Question

(1) Studies have shown that carbon metabolism and water transport are altered when a plant is infected with a root fungal or fungal-like pathogen. Infection of turfgrass with root-infecting fungus provides an example of such an interaction. However, few studies have examined in detail how whole-plant carbon and water budgets are affected when infection by such a pathogen occurs.
Explain in detail the physiological factors that would need to be examined to provide a model for how the whole-plant carbon and water budgets in turfgrass are affected when infection by a root-infecting fungus occurs. Also discuss why each factor should be examined. The goal is to determine the physiological bases for alterations in the whole-plant carbon and water budgets by determining which physiological factors have been altered when infection by a root-infecting fungus occurs. Provide some information on the methodology that could be used to measure the physiological factors discussed above.

(2) Studies have shown that infection of a plant by a root pathogen will affect the function of other portions of the plant including the shoot. Infection of turfgrass with a root-infecting fungus provides an example of such an interaction. Discuss the physiological mechanisms that allow the presence of such a root pathogen to be ‘communicated’ to the remainder of the plant. Include factors such as short- and long-distance transport mechanisms, signal transduction processes, and potential signaling molecules. Also provide some information on the methodology that could be used to measure the physiological factors discussed above.

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In many plants, water is absorbed via the tip of the root. Once water is absorbed, it usually has three ways to travel to the plant's shoot. One way is apoplastic in which water follows from the root to the stele cymplast and finally to the xylem where it goes to the apex of the plant. The next path is the symplastic pathway in which water moves from cell to cell crossing membranes as it goes. The final pathway is the symplastic (plasmodemsata) path in which water moves from cell to cell via plasmodemata. From there, water travels up xylem, in which it is continuous, and is affected by the rate of transpiration. If f a root ...

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