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Solutes are depicted by solid materials like minerals and
nutrients which are critical for plants survival alongside water. 
Absorption and translocation of minerals in form of solute from the soil is not
dependent on water intake by the plants but involves a specific physiological
process. Xylem and phloem are the specific tissues which are vascular in nature
and used for transportation of minerals and sugars in the flowering plants.
Xylem which comprises tissues called tracheid’s which are dead, but forming
connection to other tissues through pores conducts the relevant solutes like
mineral nutrients from the soil into plant tissues while the phloem comprising
sieve elements and companion cells distributes sugars which is the food for
plants produced in the leaves to all other plant tissues. The sieve elements
are the basis of formation of the vessel walls. The cells are alive and
nucleated giving rise to sieve tubes due to their arrangement pattern. Between
successive vessel elements are perforations for communication. Companion cells
are located outside and alongside the sieve tubes and they help in the
absorption of the material to be transported. Parenchyma tissues which are
among the ground tissues in flowering plants are alive and maturity comprising
an intact cell wall and are the main food and water storage tissues and they
also offer sites for plant metabolism to take place.

Sieve elements and companion cells act as a control
determining the right molecules that go into or through the phloem. This
function enhances the role of the bundle sheath which is outside the vascular
bundles controlling the movement of materials between vascular tissue and
parenchyma. Therefore these three types of cells communicate through pores and
perforations before allowing specific materials to be conducted through
vascular bundles into the parenchyma for storage as food for the whole plant.

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Amino acids are biomolecules in form of proteins which are
critical for cell metabolism and they also act as nitrogen carriers.

The phloem uses a specialized mechanism on conduct sugars
made in leaves to plant tissues like flower buds, developing fruits, seeds,
shoots and roots through specialized mechanism of pressure flow.  The
pressure flow depicted as translocation or phloem loading and unloading occurs
by the help of high concentrated sucrose in the sieve tube elements which are
parts of the phloem. Osmotic pressure draws water from the xylem to the sieve
tube elements elevating the hydrostatic pressure of these sieve tube elements.
The hydrostatic pressure plays the role of moving the sucrose from the sieve
tube elements into the non photosynthetic tissues. When water moves out of the
sieve tubes by the process of osmotic gradient, then hydrostatic pressure is
minimized and the whole process is repeated again maintain a stream of flow of
sugars from source to sink.


Question 2

Plants require many nutrients for their sustainability and
each mineral essential has specific functions hence its inadequacy has negative
consequences on the growth of a plant. Nitrogen absorbed in plants in form of
nitrates and ammonia is involved in amino acids and protein make up as well as
formation of chlorophyll. Stunted growth, delayed maturity and yellowing are
some of the symptoms associated with nitrogen deficiency. Phosphorous is a
mineral essential taken up in form of orthophosphate and is involved in protein
formation, energy transfer during metabolic processes and increased vigour and
resistance in plants. Stunted growth and poor seed formations are some symptoms
of phosphorous deficiency. Potassium is involved in catalyzing carbohydrate,
starch and nitrogen metabolism, increasing resistance of plants to diseases, activating
enzymes involved in photosynthesis and protein metabolism as well as boosting
quality of seeds and fruits. Brownish colour and weak stems are some of the
basic symptoms of potassium deficiency. Calcium is involved in cell wall
strengthening as well as boosting the length of roots and shoot tips. Stunted
terminal buds are associated with inadequate calcium. Magnesium takes part in
chlorophyll and phosphorous metabolism and its deficiency results to
interveinal chlorosis. Sulphur taken up in form of sulfates takes part in amino
acid formation and harbors organic compounds giving odors in plants like
garlic. Chlorosis and stunted growth are the outcomes of sulphur deficiency.
Manganese and iron take part in activation of chlorophyll synthesis and enzyme
systems. Yellow streaks on upper leaves are a sign of manganese deficiency
while inteveinal chlorosis and white leaves depicts iron deficiency. Copper,
zinc, boron and molybdenum are other essential minerals needed in small
quantities but are used for enzyme activation and chlorophyll formation.

Oxides which contain one or two metal elements combined with
oxygen, sulfates with sulfur atoms bonded to oxygen atoms, carbonates with one
carbon atom bonded to three oxygen atoms and phosphates are the four major
mineral groups classified according to their classification.

