Biology Class 11 NCERT Solutions: Chapter 11 Transport in Plants Part 3 (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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Q: 12. Discuss the factors responsible for ascent of xylem sap in plants.


Transpirational pull is responsible for the ascent of water in the xylem. This ascent of water is dependent on the following physical factors:

Forces in Xylem

Cohesion – Mutual attraction between water molecules

Surface tension – Responsible for the greater attraction between water molecules in liquid phase than in gaseous phase

Adhesion – Attraction of water molecules to polar surfaces

Capillarity – Ability of water to rise in thin tubes

These physical properties of water allow it to move against gravity in the xylem.

Q: 13. What essential role does the root endodermis play during mineral absorption in plants?


In plants, nutrients are absorbed through the active and passive transports. The endodermal cells of the roots containing suberin allow only selected minerals to pass through them. The transport proteins present in the membranes of these cells act as check points for the various solutes reaching the xylem.

Q: 14. Explain why xylem transport is unidirectional and phloem transport bi-directional.


During the growth of a plant, its leaves act as the source of food as they carry out photosynthesis. The phloem conducts the food from the source to the sink (the part of the plant requiring or storing food) . During spring, this process is reversed as the food stored in the sink is mobilised toward the growing buds of the plant, through the phloem. Thus, the movement of food in the phloem is bidirectional (i.e.. , upward, and downward) .

The transport of water in the xylem takes place only from the roots to the leaves. Therefore, the movement of water and nutrients in the xylem is unidirectional.

Q: 15. Explain pressure flow hypothesis of translocation of sugars in plants.


According to the pressure flow hypothesis, food is prepared in the plant leaves in the form of glucose. Before moving into the source cells present in the phloem, the prepared food is converted into sucrose. Water moves from the xylem vessels into the adjacent phloem, thereby increasing the hydrostatic pressure in the phloem. Consequently, the sucrose moves through the sieve cells of the phloem. The sucrose already present in the sink region is converted into starch or cellulose, thereby reducing the hydrostatic pressure in the sink cells. Hence, the pressure difference created between the source and the sink cells allows sugars to be translocated from the former to the latter. This starch or cellulose is finally removed from the sink cells through active transport.

Image Shows the Pressure Flow Hypothesis

Q: 16. What causes the opening and closing of guard cells of stomata during transpiration?


The tiny pores present on the surfaces of leaves, called stomata, help in the exchange of gases. Each stoma consists of bean-shaped or dumbbell-shaped guard cells. The epidermal cells surrounding the guard cells are modified to form subsidiary cells. The opening and closing of the guard cells is caused by a change in their turgidity. The inner walls of the guard cells are thick and elastic, while the outer walls are thin. The numerous microfibrils present in the guard cells facilitate the opening and closing of the guard cells.

At the time of the opening of the stomata, the turgidity of the guard cells increases. As a result, the outer walls bulge and the inner walls become crescent-shaped. The stomatal opening is facilitated by the radial arrangement of the microfibrils.

At the time of the closing of the stomata, the guard cells lose their turgidity, the outer and inner walls retain their original shapes, and the microfibrils get arranged longitudinally.

The Opening and Closing of Guard Cells of Stomata

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