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Transportation in Plants

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Transportation in Plants - Lesson Summary

Plants are the organisms exhibiting autotrophic mode of nutrition. They synthesise their food by a physico-chemical process known as photosynthesis occurring in the leaves. Leaves are considered to be food factories.
  • Raw materials for the process of photosynthesis should be transported to leaves. 
  • Starch synthesised in the leaves should be sent to different parts of the plant where it can be utilised or stored for future use. 

Transportation – An essential process
  • Transportation in plants is a vital process to circulate water, essential nutrients, excretory products and gases within the plant for various purposes.
  • Transportation in plants is mainly brought about by vascular tissues.
  • Vascular tissues are the conducting tissues formed by xylem and phloem in plants. 
  • Water and minerals are transported to various parts of a plant by a suction force.

Xylem: It is the vascular tissue extending from top to bottom of the plant.
  • Xylem helps in the transport of water molecules and dissolved substances from the root hairs to aerial parts of the plant.
  • Xylem transports water in one direction. Xylem mostly occupies the centre of the vascular bundle.
  • Xylem mainly comprises different types of cells namely, tracheids, vessels, xylem parenchyma and xylem fibres.

Phloem: It is the vascular tissue which transports food molecules to the place of necessity in the plant.
  • The elements in the phloem are sieve elements, fibres, phloem parenchyma and companion cells.
  • The transport in the phloem tissue is bidirectional. 
  • It forms vascular bundles in association with xylem.
  • Phloem occupies the edges of the vascular bundle.

Absorption of water Plants absorb water from the soil through roots.
  • The tips of the roots are protected by root caps.
  • Roots have single-celled root hairs to absorb water and minerals from the soil.
  • The amount of water absorbed is proportionate to the number of root hairs.
  • The process of absorption of water in plants takes place through these root hairs.
  • These are highly permeable to water.
  • These root hairs also have lot of vacuoles to store absorbed water.
  • The old root hairs are periodically replaced by the new ones.

Transpiration is the process by which plants release excess water into the atmosphere.

  • Transpiration occurs in leaves through special structures present on them called as stomata. 
  • Excess water is lost in the form of water vapour.
  • Transpiration increases the moisture content of the atmosphere, thus bringing about a cooling effect in the immediate surroundings.

Significance of transpiration Transpiration is the process which helps the plant in many ways.
  • Transpiration removes excess water from the cells of the plant to prevent plant decay.
  • Transpiration maintains salt -water balance in the plant .
  • Transpiration cools down all parts of the plant.
  • Transpiration helps in the distribution of dissolved substances to all parts of the plant.
  • Transpiration pull is used to absorb more water and minerals. It is strong enough to draw water even in tall trees.

It involves the transportation of synthesised food molecules to different parts of the plant.

  • Phloem is responsible for the process of translocation.
  • Food is translocated to different organs for its utilisation.
  • Excess food syntheised is translocated to storage organs of the plant.

Differences between transpiration and translocation



Transpiration is the evaporation of water from the leaves in the form of water vapour.

Translocation is the transportation of synthesised products in a plant.

Transpiration always occurs against the gravity.

Translocation does not always occur against gravity.

Transpiration involves mainly the xylem cells. 

Translocation involves both xylem and phloem cells


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