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LIFE PROCESSES

All the processes such as respiration, nutrition, circulation, excretion etc. that are necessary for the survival of the living organisms
are known as life processes.

Modes of Nutrition
The two most common type of nutrition are autotrophic nutrition and heterotrophic nutrition.

Autotrophic Nutrition
It is a type of nutrition in which inorganic materials such as carbon-dioxide, is used up to synthesize organic food by a process
known as photosynthesis. For example, green plants use autotrophic mode of nutrition. Organisms which uses autotrophic mode
of nutrition are known as autotrophs.

Now the question arises how autotrophic nutrition occurs in plants using photosynthesis?
For the photosynthesis to occur, carbon-dioxide, water, sunlight and chlorophyll are the required raw materials. Sunlight provides
energy, chlorophyll is used to absorb the sunlight, carbon-dioxide is reduced to carbohydrates and water is oxidized to release
the oxygen. Water is taken up from the soil through the roots.

The site where the photosynthesis occurs in known as chloroplast. They contain green colour pigment known as chlorophyll that
traps sunlight for photosynthesis.

Steps of the photosynthesis are as follows-

 Absorption of light by chlorophyll.

 Conversion of light energy into chemical energy.

 Splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen.

 Finally, reduction of carbon-dioxide into carbohydrates.

Leaves contain small openings known as stomata which helps in exchange of gases. Stomata/stoma is surrounded by guard
cell which guards the opening and closing of stomata. Guard cells also contain chloroplast.

Fig.1. Structure of Stomata


The overall equation of photosynthesis is:

Heterotrophic Nutrition
In this mode of nutrition, an organism is unable to synthesize its own food. It is of following types-

1. Holozoic nutrition is a type of nutrition where an organism takes in whole food and break it inside the body. For example,
Amoeba.
2. Saprophytic nutrition is a nutrition in which organisms feed on dead and decaying matter. For example, fungi.
3. Parasitic nutrition is a nutrition in which organism feed on living host. For example, Cuscutta.
Nutrition in Human Beings
Humans consists of alimentary canal which starts from mouth and ends at anus. The parts of the alimentary canal are as follows-

1. Mouth2. Pharynx3. Oesophagus/food pipe4. Stomach5. Small intestine6. Large intestine7. Rectum8. Anus
Mouth is the first portion of the alimentary canal. Mouth consists of muscular tongue and teeth’s. Cavity inside the mouth is
known as oral cavity.

Mechanism of Digestion of Food


 Food digestion process begins in the mouth. Food is complex in nature.

 To breakdown food and absorb it, we need biological catalyst known as enzymes.

 Mouth contains salivary glands that secrete saliva. Saliva contains an important enzyme known as salivary enzymes that breaks
down starch into simple sugars.
 The food then passes via oesophagus into the stomach. The movement of the food inside the oesophagus occurs via rhythmic
contraction of muscles, this is known as peristalsis.
 Stomach contains gastric glands that secrete mucus, hydrochloric acid and pepsin. Pepsin is a protein digesting enzyme.
 After stomach, food then enters into small intestine. Small intestine is larger in herbivores due to cellulose digestion
compared to carnivores.
 Complete digestion of carbohydrates, proteins and fats occurs in small intestine.

 Small intestine receives secretions from pancreas and bile from the liver. Bile helps in emulsification of fats whereas pancreas
secrete enzymes such as trypsin for protein digestion. Intestinal wall also contains glands that secrete intestinal juice.
 Small intestine has villi that increases the surface area for the absorption of food.
 The unabsorbed food is then transferred to large intestine where water is absorbed.

 Undigested food is then expelled out from the anus.

Respiration
 It is a metabolic process which involves breakdown of food to release energy is known as respiration.

Fig.5. Breakdown of glucose by different pathways


 The breakdown of pyruvate into ethanol and carbon-dioxide is absence of oxygen is known as fermentation. As this process
occurs in absence of oxygen, it is known as anaerobic respiration. When the pyruvate is broken down in carbon-dioxide and water
in presence of oxygen it is known as aerobic respiration.

