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TA: Zara Tabi (ztabi@ucsd.edu) BICD 120: Dr.

AIM: ztabi06 OH: By email Appt. Week 7
Plant Nutrition
-Nutrients essential for life  Found dissolved in the soil solution and taken up by
the roots
•The Macronutrients: S(SO42-), P(PO43-), •The Micronutrients: B, Cu, Mo, Mn, etc.
N(NO3 , NH4 ),
- +

K, Mg, Ca, Fe  “SPaNK My


Root Structure

(1) Root Meristem- Site of cell division (5) Cortex- Middle layer of root
(2) Root Cap- Protects root meristem - Can consist of one or many layers
from damage depending on
(3) Epidermis- Outermost layer of a root the plant
- Reponsible for H2O absorbtion (6) Endodermis- Surrounds vascular
(4) Root Hairs- Projections from tissue
epidermal cells (7) Casparian Strip- Layer of endodermis
- Increased surface area for H2O impermeable by Ions and H2O
(8) Stele- Region of vascular tissue
(xylem, phloem)

Nutrient Uptake
- Ions can travel 2 ways through a root:
1) Symplasm- System of cytoplasm connected via
2) Apoplasm- System of cell walls
- Cannot reach the stele of a root through apoplasmic
• Casparian strip of the endodermis acts as a block
- Ions eventually need to cross a plasma membrane to
enter the symplasm
• Active transport  Needs ATP!
- Uses ATPase & Co-transporter
• Can bypass the Casparian strip by plasmodesmata
Transpiration: How H2O & Salts travel from roots to shoots
- H2O evaporation from the stomata “pulls” water up shoot 
Pulling/Tension Force
- H-Bonding between water molecules allows H2O column to stay
in tact  Cohesion

-Controlled by the opening & closing of stomates!

• When open, allows CO2 in (for Photosynthesis) and H2O out
-Open: Light, -Close: Dark, High Temp, High CO2,
Low O2 Low H2O (ABA)

Photosynthate Transport: Occurs through the phloem and can be

multidirectional; Primarily Succrose
Source: Where photosynthate is Sink: Where photosynthate is needed
produced or stored
• Mature Leaves • Leaves (in • Young Leaves • Roots (in
• Storage Organs Summer) • Fruits Summer)
• Cotyldons • Roots (in • Flowers  Leaves (in
Spring) • Seeds Spring)
- Osmotic Pressure Flow Theory- Use of osmotic pressure, based on sucrose [ ], to

Nitrogen Fixation: The conversion of N2 into a usable form (NH4)  Symbiotic

- Key Enzyme: Nitrogenase  Provided by the Bacteria (Rhizobium)
• Energy Intensive process 
Needs ATP } Energy and Proper environment
• Needs Fe & Mo  Sensitive to supplied by plant!

The Steps:
1) Plants release compounds to attract 2) Bacteria attach to roots, causing root
bacteria hair to curl.
- Nod genes in bacteria are activated
to synthesize
3) Bacteria enter the plant via an 4) New plant meristem formation
infection thread - Site of future nodule
- Bacteria is protected from plant
defense systems

5) Bacteria terminally differentiate to 6) Nodule formation is complete


Plant Pathology and Defense

- Plant Epidemics—Result in a large amount of crop lost
• Ex. Great Potato Blight (Phytoptera), SD Citrus Quarantine (Psylid)
• Chance of epidemic is greater with monoculturing  use of one variety
over a large area

- Plant Stresses: Can be Abiotic or Biotic  understand the difference between the
two and know examples!

- Methods of biotic attack:

• Herbivory—eating of plant tissue  Performed by insects and animals
• Cell Infection—gain acess to cytoplasm  Microbes (bacteria, fungi, etc.)

-Plants vs. Predators

Plant Defense—How do they protect Microbe Attack—How do they get past
themselves? these defenses?
1) Physical Defense- Protect entry into 1) Oppurtunistic- Infect at wound sites
cytoplasm already present (due to herbivory,
• Ex. Bark, Wax cuticle, cell wall pruning, etc.)

2) Chemical Defense 2) Brute Force- The breaking down of

• Proteins: Lectins (fungi, bacteria) or protective layers with enzymes or toxins
protease • Enzymes are HOST SPECIFIC:
inhibitors (insects, animals) Hydrolases
• Organics: Secondary metabolites - Break down cell wall
- Phenolics, Tanins, Alkaloids • Toxins: Small organics,
- Phytoalexins- similar to phytohormones (auxin, cytokinin,
antibiotics gibberellin)
• Most toxins are PATHOGEN
SPECIFIC 3) Specialized mechanisms: can differ
- If a general toxin, can be stored between different microbes
safely in • Ex. Entrance through natural
vacuole, cell wall, or specialized openings (stomates)
structures until

- Specific Case: Herbivory Defense in Potato

• When attacked, protease inhibitors (PI’s) are
released, disrupting
digestion in the herbivore’s stomach
- Simple wounding induces this effect
• Leaf-to-leaf communication is possible
 Signal molecule systemin (protein)
- Transported through the phloem
• Plant-to-Plant communication also possible
 Signal molecule methyl jasmonate (volatile)
- Only wounded plants can produce signal