Introduction to Transport in Plants

Plants may grow hundreds of feet tall and numerous feet wide. Due to this, the transport of food, water and minerals in plants must be efficient. To aid in efficiency, plants have developed vascular tissues know as the xylem (pronounced Zy- lem) and the phloem (pronounced flow- em).


-The xylem transports water and minerals throughout the plant.

-The phloem is used to transport sugars made by the plant.


Sugars are carried from the source to the sink using osmotic pressure. The source is the place where sugar is created, usually the leaves, and the sink is the place where sugar is used or stored.


It is important to note that water, minerals, and food (produced from photosynthesis) must be transported throughout the plant otherwise the plant will wilt and/or have growth defects.

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