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Cover work 30/12/2011 (j) On specification: Explain the mechanism by which water is transported from the root cortex

x to the air surrounding the leaves, with reference to adhesion, cohesion and the transpiration stream.

1. How does water travel across the root from a root hair cell into the xylem: How are roots adapted for efficient water uptake? The root is adapted for efficient water uptake in three different ways: 1. No waxy cuticle, as this would prevent water from getting into the roots. 2. High surface area, for maximum intake of water. 3. Adds solute to cell, so that water comes in more rapidly as the water potential gradient is steeper. What are the apoplast and symplast pathways? Whats the difference between them? The Apoplast pathway is where water moves through the cell walls it never actually enters a cell. The symplast pathway is where water molecules move through the cytoplasm of cells. This usually takes longer. What is the effect of the Casparian strip on each pathway? Why is it important? The Casparian strip is a band of suberin which forms an impenetrable barrier to water in the walls of the Endodermis cells. It gives control over the water and ions which can pass through into the xylem vessels. The water cannot get through the Casparian strip through the apoplast pathway - and so it has to change to the symplast pathway to get through the Casparian strip. The Casparian strip does not affect the symplast pathway.

2. The Xylem Structure The difference between xylem vessels and xylem elements Xylem vessels are how water is carried from the roots all the way up to the top of the plant Xylem elements are what make up xylem vessels. They are narrow, long cells which are stacked end to end.

The structure of xylem elements The structure of xylem elements are they are just empty shells, which contain no living material. They began as living cells - with cytoplasm, nucleus and cellulose cell walls however they differentiated into specialised structures and died. The position and role of lignin in xylem elements The walls of xylem elements are made of cellulose, but also Lignin. Lignin is a very strong and waterproof substance. (water can easily move through the cellulose) Lignin: o Keeps water inside the plants o Strengthens and supports the plant. How water travels up xylem elements: Adhesion: Water molecules are attracted to the sides of the xylem vessels, known as adhesion. This means that they tend to crawl up the inner surface of the vessel. Cohesion: The column of water in the xylem vessels holds together because individual water molecules are attracted to each other. This attraction is called cohesion. Both cohesion and adhesion help the whole column of water to flow up the xylem vessel without breaking. The force of adhesion is relatively high. For water to move up the vessel, there needs to be a pressure change transpiration lowers the pressure at the top of the plant. Transpiration The spongy mesophyll layers of the leaf are not tightly packed there are air spaces. The water in the cells seeps into the walls (they are always wet), some of this evaporates. These spaces are in direct contact with the air outside the leaf, through small pores called stomata. There is a water potential gradient between the spaces and the air outside. Water vapour diffuses out this is called transpiration. As water evaporates, more water moves in to replace them coming from the xylem vessels. The removal decreases its pressure. There is then a water potential gradient between the bottom and the top of the plant. This causes water to flow up. The continuous movement of water is the transpiration stream. The plant does not supply all the energy the driving force is supplied by the difference in water potential between the air and the soil (moving down).