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How do CPs absorb nutrients?


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This morning I was standing looking at my Nep. and thinking about how the nutrients flow to the rest of the plant.

It totally goes against the flow of photosynthesis (pardon the pun), all the plumbing in a regular plant flows from roots to leaves. But yet here we are with something that draws nutrients from leaf tip, to another part of the plant.

I did a few searches but all I find is the phrase "absorbs" but never how it absorbs.

Does anyone understand this yet or have link to a site with explanation? Or is this as far as modern science has got so far?

As you can tell I'm the type of guy that likes to pull things apart to see how they work.

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It totally goes against the flow of photosynthesis (pardon the pun), all the plumbing in a regular plant flows from roots to leaves.

Your understanding of plant 'plumbing' appears to be rather flawed Ben. Water flows from roots to leaves - yes. But the products of photosynthesis flow FROM the leaves and some products such as starch, flow to the roots where it is stored.

All plants can absord nutrients through their leaves, which is why if you go into the garden centre (or such like), you can buy foliar feeds.

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Your understanding of plant 'plumbing' appears to be rather flawed Ben. Water flows from roots to leaves - yes. But the products of photosynthesis flow FROM the leaves and some products such as starch, flow to the roots where it is stored.

All plants can absord nutrients through their leaves, which is why if you go into the garden centre (or such like), you can buy foliar feeds.

Tis true, I was only thinking of the water.

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Vascular plants have two transport tissues, xylem and phloem. The xylem's for the water, roots to leaves, the phloem transports the glucose, the product of photosynthesis, from leaves to roots.

http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/booksellers/press_release/studentscience/gif/xylem1.gif

Edited by Amar
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I expect the Nepenthes pitcher to be similar to a human stomach in some respects. The stomach produces highly concentrated hydrochloric acid by parietal cells mostly located in the pylorus (the end part of the stomach). This correlates with the pitcher anatomy and where the glandular tissue is situated.

The difference is that virtually nothing is absorbed in a human stomach - yet everything is absorbed in the pitcher.

There could be some active transport mechanisms, similar to that in root hair cells, to actively move nutrients from the pitcher juice across the cell wall and into the circulation of the plant.

Just a hypothesis!

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There could be some active transport mechanisms, similar to that in root hair cells, to actively move nutrients from the pitcher juice across the cell wall and into the circulation of the plant.

i.e down a concentration gradient. That's how all cells work.

Now I'm wondering. When a Sarracenia absorbs his nutrients, they all go down to the rhizome, no?

Where do they go for, say, Nepenthes, or Drosera rotundifolia? The whole plant? Or just into the little roots?

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On the contrary, James, all cells don't work passively - however this also a possibility for nutrient absorption.

Plant root hair cells absorb water passively, down the concentration gradient via osmosis (as you mentioned). No energy is required for this.

Plant root hair cells also absorb substances actively, UP a concentration gradient. Examples include minerals in the soil. To do this the plants expend energy.

Transferring my medical knowledge into plants, I postulate that there will be a transporter which will "suck in the nutrients" into the glandular pitcher cells and be transported throughout the plant.

Further, I would imagine that the nutrients will be transported around the plant vasculature and into all cells. From here, the nutrients can be used for growth and development and cellular tasks. If it is not used immediately, it may be stored, and this will occur in cells.

When in winter dormacy, the plants will resorb some of the nutrients from leaves that were thrown up earlier in the year. These will then be distributed to living plant tissue (phyllodia and rhizome).

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