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Question Video: Identifying the Type of Defense That Newly Formed Cork Layers Are Biology

Fill in the blank: The formation of cork layers in response to damage or infection is an example of _ defense in plants.

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Video Transcript

Fill in the blank. The formation of cork layers in response to damage or infection is an example of blank defense in plants. (A) A biochemical, (B) a preexisting structural, or (C) an induced structural.

To answer this question, let’s first review why the formation of cork layers happens.

When plant tissues like, for example, the bark on a tree are damaged, an entrance point for a pathogen to infect the plant is created in the outer protective layer of the plant. In order to block the opening created by the damage and prevent outside pathogens or other disease-causing elements from entering the inner tissues of the plant, some plants can form layers of cork. What kind of a defense is that?

We can easily see that this defense involves physically blocking the entrance of pathogens and does not use a chemical substance. It is therefore a structural, not a biochemical, defense. Also, since this formation happens as a response to damage, it isn’t a preexisting defense, like, for example, the layer of bark on a tree trunk would be. It is instead an induced defense or a defensive structure that is only produced in response to an actual attack or damage.

Therefore, the correct answer must be (C). The formation of cork layers in response to damage or infection is an example of an induced structural defense in plants.

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