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Lloyd O.

Graduate Student
MSc in Biology
Ateneo de Manila University
Water-conducting Tissue
 Conducts water and minerals from the
roots to the leaves of the plant
Xylem Structures
1. Fibers
 thick-walled, elongated
 provide plant structural support

2. Parenchyma cells
 thin-walled
 for storage and lateral translocation of
Xylem Structures
3. Tracheary elements
 principal water-conducting cells
 consist of two interacting types of cells
a. Tracheids
b. Vessels
 Tracheids and vessels both
 are elongated
 have heavily thickened secondary walls
 die at maturity, devoid of all protoplasm
Xylem Structures
 longer
 have tapered overlapping ends
 secondary walls are thickened with
cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin
 Pit pairs - tiny openings in secondary walls
which facilitate either vertical or lateral
water movement between adjacent
Xylem Structures
 wider and shorter than tracheids; lack tapered
 made up of longitudinally arranged individual
units known as vessel members.
 Perforation plates - end walls which generally
allow a continuous water and mineral
transport throughout the entire vessel
 no perforation plates at the last vessel member
in a sequence, but water is still able to move
laterally from one vessel to the next due to the
presence of pit pairs
Cohesion-tension Theory
Cohesion-tension Theory
 describes how water from ground level
move to the top of a plant
 driving force for water movement in the
1. transpiration or the loss of water to the
atmosphere through evaporation at leaf
stomata, and
2. its resulting tension
Cohesion-tension Theory
 During daytime, transpiration is favoured
in which at least 90% of the water taken
up by roots is lost through stomata.
 Loss of water from the leaves exerts
tension which extends from leaves to roots
and draws water up in vessels.
Cohesion-tension Theory
 As long as there is plenty of water from
the environment, stomata remain open as
regulated by guard cells, and contribute
to plant turgidity, or stiffness.
 When water is deficient, stomata close
and may lead to wilting, or loss of
turgidity, and death in most severe cases.
Cohesion-tension Theory
Root water uptake
 Water and minerals enter the plant
through root hairs by diffusion to the
cortex until they reach the Casparian
bands where they will be directed to
enter the endodermal cells, and finally
the xylem.
Cohesion-tension Theory
Water movement in the xylem
 In addition to tension, the upward movement
of water is possible because of the cohesive
forces acting between water molecules, and
the adhesive forces acting between water
molecules and xylem walls.
 Cohesion - the tendency of water molecules to
cling together due to hydrogen bonds
 Adhesion - the ability of water to interact with
molecules comprising the walls of xylem vessels

Figure 2. Transport of water and minerals in
plants (Source: Price, 2006)
Supplementary Materials
 Video:
 Plant transport: Xylem and phloem,
 Interactive Animation:
 Cohesion-tension Theory
Lloyd O. Balinado
Graduate Student
MSc in Biology
Ateneo de Manila University