Q.15:- Explain why xylem transport is unidirectional and phloem transport bi-directional.
The accepted mechanism used for the translocation of sugars from source to sink is called the pressure flow hypothesis. As glucose is prepared at the source i.e., in leaves, (by photosynthesis) it is converted to sucrose (a dissacharide). The sugar is then moved in the form of sucrose into adjacent companion cells and then into the living phloem i.e., in sieve tube cells by active transport. This process of loading at the source produces a hypertonic conditions in the phloem. Water in the adjacent xylem moves into the phloem by osmosis. As osmotic pressure builds up, the phloem sap will move to areas of lower pressure. At the sink, osmotic pressure must be reduced. Again active transport is necessary to move the sucrose out of the
phloem sap and into the cells which will use the sugar converting it into energy, starch, or cellulose. As sugars are removed, the osmotic pressure of the phloem decreases and water moves out of the phloem