Root hairs are specialised for absorbing water and minerals
- The cells on the surface of plant roots grow into long 'hairs' which stick out into the soil
- This gives the plant a big surface area for absorbing water and mineral ions from the soil
- Most of the water and mineral ions that get into a plant are absorbed by the root hair cell.
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Root hairs take in minerals using active transport.
- The concentration of minerals is usually higher in the root hair cell than in the soil around it.
- So normal diffusion cannot take place therefore active transport does.
- Active transport allows the plant to absorb minerals against a concetration gradient. This is essential for its growth but active transport need energy from respiration to make it work
- Active transport also happens in humans, for example in taking glucose from the gut and from the kidney tubules.
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