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  • Created by: Charlotte
  • Created on: 13-05-13 17:58

Exchange of materials - Active transport

Plants absorb minerals from the soil through a process called active transport. But how does this work?

Active transport is a process used by cells to move substances across cell membranes.

Plants use active transport to get their nutrients from the soil. This takes place in the plant's roots.

Mineral ions in the soil are usually found in very dilute concentrations. They are a lower concentration in the soil than they are in the plant cells, so the plant uses active transport to move the ions into the cells of the plant's roots.

The ions have to move across the cell membrane which means they move against a concentration gradient. 

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Exchange of materials - Active transport

  • First, the mineral ion is recognised and grabbed by the transport protein.
  • Energy from respiration is used to make the transport protein rotate in the cell membrane.
  • The mineral ion is released into the cell. 
  • The transport protein then returns to its original position to collect anoher mineral ion. 
  • By using active transport, plants can obsorb mineral ions against the concentration gradient, moving them across the cell membrane into the cells of the plant's roots.
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