Apoplastic and Symplastic pathways

Here are a few simple notes on the two pathways of water transport through endodermal cells
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Apoplastic pathway

1) As water is drawn into endodermal cells it pulls more water along behind due to the cohesive properties of the water molecules.

2) This creates a tension that draws water along the cell walls of the cells of the root cortex.

3) The mesh like structured cellulose cell walls of these cells have many water filled spaces and so there is little or no resistance to this pull of water along the cell walls.

4) The apoplast stops at the endodermis because of a waterproof layer called a casparian strip.

5) At this point the path of water has to cross the cell membrane by osmosis and enter the Symplastic pathway.

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Symplastic pathway

1) This takes place across the cytoplasm of the cells of the cortex as a result of osmosis.

2) Water passes through the cell walls along openings called plasmodesmata.

3) Each plasmodesmata is filled with a strand of cytoplasm therefore there is a continuous column of cytoplasm extending from root hair cell to xylem at the centre of the root.

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