Soil is a living component comprising solids, liquids and
gases all engaged in serving the three major functions of soil which include;
habitation for living organisms, plant growth and recycling of materials. The
texture, color and water holding capacity varies with the soil nature and such
properties have led to the basic classification of soil into clay, sand and
loam. Clay soils have higher levels of silicate material while loam soils have
high levels of humus and organic matter hence is the most appropriate for plant
production. Sand is made up from ground rock and only a small amount is needed
for plant production. Approximately half of the soil component comprises the
solids while the other half is composed of gases and water. The solids in soil
comprise minerals and organic matter which are essential for the soil functions
and more importantly the growth of plants. Plant nutrients in soil are obtained
from the original material from which the soil was formed. Soils derived from
rocks which are rich in nutrients are fertile, while soils derived from sand or
rocks which are poor in nutrients are relatively infertile. Under natural
conditions most of the nutrients are recycled from the plant to soil and back
to the plant. How much is lost depends on how strongly the nutrient is bound to
the soil constituents. Weakly bound nutrients exemplified by NO3 are rapidly
leached, while strongly bound nutrients, exemplified by PO4 suffer little loss.
The losses by leaching must be replenished to maintain the fertility of the
soil. If any nutrient is repeatedly harvested from the area, the soil can
become depleted in that nutrient, and the fertility of the soil will decrease.

Roots that form a significant part of the plant function are
also evidence of geotropism.The roots also play a major role due to their role
in obtaining nutrients from the soil and anchoring plants to the ground. Root
parts exemplified by apical meristem and root cap have defined functions of
cell division, cell enlongation, differentiation and maturation. Arbuscular
mycorrhizal are fungi that form a symbiosis with the root system to enhance
nutrient absorption and increase disease resistance. Arbuscular mycorrhizal
fungi inhabit the root cortical cells of most plants and obtain photosynthetic
from the host plants while they transfer mineral nutrients from the soil to the



Question 3

The garden pea plant scientifically known as Pisum
sativum is a herbaceous annual plant in the family leguminosae. It presents
itself in terms of a seedpod or a dry fruit containing several seeds and
splitting along seams on two sides. The spherical seeds or pods are the
derivation of the word pea given to this specific plant. The garden pea is a hermaphrodite
meaning reproduction process occurs within the same plant by the process of self-pollination.
The pea flower comprises a stamen and anthers (male reproductive structures)
and a pistil (female reproductive structures), which harbors unfertilized eggs.
The stigma is longer than the pistil representing the female reproductive parts
and is in possession of a sticky material that traps the pollen released by the
anthers which are parts of the male reproductive structures. From there, the
sperm-bearing pollen is transported through the pistil where it fertilizes the
eggs. Any simple movement of the flower’s petals activate the anthers to
release pollen and transfer it to the nearby stigma results to pollination
eliminating any need for external support of pollination like wind, water or

Due to the nature of self-pollination in pea plants and the
ability to also undergo cross pollination, Mendel chose them for hybrid
experiments. Mendel would first create a pure line of the characters exemplified
by color he chose to study after which he would cross different qualities using
cross pollination and the product of the crossing could result to hybrids.


Genotype; The composition of genes that make up an
organism, plant or individual which determines the character trait of an

Phenotype; Physical or observable characteristics of
an organism like morphology based on the interaction between the genes makeup
of the organism and the environment

Dominant and recessive genes; A dominant gene takes
control and is expressed in the phenotype while a recessive gene is only
expressed when two pairs of jeans or alleles are present. Recessive genes are
expressed in one out of four off springs.

Co-dominant; Situation in which the phenotype is
neither dominant nor recessive because the alleles of a gene are fully

Homozygous; having similar alleles of genes that
control a single trait. When a cell has similar copies of a gene that is

Heterozygous; When a cell has different genes
controlling a trait and the genes are recessive and dominant.

Segregation; The separation of pairs of alleles at
meiosis and their individual transfer through separate gametes

 Recombination; The rearrangement of genetic
material, especially by crossing over in chromosomes or by the artificial
joining of segments of DNA from different organism


 Crossing a heterozygous, red-flowered plant with a
homozygous, white-flowered plant

Rr × rr

Genotypic ratio: 2rr: 2Rr: 0RR

Phenotypic ratio: 4 white: 0 red

Result: four white flowers

 Crossing two heterozygous, red-flowered plants

Rr × Rr

Genotypic ratio: 1RR: 2Rr: 1 rr

Phenotypic ratio: 3 red: 1 white

Result: three red flowers and one white flower

 Segregation: The square used by Mendel based on a ratio
of 3:1 was able to show how different characteristics could be broken down from
the main trait to form different traits hence exhibiting segregation.

Recombination: Mendel discovered that traits could be
inherited independently from each other when he crossed a true-breeding white
flower and true-breeding purple flower plants, the result was a hybrid product
representing different characteristics from both flowers that were crossed.
This reflects recombination

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