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Nastic Movements in Plants

Author(s): Lou Gross1, Monica Beals1, Susan Harrell1

University of Tennessee Knoxville

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Summary:
This module introduces an osmotic model in the context of understanding plants' capability of rapidly adapting to changes in their environment. It is intended for an introductory biology audience.

Licensed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International according to these terms

Version 1.0 - published on 15 Feb 2019 doi:10.25334/Q4FT79 - cite this

Description

This activity maps to the OpenStax biology textbook, 30.6 Plant Sensory Systems and Responses

Student Introduction: Plants are capable of rapidly adapting to changes in their environment. This can be in the form of irreversible changes in growth (See Cell Enlargement) or reversible movements in response to a stimulus. Nastic movements in plants are reversible and repeatable movements in response to a stimulus whose direction is determined by the anatomy of the plant. Examples include the diurnal movement of leaves and the response of insectivorous plants, such as the Venus fly trap, to prey. Nastic movement is generally caused by elastic changes in the size of special motor cells within the plant tissue. These changes are generally produced by changes in osmotic pressure due to an influx or efflux of ions that cause water to move in or out of the cells. In many plants, shrinkage of the motor cells causes the overall movement of the plant.

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