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The cell is the fundamental unit that makes up living things. Some organisms such as Amoeba consist of just one cell that must carry out all the functions of living things by itself.

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Week 21Transport in multi-cellular plantsWater from the soil enters a plant through its root hairs and then moves across the roots into the xylem vessels, the water moves up through the root to the stem and from there into the leaves. Water moves down a water potential gradient from the soil to the air.From soil to root hairThe tip of a roots hair is covered by a tough protective root cap that is not permeable to water. However, just behind the tip of some of the cells in the outer layer, or the epidermis are the roots hairs. These reach into spaces between the soils particles from where they will absorb water. Water moves into the root down a water potential gradient. Although soil water contains some inorganic ions in solution, it is a relatively dilute solution and so has a relatively higher water potential. However, the cytoplasm and the cell sap inside the root have considerable quantities of inorganic ions and organic substances, such as proteins and sugars, dissolved in them, and so have a relatively low water potential. Water, therefore, defuses down this water potential gradient, to the partially permeable plasma membrane, into the cytoplasm and the vacuole of the roots cells. The large numbers of very fine root hairs provide a large surface area in contact with soil water, thus increasing the rate at which water can be sucked up. However, these are relatively delicate and often only function for few days before being replaced by new ones as the root gro

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