Transportation vs Translocation
We know that all plants need water and they wither when water is not available to them. But we see wilted leaves recovering when we add water to soil. How does this happen? This is because water has been conducted upwards somehow to the leaves. Leaves that make food for the plant from the sun’s energy through the process called photosynthesis also need water for this to take place. Just as water needs to be transported from the soil up to all parts of the plant, the food produced in the leaves also needs to be transported to all other parts of the plant. There are two different processes known as transportation and translocation that are responsible for movement of nutrients from one part of the plant to another. While transportation is the process used by plants for movement of water, oxygen, and minerals etc, translocation is the method of transport of food molecules only. Let us take a closer look.
Photosynthesis is a chemical process taking place in the presence of sunlight and water in green leaves, which results in formation of carbohydrates and metabolites. The food that is produced in leaves has to be transported to various other parts of the plant. This transport of food from one place or part to another in higher plants is called translocation. Translocation takes place through a special conducting tissue known as phloem in plants. Sieve tube is used by Phloem tissues for transport of food material from one plant part to another. Translocation is a vital process that fulfills energy requirements of different parts of plants.
On the other hand, transport of water and other minerals is carried out in other conducting tissues known as xylem. Roots of a plant take up water and other minerals and through xylem, with the help of Tracheids and vessels, water, picked up by roots, reaches leaves and stem of the plant. Movement of water in this manner is against gravity and takes place because of transpiration. It is a process in which lot of water evaporates from the surface of the leaves creating a vacuum that allows pulling up of water and other minerals.
Difference between Transportation and Translocation
• Transfer of water, minerals and oxygen etc in different parts of plants is called transportation
• Translocation refers to transportation of only foods that takes place through phloem after photosynthesis has been carried out in the presence of sunlight and water on the surface of leaves.