You are on page 1of 2


Plant physiology is the science that studies how functions work in plants.
Plant classification
Non vascular
Most of the researches done by plant physiologysts uses plants with short genome and live cycle in order
to study them.
The most typical plants used in researches are weed plants. The plant most used is Arabidopsis thaliana
which has 4 generations in 1 year.
Specially in genetic research Arabidopsis is very important. When an structure is discovered in Arabidopsis
it is easy to translate the discovering to other plants. Studying Monocots is esential because of the
economic interest in them.
Two principle parts in plants
Shoot: stem + leaves (leaf)
Shoot: Photosyntesis (leaves)
Root: Absorb water and minerals for the rest of the organism.
Apical meristems are the ones that becomes the principal tissues of the plant (epidermis, ground tissue parenquimathic-, with different functions and vascular tissues -Xylem, inside root up and Floem,outside,
from photosyntetic to non photosyntetic organs-).
Transports: Basipetal: From the apex to the base
Acropetal: From the base to the apex
In physiology we study the processes that happen in the plant and what effects doees those processes
have in the whole plant.
Most of the H2O that the plant takes from the ground is used to transport substances and signals on the
vascular tissues.
Plant cells sends signals to all other cells of the organism.
Obviously, plants can't move, since that they can't do it, plants develop roots to look for water an minerals
for the photosynthetic process. Development in plants remains the whole life in special tissues -meristems. As plants has to spend all life in the same position, development is very influenced by two things: the
genetic developmental program and the enviromental conditions. Because of these, cells need to send
signals to tell the other cells where they are or what to do, to sincronize all processes that occur in the
whole organism.
Plants are defined by the next facts:
They do photosyntesis, have a continious water flow on the whole plant, they are anchored to the ground;
they have a special mechanichal system as they have vacuoles and cell wall that regules that mechanical
structure. Also they have a special signal system.
Orgnulo: Organell
Vocabulary: Cell wall, Plasma membrane, chloroplast, mitochondrion, central vacuole, ribosomes, nucleus.
Plamodesmata: Plasmodesmo
Semiautonomous organells: mitochondria and plastids.
Other organells: Endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi, Nuclear envelope, plasma membrane, microbodies and oil
bodies. Cytoskeleton.
Cell wall
Mostly formed by proteins and carbohidrates. The cell walls of near cells are united by middle lamella
(pectins). It's inmobile, immobilites the cell. The cell wall fixes the cell in its position inside the plant.
Asimetric divisions during the development of the plant gives diferent functions for the cells. It gives
mechanical strength to the organism.

There are 2 parts on the cell wall, the primary cell and the secondary which if made of lignin.
To give mechanical strength to the cell, the secondary wall relingnifies.
During cell division, the components of the cell wall get expanded and makes the process possible, as the
components during non-mithotical processes are relaxed.
Cell wall is interrupted by plasmodesmata which connect the cells and are critical in many plant processes.
The cell wall is connected physically to the plasma membrane (pressuring it) and makes impossible the
collapse of the cells. This connection is very important as a way to exchange signals. Cell wall controls
signal direction.
It has a doble membrane and has eucromatine and heterocromatine.
The genome in plants has different sizes (it has the largest range). Sometimes, plant cell hasn't got a
nucleus, as their function makes them not necessary (sieve tube elements in phloem, tracheary elements in
xylem and sclerenchyma fibers, for example).

Semiautonomous organelles
Mitochondrion and cholorplast have and endosymbiotic origin (they where prokaryotic and when they
were taken, they remained inside the cell and started a symbiotic process). Principal function is making
energy for the cell. During evolutive process these organelles have been losing part of their genome. By the
way, they have their own replication system which is independent from the cell genome. Mitochondria are
different as the functions of the cell can be very different. Mitochondria have a double membrane and 2
compartments. In the inner mitochndrial membrane is where mithocondrial electron transport occurs. The
main function of mithocondria is, as a result, cell respiration. Inside the matrix, the genome is replicated and
translated with the own ribosomes of the mithocondrion.
Plastids. Chloroplasts are related with a family of organelles -plastids-.
The different form of development of these plastids is translated in different types of plastids such as
etioplasts, propastid(which is the phase between
chloroplast and the others -leucoplasts, chromoplasts, and leucoplasts)
Special plastids acumulate pigments and gives the colors to many strctures such as fruits. An example are
chromoplasts acumulating B-caroten in carrots. Amyloplasts are usually found in roots. Some of these
plastids are used in biotechnology acumulate substances that are interesting for biotechnology. Other
examples are elaioplasts and proteinoplasts.
Principal functions: Photosyntesis, synthesis of fatty acids and sythesis of certain amino acids storage.
Chloroplast have 2 main membranes (inner and outer, separated by intermembrane space). A third
membrane system exists inside the strome which is named granum (composed by tylakoids) The inside
of the tylakoid is the lumen of the tylakoid.
As mitochondria, chloroplasts do their own replication, transcription and translation of their genome.
Both mithocondria and chloroplasts can exchange substances with other mitochondria and chloroplasts,
forming some connections. With these system, mitochondria and chloroplasts can exchange genomes with
other organelles of their kind (mitochondria-mitochondria).