 The energy released during the process is used up to synthesize the ATP (adenosine triphosphate).

 Compared to animals, plants used stomata to exchange carbon-dioxide and oxygen. This exchange occurs through diffusion.
Respiration in Human Beings
Human respiratory system starts consists of nostrils, nasal cavity, pharynx, trachea, bronchi, bronchioles and then lungs. In lungs,
alveoli are present, where exchange between the oxygen and carbon-dioxide takes place Humans have a respiratory pigment
known as haemoglobin to carry the oxygen to different parts of the body and to remove carbon-dioxide from the body. Compared
to oxygen, carbon-dioxide is more soluble in water, so it is usually transported in dissolved form.
Fig.6. Passage of air in Humans
Transportation in Human Beings
Blood is a fluid connective tissue that transport food, oxygen, carbon-dioxide, nitrogenous waste etc. Blood contains plasma and
blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body. Heart is the pumping organ in the body.
 Human heart is 4 chambered, with two atrium and two ventricles.
 Left atrium receives the oxygen rich blood from the lungs. While receiving blood it relaxes.
 Left ventricle pumps oxygen rich blood throughout the body.
 De-oxygenated blood comes from the body to the upper right atrium. It contracts to pump the blood to right ventricle.
 Right ventricle pumps the blood to the lungs for oxygenation.

Fig.7 Double Circulation and Structure of Human Heart


Note: Fishes have two chambered heart, amphibians and reptiles have three chambered heart except crocodile which possess 4
chambered heart. Birds and mammals have 4 chambered heart.
Double Circulation
The right side and left side of the heart are separated to prevent the mixing of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood. In vertebrates,
blood goes through the heart twice during each cycle. This is defined as double circulation. (NTSE)

Note: The force that the blood exerts against the wall of the vessel is known as blood pressure. Pressure of blood inside the artery
during ventricular contraction is known as systolic pressure whereas the pressure in the artery during ventricular relaxation is
known as diastolic pressure. The normal blood pressure is 120/80 mm of Hg.
 Platelets are blood cells that helps in blood clotting.

 Lymph also known as interstitial fluid is a fluid that that leak out from the pores of the capillaries.

Transport in Plants
 Plants have xylem for the transportation of water. Xylem transports water from the roots to different parts of the plants. Xylem
tissue consists of vessels and tracheids.

 Loss of water in the form of water vapour from the aerial parts of the plants is known as transpiration. The transpiration creates
a suction which pulls the water up to the higher plants.

 Similarly, transport of food in plants occurs via phloem. It transports food from the leaves to different parts of the plants.

Fig.9. Transport in Plants


Excretion
 The process involved in the removal of nitrogenous waste from the body is known as excretion.

 Excretory system of humans consists of a pair of kidneys, a pair of ureters, urinary bladder and urethra.

 The basic filtration unit of the kidneys is known as nephrons.

 Nephron are the structural and functional unit of kidneys.

 They consist of bowman’s capsule and renal tubule.

 For the formation of urine, some substances such as glucose, amino acids are selectively reabsorbed.

 Amount of water reabsorbed depends on how much water is there in the body.

 Urinary bladder is a muscular structure and it is under nervous control

Note: plants excrete their waste through transpiration. Plants also produce other excretory waste in the form of gums, resins etc.

CONTROL AND COORDINATION

Different organs work together in an organism to carry out different functions, this is known as coordination. Proper control
and coordination is necessary to carry out essential functions of the life.

Animals Nervous System:Animals nervous system consists of specialized nerve cells also known as neurons. A typical
neuron consists of cell body, axon and dendrites. Cell body contains nucleus. Dendrites detects the information from the
environment. This information is picked up by the dendritic tips and sets off the electrical impulse which travels from
dendrite to cell body and then to axon.

