Sat April 07, 2012 By: Lipi

which process is involved in transport of water and mineral salts from root to other cells? Is it osmosis or diffusion. Explain In detail.

Expert Reply
Mon April 09, 2012
Water and minerals enter a plant through special cells called root hair cells. The water is taken up through a special form of diffusion called osmosis, but the mineral salts may also be taken up by active transport.
The soil particles have higher water potential than the vacuole of the root hair cell. Water and nitrates diffuse from the soil particles to the root hair cell. The root hair cell becomes more dilute than the surrounding cortex cells. Water and nitrates diffuse from the root hair cell to the cortex cells by osmosis. Water diffuses from one cell to another until water eventually enters the xylem tubes.
(Water continues to enter the root by osmosis because there is a high concentration of mineral salts in the cells and the water is moved up the plant by the xylem.)
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