Interesting Facts About Nutrition in Plants

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Every living organism requires some kind of energy, minerals and nutrients to ensure or proper function of the body, so that their life process goes smoothly. As we all know we all get energy requirements from food which is known to be a major source of energy. Along with animals and human beings plants also require nutrients for their growth and proper development. Nutrients are the important elements found in our food such as vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, etc. Plants are the only living things who can synthesize their own food by the biological process which is known as photosynthesis. In this process plants utilizes sunlight to synthesize important nutrients from carbon dioxide and water. This process is mostly done by green plants as they require green pigments for photosynthesis and generate oxygen as a by-product.

Types of Nutrition:

There are mainly two types of nutrients based on their food consuming ability:

  1. Autotrophic Nutrition: All organisms who have capability to synthesize their own food are known to be autotrophic in nature. All green plants are known to exhibit autotrophic nutrition as they synthesize food with the help of sunlight, carbon dioxide, chlorophyll pigments, water and other essential minerals from soil.

  2. Heterotrophic Nutrition: An organism which depends on other organisms for their food are known to be heterotrophic in nature. Both vertebrates and humans are considered as heterotrophic organisms as they depend on other sources for their food.

Facts About Nutrients in Plants:

There are several facts which are based on nutrients in plants:

  1. Plant is the only organism who is able to synthesise their own food by using sunlight, carbon dioxide and other minerals obtained from soil. Due to this reason they are known to be autotrophic in nature.

  2. Plants absorb water, minerals and food through the vascular system. As they absorb water and minerals through their roots via xylem as xylem helps in upward movement of water and minerals.

  3. Plant has both autotrophic and heterotrophic modes of nutrition. Plants who have chlorophyll pigments in their cells can synthesise their own food but the plant which lacks chlorophyll in their cells depends on other autotrophic plants for their food and such plants are known to be heterotrophic in nature.

  4. As plants need more sunlight in comparison to other organisms and due to this reason they adapt themselves in triangular shape so that they can trap maximum amount of sunlight for photosynthesis.  

  5. Location where photosynthesis occurs in plants is chloroplast and this chloroplast contains chlorophyll pigments.Chloroplasts are surrounded by a double membrane and contain a third inner membrane, called the thylakoid membrane, that forms long folds within the organelle.

  6. The chloroplasts' main function is to capture light and integrate it into the process of photosynthesis.

  7. The green colour pigment present in the plants’ cells is called chlorophyll, which is present inside the chloroplast and abundantly found in leaves. Therefore, leaves are the main sources of Photosynthesis.

  8. Like humans, plants also require both micro and macro nutrients for their proper growth and development. Macronutrients include nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sulphur. The micronutrients include boron, chlorine, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum and zinc.

  9. Some of the plants modify their leaves into spines to prevent loss of water through transpiration. Examples of such plants are cactus or cacti as they grow in desert areas.

  10. Green color of plants is mainly due to the presence of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll absorbs the solar energy that processes the reaction between carbon dioxide and water. The pigment appears green because it absorbs blue and red wavelengths of light, reflecting green.

  11. Chloroplasts contain chlorophyll, which is used in photosynthesis to make glucose in plants, which act as their food source.

  12. There are sixteen nutrients which are essential for plants.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Define Photosynthesis?

Ans. Photosynthesis is a biochemical reaction that changes carbon dioxide and water into the sugar i.e glucose and oxygen. This process is mostly done by green plants as they require green pigments for photosynthesis and generate oxygen as a by-product.

2. Define the Terms Micro and Macronutrients?

Ans. Macronutrient: Nutrients that are required by the body in greater amounts are known as macro-nutrients. They provide energy and help in every metabolic process.

Micronutrient: The plant-based nutrients which are required in very small quantities and are mainly responsible for repairing damaged cells and tissues, prevention of infectious diseases by fighting against the disease-causing pathogens including bacteria, virus, fungi, etc. Micronutrients include calcium, iron, vitamins, iron, minerals and vitamin C.

3. Write Names of Various Sources of Plant Nutrients?

Ans. Various sources of plant nutrients are soil, water, air as well as various natural materials. Various other sources are manure, compost, fertilizer for the correct balance of nutrients.