that plants absorb minerals from soil. 

What minerals are required by plants?

In total, there are sixteen minerals required by plants. Some minerals are required in small quantities and are called micronutrients. Minerals required in larger quantities are called macronutrients. Nutrients are essential elements, which are used by plants in large quantities.

The table lists the various nutrients required by plants.

Macronutrient

Micronutrient

  1. Phosphorus

  2. Magnesium

  3. Potassium

  4. Nitrogen

  5. Calcium

  6. Sulphur

  1. Molybdenum
  2. Manganese
  3. Chlorine
  4. Copper
  5. Boron
  6. Zinc
  7. Iron

The table below separates the nutrients obtained from different sources.

Source

Nutrient

Air

Carbon and Oxygen

Water

Hydrogen and Oxygen

Soil

Macronutrient and Micronutrient

When nutrients are not available to plants, physiological activities such as growth, reproduction decreases and vulnerability to diseases increases. Providing proper quantity of nutrients to plants ensures proper growth.

The amount of minerals in soil can decrease due to their continuous utilization by plants.

Does soil contain an unlimited amount of nutrients? Certainly not!

How are the minerals absorbed by plants replenished in the soil? This is done by adding manures and fertilizers to soil. These substances contain nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus etc. that help in enriching the soil.

Manures and fertilizers

Do you know what manure is?

Collect kitchen waste, plant waste, ash, newspaper, food sc…

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