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Imbibition – Definition, Characteristics, Factors Affecting, Importance

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Plants are the sort of creatures that have an autotrophic method of nutrition. By taking in carbon dioxide from the air, minerals, and water from the soil, plants make their own food. From that point onward, they discharge oxygen and water fume. This process is Photosynthesis. During this cycle, plants synthesize their food in the leaves. For trees, leaves are viewed as food production lines. For the process of photosynthesis, unrefined substances ought to be moved to the leaves. For transport in plants, they need a vehicle framework to move food, water, and minerals around in light of the fact that for them no heart, no blood, and since these plants don’t have a circulatory system, transportation makes for it.

The Process of Transportation

there are pipe-like vessels through which water and minerals can enter the plants. These vessels are comprised of lengthened cells and thick walls. A gathering of cells frames a tissue that carries out a particular role inside the creatures. These are leading tissues. These leading tissues are separated into two sorts which are xylem and phloem.

Xylem: A vascular tissue spreads from the start to the finish of the plant. For the vehicle of water particles, it helps a great deal. It likewise assumes an imperative part on account of broken-up substances from the root hairs to elevated pieces of the plant. It moves water in one heading. Ordinarily, the xylem possesses the focal piece of the vascular pack. It fundamentally incorporates various sorts of cells like tracheid, vessels, xylem parenchyma, and xylem filaments.

Phloem: It is additionally vascular tissue. In a plant where the need for food particles is there, the utilization of the phloem transportation cycle will happen. A few components are there in the phloem like strainer components, phloem parenchyma, filaments, and companion cells.

What is imbibition in plants? 

Imbibition is a peculiarity of adsorption of water or some other fluid by the strong particles of a substance without shaping an answer. Imbibition is an excellent kind of dissemination, which happens when water is consumed by solids-colloids causing an expansion in volume. The strong particles which soak up water or some other fluid are called imbibants, and the fluid which is guzzled is known as imbibate.

Imbibition Characteristics

  • It is a specific kind of dispersion where water is consumed by a substance’s strong particles (or colloids), bringing about a colossal expansion in volume. E.g., in the event that a dry piece of wood is put in water, it puffs up and expansions in volume.
  • During imbibition, the water atoms get firmly adsorbed and become immobilized.
  • The retained water atoms lose a large portion of their dynamic energy as intensity during imbibition, which is called intensity of wetting (or intensity of hydration).
  • The water potential or matric potential of imbibants is negative because water has a maximum water potential
  • The imbibate is held between and over the outer layer of particles of the imbibant through a course of adsorption and capillarity.

Factors Affecting Imbibition

  • The texture of imbibants: Looseness of imbibant shows more imbibition while minimization less. More colloidal material guzzles without any problem. Consequently, wood, which contains lignin, cellulose, and so forth, is an excellent imbibant.
  • Temperature: Imbibition increments with the temperature increase. With the temperature climb, fluid consistency by and large reductions, so imbibition, contrarily connected with thickness, increments.
  • Pressure: Imbibition diminishes with the ascent in pressure. On the off chance that the guzzling substance is kept in a restricted spot, pressure creates because of expanded volume. This strain creates because of matric potential, which is signified as ψm.
  • A pH of the medium: Imbibition either diminishes or increments relying upon the charge of the imbibant.
  • The affinity of the imbibant for the imbibant

Imbibition Importance in Plant Life

It is believed that imbibition plays an important role in plant physiology, apart from seed germination. Sachs proposed the imbibitional theory in 1878.. According to this theory, the upward movement of water (i.e., the ascent of sap) in the stem is due to the force of imbibition. But this theory was rejected because it is evident that a large quantity of water moves through the lumen of xylem vessels, which can be checked by artificially blocking the lumen with gelatin or oil (the plant will show wilting).

Difference Between Imbibition and osmosis



In Imbibition, the water molecules are adsorbed to the surface of hydrophilic colloids (like cellulose, starch, protein, polypeptides, etcIn Osmosis, the water molecules move from their higher potential to their lower potential through a semipermeable membrane.
A semipermeable membrane is not requiredA semipermeable membrane is required. 
Heat is released during imbibition, which is called heat of wetting.Heat is not released during the process of osmosis

Conceptual Question

Question 1: What is Transportation in Plants?


The course of dispersion or the movement of water, minerals, and food to everything parts of the plant body is named Transportation in Plants.

Question 2: How is the transportation process occurs in plants? 


Transport in plants happens at three levels:

  • Individual cells are associated with the take-up and arrival of water and different solutes.
  • Brief distance transport of substances starts with one cell and then onto the next.
  • Xylem and phloem are two tissues liable for the development of water and different solutes.

Question 3: What are the different means of Transportation in plants?


Three different mean of transportation

  • Diffusion
  • Facilitated diffusion
  • Active Transport

Question 4: What is imbibition? 


Imbibition is a phenomenon of adsorption of water or any other liquid by the solid particles of a substance without forming a solution.

Question 5: What is osmosis? 


Development of a dissolvable (like water) through a semipermeable film (starting around a living cell) into an answer of higher solute fixation that will in general balance the groupings of solute on the different sides of the layer.

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Last Updated : 05 Jul, 2022
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