Active vs Passive Water Absorption
(Difference between Active and Passive Absorption of Water in Plants)
Plants absorb water along with minerals from the soil through root by a process called ‘absorption of water’. Based on the involvement of metabolic energy, the water absorption process in plants may be of two types – (1) Active absorption and (2) Passive absorption.
Active absorption: It is the absorption of water, usually against the concentration gradient, by the utilization of metabolic energy (energy from ATP).
Passive absorption: Absorption of water without the utilization of metabolic energy.
The present post discusses the Difference between Active and Passive water absorption process in plants with a comparison table.
Difference between Active and Passive Water Absorption
|Sl. No.||Active Absorption||Passive Absorption|
|1||Active absorption of water utilizes metabolic energy||Passive absorption utilizes solar energy|
|2||Water is absorbed ‘by’ the roots (Roots have an active role)||Water is absorbed ‘through’ the roots (Roots have only a passive role)|
|3||The water is absorbed by osmosis and non-osmosis method along or against the DPD gradient||Water is absorbed as a result of the tension created by the transpiration pull|
|4||Involves symplast * (protoplast) movement of water||It involves apoplast * (nonliving part) movement through free spaces|
|5||Absorption is independent of transpiration||Absorption is dependent on transpiration|
|6||Usually, takes place when the water level is high in the soil||Usually, takes place when the water level is low in the soil|
|7||Occur only in the presence of roots||Occurs even in the absence of roots|
|8||Produce positive pressure in the xylem canals||Produce negative pressure in the xylem canals|
|9||Absorption rate is comparatively slow||Absorption rate is comparatively fast|
|10||Quickly inhibited by metabolic inhibitors or toxins||Metabolic inhibitors or toxins do not have an immediate effect on passive absorption|
|11||Two types: (1) Active osmotic water absorption and (2) Active non-osmotic water absorption||No such classification in passive water absorption|
* Symplast: a living portion formed by the continuous network of interconnected plant cell protoplasts
*Apoplast: a continuous network of channels formed by the dead portions of the cell such as cell wall and intercellular spaces.
*Osmosis: movement of molecules of a solvent in a solution from a region of higher concentration to a region of lower concentration through a semipermeable membrane (example: plasma membrane).
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