Fig.1. Structure of the Neuron


Reflex Action
A sudden response to some environment stimulus is known as reflex. For example, we sudden take off our hand from the
flame without thinking.

Reflex Arch
Sensory neurons synapse in the spinal cord before it passes to the brain. This pathway is known as reflex arch.

Nervous System
Vertebrate’s nervous system is classified as central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. Brain and spinal cord
are the parts of central nervous system. Peripheral nervous system consists of autonomic nervous system and somatic
nervous system. Autonomic nervous system consists of spinal nerves and cranial nerves.

Human Brain
Brain is divided into forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain.

 Forebrain consists of cerebrum, hypothalamus and thalamus. Forebrain is specialized in hearing, sight, smell etc. It also
controls voluntary movements in our body such as movement of leg muscles. Centre for hunger is also located in the
separate part of forebrain. Cerebrum or the cerebral cortex consists of 4 lobes- parietal lobe, temporal lobe, occipital lobe
and frontal lobes. (NTSE LEVEL)\
 Midbrain is located between the forebrain and hindbrain. It controls certain involuntary actions in the body.
 Hindbrain consists of pons, medulla and cerebellum. It controls salivation, blood pressure and vomiting. Cerebellum also
controls certain important functions such as riding a bicycle, picking up a pencil. It also maintains posture and balance of
the body.

Fig.4. Structure of Human Brain


Brain is protected in a bony case known as cranium. Cranium also contains a fluid filled in it known as cerebrospinal fluid
(CSF) that protects the brain from mechanical shock and injury. And spinal cord is protected by vertebral column.

How nervous tissue causes action?


Information is received by nervous tissue, then it passes to brain muscles and then it causes the action. The junction between
the two neurons is known as synapse. Information are passed from one neuron to another neuron via electrical or chemical
transmission.
Electrical transmission Chemical transmission

No need of neurotransmitter is needed Neurotransmitter is needed

Fast mode of nerve impulse transmission Slow mode of nerve impulse transmission

Impulse are directly transmitted from one neuron to another neuron Impulse are not directly transmitted from one neuron to another neuron

Coordination in plants
Plants though do not have nervous system or muscles but they also respond towards the stimulus. For example, when we
touch Mimosa pudica(touch-me-not plant), its leaves fold up and droop. There are two types of movements in plants -
dependent on growth and independent of growth. When we touch the Mimosa pudica, its leaves fold up but no growth
occurs, so it does not involve any growth. But movement of seedling is due to growth. Plants convey information from cell
to cell through electrical-chemical means.
Hormones produced by the plant
 Auxins Promote root growth
 Cytokinin Promote shoot growth and cell division
 Gibberellin Promotes flowering
 Abscisic acid inhibits growth
 Ethylene It helps in fruit ripening

Movement due to growth


The most common example of movement of growth are tendrils. Tendrils are sensitive to touch. When they come in contact
with some object, the part of tendril away from the object will grow fast compare to the part of tendril which is in contact
with the object. So it is a directional movement and it appears as if the plant is moving.Directional movements of the plants
are known as tropic movements. The movement can be towards the stimulus or away from the stimulus. Examples of some
movements in plants are mentioned below-

 Phototropism- Movement due to light


 Gravitropism- Movement due to gravity
 Hydrotropism- Movement due to water
 Chemotropism-Movement due to some chemicals

Endocrine Glands:They are the chemical messengers that are secreted in small quantities. There are two types of glands-
endocrine glands and exocrine glands. Endocrine glands do not have ducts to carry the secretion and they produces the
hormones.
 Thyroid gland- Produces thyroxine that regulates carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism
 Adrenal gland- Produces adrenaline and it is secreted at the time of fear, fight or flight
 Pancreas- Produces insulin and glucagon which regulate glucose metabolism in our body
 Testis- Produces male hormone known as testosterone required male secondary sexual characteristics such as beard and
moustaches.
 Pituitary gland- Secretes growth hormone that regulates the growth and development of an organism
 Ovaries-Produces oestrogen needed for female sexual development