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Biology Notes with Mind Maps for NEET (UG), UPSC & State PSC

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    1.1 What is Living?
  2. 1.2 Biodiversity
  3. 1.3 Three Domains of Life
  4. 1.4 Systematics
  5. 1.5 Taxonomy
  6. 1.6 Taxonomic Aids
  7. 1.7 Introduction to Classification-Five Kingdom Classification
  8. 1.8 Kingdom Monera- Introduction and General Characteristics
  9. 1.9 Bacteria
  10. 1.10 Kingdom Protista
  11. 1.11 Fungi
  12. 1.12 Viruses - Introduction & Classification
  13. 1.13 Subviral Agents
  14. 1.14 Kingdom Plantae
    5 Submodules
  15. 1.15 Kingdom Animalia (Introduction and Classification)
  16. 1.16 Non-Chordates
  17. 1.17 Chordates
    2.1 Introduction to Tissue
  19. 2.2 Anatomy and functions of different parts of flowering plant
    6 Submodules
  20. 2.3 Animal Tissue
    3.1 Cell Theory and basic structure of cell
  22. 3.2 Comparison between (plant and animal cell) and (prokaryotes and eukaryotes)
  23. 3.3 Membrane (cell membrane and cell wall)
  24. 3.4 Cytoplasm
  25. 3.5 Nucleus
  26. 3.6 Biomolecules
  27. 3.7 Importance of water
  28. 3.8 Proteins
  29. 3.9 Carbohydrates
  30. 3.10 Lipids
  31. 3.11 Nucleic acids
  32. 3.12 Introduction to enzymes
  33. 3.13 Factors affecting enzyme action and enzyme inhibition
  34. 3.14 The Cell Cycle
  35. 3.15 Mitosis and Meiosis
    4.1 Transport in plants
    6 Submodules
  37. 4.2 Mineral Nutrition
    4 Submodules
  38. 4.3 Photosynthesis: Definition, Site, Pigments, Phases, Photophosphorylation, Photorespiration, Factors
  39. 4.4 Respiration: Exchange gases; Cellular respiration-glycolysis, fermentation(anaerobic), TCA cycle and electron transport system (aerobic); Energy relations-Number of ATP molecules generated; Amphibolic pathways; Respiratory quotient
  40. 4.5 Plant growth and development: Seed germination; Phases; Conditions; Differentiation; Sequence; Growth Regulators; Seed dormancy; Vernalisation; Photoperiodism.
  41. 5. Human Physiology
    5.1 Digestion and absorption; Alimentary canal and digestive glands; Role of digestive enzymes and gastrointestinal hormones; Peristalsis, digestion, absorption and assimilation; Caloric value; Egestion; Nutritional and digestive disorders
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I. Introduction

Plant-water relations refer to the study of how plants interact with water. Water is essential for plant growth and survival, and plays a crucial role in many physiological processes. Without water, plants would wilt and eventually die.

A. Importance of Water for Plants

  • Water is required by plants for various purposes such as:

    • Photosynthesis
    • Respiration
    • Photorespiration
    • Growth hormones
    • Movements and locomotion
    • Vernalization
    • Seed germination
  • Water provides temporary mechanical support to young plants by making plant cells turgid.

B. Processes in Plant-Water Relations

The study of plant-water relations includes various processes, such as:

  1. Diffusion
  2. Osmosis
  3. Absorption
  4. Transpiration
  5. Ascent of sap
  • Water absorption occurs in plant cells, with a small portion being retained while the majority is lost through transpiration.

II. Water Potential

A. Definition of water potential

Water potential is a fundamental concept in the study of plant-water relations. It refers to the potential energy possessed by water molecules in a system and determines the direction and extent of water movement. Water potential is expressed in units of pressure, typically in megapascals (MPa), and is always measured relative to a reference point, which is usually pure water at atmospheric pressure.

B. Factors affecting water potential

Several factors influence the water potential of a system, and understanding these factors is crucial for comprehending how water moves within plants.

