Communication Within the Body

Nutrient Delivery in Vascular Plants
  No “heart”, nutrients distributed using “physical” mechanisms Gas exchanged via diffusion through: o Stomata in leaves (and young stems) o “Lenticels” in bark of older stems (rougher bark), roots

“Aerenchyma” and “pneumatophores”, supply roots when flooded

What about water and minerals from soil?
  Roots, rootlets, root hairs on cells  maximize absorptive surface area (SA) Water, minerals from roots to shoots via xylem tracheary elements o Transpiration – cohesion – tension mechanism

Mineral elements scavenged from water

What about sugars from leaves?
 Sugars from “Source” (i.e. leaves) to rest of cells (“Sinks”, i.e. root parenchyma cells) via phloem o Active loading and unloading of sieve tube members of phloem required Movement from source to sink driven by osmosis + other factors  Pressure Flow Model

How does plant “body plan” maximize SA, minimize diffusion distance?
  Example: amount of living tissue in tree trunks is small (outer few centimeters underneath bark) “Rays” maximize surface area for scavenging nutrients from water in xylem.

Long Distance Internal Communication

Communication between adjacent cells
 Why is cell-to-cell communication important? o Cell identifies “what, where, function, timing of function” o Responses occur at the cellular level

How can cell-to-cell communication be established?
 Direct cytoplasmic connections o i.e. gap junctions via “connexons” in animals o i.e. “plasmodesmata” in plants  forms a “symplast”

Cell surface proteins, glycoproteins, sugars o i.e. N-CAMs and cadherins  “neural cell adhesion molecules” and organ specific cell-to-cell binding proteins (Ca-dependent) o Cadherins act in cell sorting

Signaling molecules that are lipid-soluble (describes hormones) o Molecules made, released by one cell recognized by receptor within adjacent cell, invoking response o i.e. steroid hormones Water-soluble signaling molecules (describes hormones) o Made, released by one cell, recognized by receptors on adjacent cell surface o i.e. acetylcholine and ACh receptors o Note: signal must be “transduced” to invoke response

Hormones (Gr. “excite”)
“Chemical substance produced in one part of the body which has a specific effect on the physiology or biochemistry of target cells” Usually effective in extremely small doses

Why a hormonal communication system?
 Regulate “slow” responses that require changes in metabolic activities of target cells, tissues. o Some changes may be permanent

Hormonal systems affect:
   Growth and development Homeostasis Energy availability