Uptake of water by root hairs

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Uptake of water by root hairs

Plants constantly lose water by transpiration, and so root-hairs are responsible for the absorption of water to replace water that is lost. 

Root-hair cells function for a few weeks before dying and being replaced by new cells, nearer the growing tip. They are efficient to exchange water and mineral ions because they a) provide a large surface area and b) have a thin surface layer so materials can move easily across.

As soil is mostly water so has a high water potential, water moves by osmosis into the root hair cells which have sugars and amino acids in them (this causes a lower water potential). This creates a water potential gradient, and water continues to move across the root by:

- Apoplastic pathway

- Symplastic pathway

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