  • Solute concentration: The presence of solutes, such as minerals or dissolved substances, lowers the water potential. This is because water molecules become more attracted to the solute molecules, reducing their potential energy.

  • Pressure potential: Pressure potential accounts for physical pressure exerted on the water within plant cells or tissues. Positive pressure potential increases water potential, while negative pressure potential decreases it.

  • Matric potential: Matric potential is influenced by the interaction between water and solid surfaces, such as soil particles or cell walls. It arises from the adhesive properties of water, and the presence of hydrophilic substances can lower water potential.

  • Gravitational potential: Gravitational potential is relevant when water moves vertically in response to gravity. It increases with the height or depth of water, causing water potential to decrease as elevation increases.

C. Calculation of water potential

Water potential can be calculated using the following formula:

Water potential (Ψ) = Pressure potential (Ψp) + Solute potential (Ψs) + Matric potential (Ψm) + Gravitational potential (Ψg)

  • Pressure potential is typically measured using a pressure chamber or a pressure probe, which determines the hydrostatic pressure within the plant.

  • Solute potential is calculated using the formula Ψs = -iCRT, where i represents the ionization constant of the solute, C is the molar concentration of the solute, R is the ideal gas constant, and T is the absolute temperature.

  • Matric potential is more challenging to quantify accurately and is often estimated based on soil moisture content or using specialized instruments.

  • Gravitational potential is calculated based on the elevation or depth of the water relative to a reference point.

III. Diffusion and Osmosis

A. Definition of diffusion and osmosis

Diffusion and osmosis are fundamental processes that play a vital role in plant-water relations, facilitating the movement of water and dissolved substances across plant cells and tissues.

  • Diffusion: Diffusion is the spontaneous movement of molecules from an area of higher concentration to an area of lower concentration. In plants, diffusion occurs through cell membranes and is crucial for the transport of gases, such as carbon dioxide and oxygen, as well as other small molecules.

  • Osmosis: Osmosis is the movement of water molecules across a semipermeable membrane from an area of lower solute concentration to an area of higher solute concentration. It occurs to equalize the solute concentrations on both sides of the membrane. Osmosis plays a critical role in maintaining water balance within plant cells and facilitating the uptake of water and nutrients from the soil.

B. Importance of diffusion and osmosis in plant-water relations

Diffusion and osmosis are essential processes that contribute significantly to plant-water relations and overall plant health.

  • Nutrient uptake: Both diffusion and osmosis are involved in the absorption of essential nutrients by plant roots. Nutrient ions in the soil solution move towards the root surface through diffusion, driven by concentration gradients. Osmosis facilitates the uptake of water and dissolved nutrients into the root cells, allowing plants to acquire the necessary substances for growth and metabolism.

  • Cell-to-cell transport: Diffusion and osmosis enable the movement of molecules and water between adjacent plant cells. This intercellular transport is critical for distributing nutrients, hormones, and other signaling molecules throughout the plant body. It also helps maintain turgor pressure, which is essential for cell rigidity and overall plant structure.

  • Gas exchange: Diffusion is the primary mechanism by which gases, such as carbon dioxide and oxygen, move into and out of plant cells. During photosynthesis, carbon dioxide diffuses into the leaf cells, while oxygen produced during photosynthesis diffuses out. This exchange of gases is essential for energy production and respiration in plants.

C. Examples of diffusion and osmosis in plants

Diffusion and osmosis manifest in various aspects of plant biology, demonstrating their significance in plant-water relations.

  • Stomatal opening and closing: Diffusion of water vapor and gases through stomata, which are tiny openings on the leaf surface, regulates the exchange of gases between the plant and the atmosphere. The movement of water vapor from the leaf to the surrounding air through diffusion influences the opening and closing of stomata, which is crucial for controlling transpiration and water loss.

