Note on Plant Nutrition and Transport

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Plant Nutrition and Transport


Photosynthesis is the process that produces food in plants, it produces glucose.

Photosynthesis happens in the chloroplasts, which are found in leaf cells and in other green parts of a plant. Chloroplast contains a pigment called chlorophyll which absorbs sunlight and uses its energy to convert carbon dioxide and water to glucose. Oxygen is produced.

Leaves are designed for photosynthesis as seen by the structure:

  • Leaves are broad so there is a large surface area exposed to light.
  • Most of the chloroplasts are found in the palisade layer. That is so they’re near the top of the leaf where there is a lot of light.
  • The palisade is very tightly packed so no light is lost.
  • The upper epidermis is transparent so light can pass through.
  • Leaves have a network of vascular bundles  they are transport vessels xylem and phloem. They deliver water and other nutrients to each part of the leaf and take away the glucose.
  • The waxy cuticle stops water leaving by evaporation
  • And the leaf is great at gas exchange as there is a lot of space in the spongy mesophyll where the gases i.e. CO2can be exchange.

Rate of Photosynthesis

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The three things that effect that rate of photosynthesis is CO2 and light intensity and Temperature, they can be limiting factors. A limiting factor is something that stops something for progressing i.e. if there isn’t any light no photosynthesis will happen. :

Photosynthesis Experiments

To test the leaf for starch:

  • Leaf is killed in boiling water to stop all chemical reactions for fair test
  • Put it in ethanol to rid of chlorophyll, it should turn white
  • Then add iodine solution to test for starch.

We can use the starch test to test what affects the rate of photosynthesis ...

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