Important questions based on NCERT syllabus for Chapter 11 - Transport in Plants:
Question-1: Describe the role played by protein pumps during active transport in plants.
Solution: Active transport uses energy to pump molecules against a concentration gradient. Active transport is carried out by membrane play a major role in both active as well as passive transport. Pumps are proteins that use energy to carry substances across the cell membrane. These pumps can transport substances from a low concentration to a high concentration (‘uphill’ transport). E.g.,H+ pump,K+ pump, Cl- pump, Na+-K pump.The pumps operate with the help of ATP.K+-H+ exchange pump occurs in guard cells. Na+-K+ exchange pump operates across many animal membranes. Transport rate reaches a maximum when all the protein transporters or pumps are being used or are saturated.Like enzymes these carrier proteins are very specific in what they carry across the membrane. These proteins are sensitive to inhibitors that react with protein side chains.
Question-2: Explain why pure water has the maximum water potential.
Solution: Water molecules possess kinetic energy. In liquid and gaseous form they are in random motion that is both rapid and constant. The greater the concentration of water in a system, the greater is its kinetic energy or ‘water potential’. Hence, it is obvious that pure water will have the greatest water potential. Water potential is denoted by the Greek symbol Psi or ψ and is expressed in pressure units such as pascals (Pa). By convention, the water potential of pure water at standard temperatures, which is not under any pressure, is taken to be zero. If some solute is dissolved in pure water, the solution has less free water and the concentration of water’decreases, reducing its water potential. Hence, all solutions have a lower water potential than pure water.
Question-3: How is the mycorrhizal association helpful in absorption of water and minerals in plants?
Solution: Some plants have additional structures associated with them that help in water (and mineral) absorption. A mycorrhiza is a symbiotic association of a,fungus with a root system. The fungal filaments form a network around the young root or they penetrate the root cells. The hyphae have a very large surface area that absorb mineral ions and water from the soil from a much larger volume of soil that perhaps a root cannot do. The fungus provides minerals and water to the roots, in turn the roots provide sugars and N-containing compounds to the mycorrhizae. Some plants have an obligate association with the mycorrhizae. For example Pinus seeds cannot germinate and establish without the presence of mycorrhizae.