  • Sugar transport: In the phloem, sugars produced during photosynthesis are transported to different parts of the plant for growth and energy storage. This transport occurs through osmosis, as sugars move from source regions with high sugar concentrations to sink regions with lower concentrations. This osmotic flow of sugars helps maintain the pressure flow mechanism, facilitating long-distance sugar transport in plants.

  • Root water uptake: Diffusion and osmosis are involved in the movement of water from the soil to the root surface and into the root cells. Water moves through the soil matrix via diffusion along a water potential gradient, and osmosis facilitates its entry into the root cells, driven by the concentration of solutes inside the root.

IV. Imbibition

A. Definition of imbibition

Imbibition refers to the process in which solid substances, such as plant seeds or cell walls, absorb water and undergo swelling. It occurs when the water molecules are absorbed into the internal structure of the material, causing it to expand and increase in volume. Imbibition is driven by capillary action and the adhesive properties of water.

B. Importance of imbibition in plant-water relations

Imbibition plays a significant role in plant-water relations and various aspects of plant biology.

  • Seed germination: Imbibition is crucial for seed germination. When a seed absorbs water, it swells, activating metabolic processes and triggering the growth of the embryo. Imbibition provides the necessary hydration for the seed to break its dormancy and initiate germination.

  • Cell expansion: Imbibition is responsible for the expansion and elongation of plant cells. When water is absorbed by the cell walls, they swell, leading to an increase in cell size. This process is vital for plant growth and development, as it enables the elongation of roots, stems, and leaves.

  • Turgor pressure: Imbibition contributes to the generation of turgor pressure within plant cells. When cells imbibe water, they become turgid, exerting pressure against the cell wall. Turgor pressure helps maintain cell rigidity, supporting plant structure and allowing for various physiological processes to occur.

C. Examples of imbibition in plants

Imbibition can be observed in different plant structures and processes.

  • Seed imbibition: Seeds absorb water during germination, causing them to swell and initiate the growth of the embryo. This is evident in the sprouting of seeds when they are provided with water.

  • Cell wall imbibition: Plant cell walls, composed of cellulose fibers, have the ability to imbibe water. This leads to the expansion of the cell walls, contributing to cell growth and elongation.

  • Hygroscopic movements: Certain plant structures, such as pine cones or fern leaves, exhibit hygroscopic movements through imbibition. When these structures absorb water, they undergo changes in shape or position, allowing for effective dispersal of seeds or regulation of moisture levels.

V. Plasmolysis

A. Definition of plasmolysis

Plasmolysis refers to the process in which plant cells lose water when exposed to a hypertonic external environment. As a result, the protoplast (cell contents) shrinks away from the cell wall. Plasmolysis occurs due to the movement of water molecules from an area of higher water potential inside the cell to an area of lower water potential outside the cell.

B. Importance of plasmolysis in plant-water relations

Plasmolysis is significant in understanding plant-water relations and the response of plants to water stress.

  • Water balance: Plasmolysis helps maintain water balance within plant cells. When the external environment becomes hypertonic, plasmolysis allows cells to release excess water, preventing bursting or damage to the cell wall.

  • Osmotic regulation: Plasmolysis is an adaptive response by plants to osmotic stress. It enables plants to conserve water by reducing the surface area exposed to the external environment, minimizing water loss through transpiration.

  • Survival under water stress: Plasmolysis allows plants to endure periods of drought or low water availability. By reducing water uptake and conserving internal water, plasmolysis helps plants survive in challenging environments.

C. Examples of plasmolysis in plants

Plasmolysis can be observed in various plant tissues and structures.

  • Leaf wilting: When plants experience water deficiency, their leaves may undergo plasmolysis, resulting in wilting. The cells lose water, causing the leaves to become limp and droop.

  • Drought tolerance adaptations: Certain plants have adaptations to cope with water scarcity. For example, succulent plants store water in their specialized tissues, allowing them to withstand prolonged periods of drought without undergoing severe plasmolysis.

