Apoplast and Symplast Pathways – Class 11 | Chapter – 11 | Biology Short Notes Series PDF

Apoplast and Symplast Pathways: There are two types of transport pathway for the conduction of the water from one region to the other. The path followed by the water can be symplast or apoplast pathway. The symplast is the pathway in which the water molecules moves through the plasmodesmata region in the cells. The symplast is the living region present between two cells which connects one cell with the other. The apoplast pathway is the path in which the water is moving between the intercellular spaces. The apoplast includes the non living spaces between the cells and the cell membranes.

Similarities between Apoplast and Symplast Pathways

Osmosis allows the root hair cells to absorb water or moisture from the soil. The water is subsequently transferred through the root cortex to the xylem and then to the root. Osmosis is used for transportation. 

The apoplast is the pathway by which water travels from the root cortex’s cell walls and intercellular space. The symplastic pathway transports water through the protoplasts of the root cortex.

The apoplast pathway is a completely permeable path where water moves by passive diffusion. The symplast, on the other hand, is a selectively permeable pathway in which water is moved through osmosis. The endodermis blocks the apoplast route, preventing water and any solutes dissolved in water from entering through this layer. 

Water can also travel through the endodermis by crossing the membrane of endodermal cells twice. Water movement in and out of the apoplast’s xylem, which is a component of the apoplast, may be controlled since it must enter the endodermis’ symplast.

Difference between Apoplast and Symplast Pathways

Apoplast Symplast
Consist of intercellular spaces and cell walls. Consist of protoplasm.
Consists of non-living parts. Consists of living parts.
The apoplastic pathway is fast. The symplastic pathway is slower than the apoplastic pathway.
No effect on water movement. Metabolic states interfere with the flow of water in the symplastic pathway.
More ions and water are transported through the apoplastic pathway in the cortex. Water and ions are mainly delivered through the symplastic pathway beyond the cortex.

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By Team Learning Mantras