xylem and such\

Ross Koning Koning at ECSUC.CTSTATEU.EDU
Thu Nov 7 08:28:47 EST 1996

At  7:27 PM 11/6/96 -0800, Michael Joseph Kerkman wrote:
>OK so I hope this is not a question that's dumb or has an obvious answer,
> It may be, but I'm going to ask it anyways I guess.
>        My Botany teacher asked us if a dead plant would still conduct
>water thru it's xylem. She wouldn't tell us the answer and It's sorta
>bugging me. I guess I would say yes, it would for a while. Becuz the xylem
>is dead anyways, so I guess the water that was there would transpire out.
>I don't know though...


Your thinking is leading you to ask and that's great, and
that it is bugging you tells me that you are a developing
scientist...terrific!  In becoming a scientist, the next step
is to take your problem to the lab bench!  Ask your teacher
if you may sprout some plants to test the idea you have,
or perhaps s/he already has some plants on hand for you to
use.  Then try various means of killing a plant and testing
for transpiration.  Don't forget to have some controls!

I hope you will think of several different ways of testing,
because the answer you get may depend on how you test!  It
is worthy to note that the whole pathway...the transpiration
stream...starts with processes in the root, processes in
the stem, and finishes with process in or on leaves.  Your
teacher has cleverly and carefully posed the question so
that you can successfully answer it.

Here is a hint (I almost decided not to give it to you but
then I thought about how sometimes a small piece of help
can avoid weeks of frustration): Maybe you don't want to
have a WHOLE plant in your test.

Good Luck!


Ross Koning                 | Koning at ecsu.ctstateu.edu
Biology Department          | http://koning.ecsu.ctstateu.edu/
Eastern CT State University | Phone: 860-465-5327
Willimantic, CT  06226  USA | Fax: 860-465-5213

                Plant Physiology is Phun!

 /\|___/\     //\______COOH   NH-CH2-CH=C-CH2OH  \/OH
|  |  |  |    |  |  ||       //\___     \CH3     /\|/\\/\\COOH
 \/ \/|\/|    \\/ \ /       N  ||  N            |  |
 /\ | |__|=        NH       |  || ||           //\//\
  | COOH                    \\ /\ /            O
  COOH        H2C=CH2         N  NH

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