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Plant Structure

Asian plants offer remedy for diabetes Asian plants offer remedy for diabetes Two plants from South East Asia may have anti–diabetic properties and could help tackle obesity as well. Researchers at the University of Greenwich worked on Cassia auriculata and Cassia alata whose extracts could yield active ingredients for a remedy to diabetes which exists in two forms – Type 1 and Type 2. They identified a constituent called kaempferol 3–O–rutinosidehe from the extracts of one of the plants which was proven to be eight times more potent than the standard anti–diabetic drug Acarbose. As world's population increases, the need for plants to supply food, fuel, fiber, medicine, lumber, and paper has been increased. Let's start understanding–how plants grow and develop.

Learning Objectives

After completing the topic, the student will be able to:

  • Describe the two basic organ systems of plants and explain how these basic structures are interdependent.
  • Explore how plants make life possible and how plants provide food for life.
  • Define “GM crops” and discuss how these crops are helpful to reduce world's hunger.
  • Define “root system” and appreciate the importance of roots for plant growth.
  • List some of the modified roots, stems and leaves.
  • Describe two main functions of stems and list different types of modified stems.
  • Discuss the vital function of leaf and explain the arrangement of leaves and pattern of venation in plants.
Plants are primary producers Plants are the only life forms that can produce their own food using energy from sunlight.
Plant Structure

Plants dominate the natural world and are the source of energy for the majority of other terrestrial organisms. There are about 300,000 plant species on Earth. Plants are the only life forms that can produce their own food using energy from sunlight. Plants produce almost all of the oxygen in the air that humans and other animals breathe.

Plants are also an important source of food, building materials, and other resources that make life possible for Earth’s animals. The plant kingdom consists of a wide range of species. New plant species are being discovered every day.

An understanding of plant form – plant morphology – is essential to appreciating the wonders of the plant world and to the study of botany and horticulture at every level.

Basic plant structure Basic plant structure Structure of plant representing its basic parts.
Basic plant structure

The basic plant structure includes two organ systems: the shoot system and the root system. The shoot system consists of the parts of the plant that are above ground such as leaves, buds, and stems. In flowering plants, flowers and fruits are also part of the shoot system. The root system is made up of those parts of the plant below ground, such as the roots, tubers, or rhizomes.

Most plants grow from seeds, bulbs, or spores. Since plants cannot move, they use animals, birds, and the wind to scatter, or disperse, their seeds. Seeds come in all sizes. Some flower seeds are as small as grains of salt. Others, such as coconuts, are quite large. After it germinates, the first thing a growing seed does is send out (develops) a root. The root anchors the plant and absorbs nutrients and water from the soil. Next, a sprout with the first leaf grows. The leaves grow towards the sunlight.

Plants are the only organisms that have a green pigment called chlorophyll in many of their cells. Chlorophyll is found mainly in the leaves. It allows plants to make food (types of starch) from sunlight, water, and a gas called carbon dioxide. This special plant process is called photosynthesis. Plants release the gas oxygen during photosynthesis. Plants uptake minerals from the soil which help them to build the solid material in plant roots, stems, and leaves.

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