The key difference between transportation and translocation is that transportation is the process that transports water from roots to other parts of the plant while translocation is the process that conducts sucrose from leaves to other parts of the plant.
Plants need water to survive, and they wither when water is not available to them. Leaves make food for the plant from the sun’s energy through the process called photosynthesis. These two types of compounds; water and foods should be transported throughout the plant. Accordingly, water needs to be transported from the soil to all parts of the plant upwards while the food produced in the leaves also needs to be transported to all other parts of the plant. Transportation and translocation are the two processes that plants use for the above purposes. Hence, transportation in plants refers to the movement of water along the xylem tissue in a plant. On the other hand, translocation in plants refers to the process that conducts sucrose along the phloem tissue.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Transportation
3. What is Translocation
4. Similarities Between Transportation and Translocation
5. Side by Side Comparison – Transportation vs Translocation in Tabular Form
What is Transportation?
Transportation in plants refers to the movement of water along the xylem tissue. The xylem tissue has various cells forming the xylem vessels, tracheids, xylem parenchyma and fibres. Water is essential for growth and development. Moreover, it is important in regulating all the metabolic activities of the plant. Therefore, it is important that the transportation of water from the root to the aerial parts of the plant takes place efficiently.
Absorption of water in plants takes place via the root tip. Water is transported from high concentrated areas to lower concentrated areas. Therefore, movement of water takes place along a concentration gradient.
Water transportation takes place via the xylem tissue through the mechanism called capillary action. Water movement takes place mainly via bulk transport since the maintenance of the capillary action takes place via the change of water pressure. In addition, there are many factors that affect water transportation in plants. Among them, transpiration plays an important role.
What is Translocation?
Translocation is the process that transports synthesized food during photosynthesis from leaves to other plant parts. The main synthesized food transported in plants is the sucrose. Also, compounds such as amino acids, organic ions and minerals are also transported via translocation. Translocation takes place through the phloem tissue. Hence, it is also known as phloem translocation. Phloem tissue has different cells such as sieve elements, companion cells, phloem parenchyma and fibres and all these cells involved in the translocation process.
During translocation, the synthesized food moves from source to sink. The source is the area that is rich in synthesized food. Therefore, in this source, photosynthesis occurs at a higher rate. In comparison, the sink is the area which is poor in synthesized food. At the source, foods enter into the phloem tissue, and at the sink, foods move out from the phloem into other tissues.
What are the Similarities Between Transportation and Translocation?
- Both are essential processes that take place in plants.
- Parenchyma and sclerenchyma fibres are necessary for both processes.
- Moreover, both processes are affected by transpiration.
- Also, both are active processes.
What is the Difference Between Transportation and Translocation?
Water moves through the xylem by transportation while the food resulted from photosynthesis moves through the phloem by translocation. Therefore, this is the key difference between transportation and translocation. Transportation occurs as a result of capillary action, but translocation occurs as a result of the pressure flow hypothesis. Thus, this is another difference between transportation and translocation. More to this, a further difference between transportation and translocation is that the transportation is unidirectional while the translocation is a bidirectional process.
Furthermore, transportation starts from the roots while translocation starts from the leaves mainly. Hence, it also adds to the difference between transportation and translocation. The below infographic shows more details on the difference between transportation and translocation.
Summary – Transportation vs Translocation
Transportation and translocation in plants are two different processes. Transportation mainly concerns the movement of water in plants from root tips. In contrast, translocation concerns in the movement of synthesized food in the plant following photosynthesis. Transportation takes place via the xylem tissue, and translocation takes place via the phloem tissue. Thus, this summarizes the difference between transportation and translocation.
1. “Plant Transport and Translocation of Nutrients and Water.” Scribd, Scribd. Available here
1.”Flow and Exchange of Nutrients in the Phloem and Xylem of Plants”By Kl3580, (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2.”Figure 30 05 07″By CNX OpenStax , (CC BY 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
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