  • Salt tolerance mechanisms: Plasmolysis is involved in plants’ response to high salt concentrations in the soil. Some salt-tolerant plants employ plasmolysis to limit water loss and maintain cellular integrity under osmotic stress caused by salinity.

VI. The Role of Water in Plant Growth and Development

Water Uptake by Plants

  • Water uptake is a crucial process in plant growth and development. It involves the absorption of water from the soil by plant roots.

  • Root structures, such as root hairs and mycorrhizal associations, play a vital role in increasing the surface area for water absorption.

  • Water uptake is facilitated by the osmotic potential of root cells, allowing them to draw in water from the soil.

Transpiration and Its Importance

  • Transpiration is the process by which plants lose water vapor through stomata, tiny pores on the surface of leaves.

  • It is a crucial process for plant functioning, serving multiple functions:

    • Water transport: Transpiration creates a “pull” that helps in the upward movement of water and nutrients from the roots to the rest of the plant.

    • Nutrient uptake: Transpiration facilitates the uptake of essential nutrients from the soil, as water uptake is closely linked to nutrient absorption.

    • Cooling effect: Transpiration helps regulate plant temperature by evaporative cooling. This is important for preventing overheating and maintaining optimal metabolic functions.

    • Gas exchange: Transpiration aids in the exchange of gases, such as carbon dioxide and oxygen, between the plant and the surrounding environment.

Ascent of Sap

  • The ascent of sap refers to the upward movement of water and dissolved nutrients in the xylem vessels of plants.

  • It occurs due to a combination of physical forces:

    • Transpiration pull: Water loss through transpiration creates a negative pressure, or tension, in the xylem, pulling water upwards.

    • Cohesion and adhesion: Water molecules exhibit cohesive properties, sticking together due to hydrogen bonding. This cohesion, along with adhesion to the xylem vessel walls, allows for the continuous movement of water in the xylem.

  • The ascent of sap enables the transport of water, minerals, and other necessary substances from the roots to the leaves and other plant parts.

VII. Factors Affecting Plant-Water Relations

Plant-water relations are influenced by various factors, including environmental, soil, and plant-related factors. These factors play a crucial role in determining water availability, uptake, and distribution within plants.

Environmental Factors (e.g., temperature, humidity)

  • Temperature: High temperatures increase water loss through transpiration, leading to higher water demands for plants. Extreme heat can also cause wilting and dehydration. Conversely, low temperatures can reduce water uptake and slow down plant processes.

  • Humidity: High humidity reduces the rate of water loss through transpiration, as the concentration gradient between plant leaves and the surrounding air is decreased. Low humidity, on the other hand, increases transpiration rates and may result in water stress.

  • Wind: Wind can accelerate transpiration by removing the boundary layer of still air surrounding the leaf surface. This can lead to increased water loss and potentially exacerbate water stress.

Soil Factors (e.g., soil type, water availability)

  • Soil type: Different soil types have varying water-holding capacities and drainage capabilities. Sandy soils tend to drain quickly, while clay soils have higher water retention capacity but can become compacted, impeding root access to water.

  • Water availability: The availability of water in the soil, often referred to as soil moisture content, is critical for plant-water relations. Insufficient water availability can result in water stress and negatively impact plant growth and development.

  • Soil fertility: Nutrient availability in the soil affects plant-water relations. Imbalances or deficiencies in essential nutrients can impair water uptake and utilization by plants.

Plant Factors (e.g., root structure, leaf structure)

  • Root structure: The morphology and distribution of plant roots influence water uptake. Extensive root systems with a high surface area enhance water absorption, while root hairs increase the efficiency of water and nutrient uptake.

  • Leaf structure: Leaf characteristics, such as size, shape, and the presence of stomata, affect transpiration rates. Leaves with a large surface area and a higher stomatal density tend to have higher transpiration rates and water loss.

  • Plant adaptations: Some plants have specialized adaptations to cope with water scarcity. For example, succulent plants store water in their fleshy tissues, and plants in arid environments may have reduced leaf surfaces or develop mechanisms to conserve water.


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