Question Video: Recalling the Vascular Structures That Are Responsible for the Transport of Water and Minerals in a Plant | Nagwa Question Video: Recalling the Vascular Structures That Are Responsible for the Transport of Water and Minerals in a Plant | Nagwa

Question Video: Recalling the Vascular Structures That Are Responsible for the Transport of Water and Minerals in a Plant Biology • Second Year of Secondary School

In a plant stem, which part of the vascular bundle is responsible for transporting water and minerals from roots to leaves?

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Video Transcript

In a plant stem, which part of the vascular bundle is responsible for transporting water and minerals from roots to leaves? (A) Xylem vessels and sieve tubes, (B) xylem vessels and tracheids, (C) tracheids and sieve tubes, or (D) cambium.

Much like humans, plants need a vascular system to transport vital molecules, like sugars and water, to all of their cells. In plants, this vascular system is primarily composed of vascular bundles. This question asks us about a specific structure, or structures, found in the vascular bundles of a plant stem responsible for transporting water and minerals. To work out the correct answer, let’s take a closer look at a vascular bundle, several of which are displayed in this diagram of a typical stem, to work out which part is specifically adapted for this function.

Each vascular bundle is made up of two main regions: the xylem and the phloem. The xylem and phloem are separated by a region called the cambium, which contains unspecialized cells called meristem cells that can extend the xylem and phloem vessels to reach other parts of the plant as it grows. The phloem is responsible for transporting solutes, like the sugars that are produced in photosynthesis and amino acids. The xylem, on the other hand, is responsible for transporting water and dissolved minerals from the roots up through the plant stem to all the other parts that require them, like the leaves. This is the structure of interest to us in this question.

Let’s take a closer look at which specific parts of the xylem transport water and minerals. Xylem tissue consists primarily of two types of cell: xylem vessels and xylem fibers. The cells in xylem vessels are stacked end to end with their end walls broken down to form a hollow, waterproof tube through which water and any dissolved minerals can be transported. Some parts of the xylem might include cells called tracheids that can also transport water and dissolved minerals. Tracheids are structurally similar to xylem vessels but are tapered, closed, and often longer and thinner. Xylem fibers help to provide structural support to the xylem vessels, preventing them from collapsing.

This question asks us about the part of the vascular bundle that transports water and minerals. And we just learned that this is a responsibility of the xylem, specifically the xylem vessels and tracheids. So, the part of the vascular bundle that is responsible for transporting water and minerals from roots to leaves is (B), xylem vessels and tracheids.

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