Means of Transport in Plants

Plants need water, minerals, and food for their growth and survival. Water and minerals are taken up by roots and leaves prepare the food. These are then transported to the other parts of the plants. When we talk about transport, there should be some means of transportation.

Diffusion is the main pathway of transportation in plants. Let us study about the different means of transport in detail.

Means of Transport in Plants

Transportation is an important and natural phenomenon which takes place in all the higher plants.As mentioned above, all plants require some essential organic material and inorganic material for the proper functioning of cells and tissues. This process is carried out by three means of transport.

  1. Diffusion
  2. Facilitated Diffusion
  3. Active Transport


It includes the movement of particles of a medium from the region of its higher concentration to the region of its lower concentration without the expenditure of energy. This process is slow and occurs mostly in gases and liquids. The rate of diffusion is affected by various factors like temperature and pressure, concentration gradient, separating membrane’s permeability etc.

Also, Read about Diffusion

What are the causes of Diffusion?

Diffusion is the natural movement of molecules across the cell membrane without stirring or shaking. In the gases and liquids phase, there is a random movement of molecules, which collide with each other and eventually spread through the whole container.

Facilitated Diffusion

In this, substances move across membranes using special proteins without the expenditure of energy. These proteins are embedded in the membranes. The transport rate reaches to maximum when the transporter molecules get saturated. This type of transport is extremely specific. The protein molecules from a channel in the membrane for molecules to pass. Huge pores are formed on the outer membranes of some organelles like plastids, mitochondria etc. by proteins called porins. Sometimes, an extracellular molecule is stuck to the transport protein; this protein rotates and then releases the molecule inside the cell.

For example, water channels which are made up of eight different types of aquaporins.

Facilitated Diffusion

There are some proteins which allow the only diffusion when two variations of molecules move together. The movement when both the molecules cross the membrane in the same direction is called symport. In antiport, they move in opposite directions and in uniport, a molecule moves across a membrane independent of other molecules.

Active Transport

Is the process, there is a movement of molecules against the concentration gradient i.e. from the region of their lower concentration to the region of their higher concentration. This process of transportation in plants requires energy and takes place with the presence of enzymes. In this process, membrane proteins are involved and the rate of transportation reaches to maximum when all the protein molecules are used. The carrier proteins are sensitive to inhibitors and are very specific.

Also, Read about Active Transport

Learn more about diffusion, its types, importance and other related topics @ BYJU’S Biology

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