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Chapter 1
MHSc Biomedical Science (UKM); BSc Microbiology (USM)
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Plant as the Producer
• The primary source of
energy came from sunlight
which will be absorbed by
plant, the producer to
generate food in the form
of sugar.
• Primary consumer will
consume the producer
and pass the subsequent
energy to the secondary
consumer, tertiary
consumer, etc.
Plant Major Organs
Structure of a Flower
• Flower is involved in
sexual reproduction.
• Will be discussed in
chapter 2.
Plant Nutrition
• Plant is an autotroph. It creates its
own food.
• Plant synthesized its own food
through the process called
• The organs involved in plant
nutrition is the leaves, roots and
Definition of Photosynthesis
• The process by which plants manufacture carbohydrates from raw
materials (carbon dioxide and water) using energy from sunlight in
the chlorophyll.

• With the chlorophyll, photosynthesis will convert the light energy to

chemical energy in the form of sugar.
• The main objective of performing photosynthesis is to create food
(sugar) which will be assimilated or stored as starch.
Plant Stores Starch
• Glucose is produced through photosynthesis.
• Glucose is important for energy production.
• In plant, excessive glucose will be converted to
starch which is the storage form of sugar.
• Starch forms colourless grains in cytoplasm or
in the chloroplast of leaf cells in the palisade
and spongy mesophyll layers.
• The presence of starch can be indicated by
using iodine test.
Iodine Test to Indicate the Presence of Starch
• When starch is present, iodine will change its colour from
yellow to blue black.
• The plant cell must be heated with boiling water in order
to stop further reactions taking place and to break down
the cell wall so that iodine can access.
• Ethanol will be added to absorb all the chlorophyll, to
make the starch grains to be more visible when they are
stained with iodine.
Carbohydrates in Plants
• 4 forms: glucose, sucrose, cellulose and starch.
• Glucose is used for energy production
• Sucrose is the transport form
• Starch is the storage form in plant
• Cellulose is the component of cell wall
Structure of a Leaf
Leaf Structure
Inside of a Leaf
• Helps to protect the leaf.
• The upper epidermis is coated
by waxy cuticle and the lower
epidermis is free from wax.
• The waxy cuticle is a
waterproof layer that helps to
prevent excessive water loss.
Mesophyll Cells
• Contains abundant of chloroplast
• Main site for photosynthesis to take
• Two types: palisade layer and spongy
• Palisade is closely packed together
and allow maximum sunlight
• Spongy is spacious and the air space
allow gaseous exchange to take place.
Structure of Stomata
• Controlled by guard cell
• Allow carbon dioxide to diffuse through.
• Water is lost through stomata.
Structure of Vein
• Includes xylem and phloem
• Xylem helps to transport water
and mineral ions from the root to
the other parts of the plant
• Phloem helps to transport sugar or
product of photosynthesis from
leaves to the other parts of he
• Underground structures.
• Functions of root:
• Roots absorb water and minerals from
the soil.
• Roots anchor the plant firmly in the
• Some plants store food in their roots.
• When conditions are difficult, some
plants allow their above ground parts
to die. Only the underground roots
continue to live.
Structure of Root Hair
• Plant roots has projection called root hairs.
• Root hair will grow into spaces between soil particles.
• Root hair helps to increase the surface area of root so that more water
can be absorbed.
• Root cells also used energy to obtain the mineral salts from the soil.
• Root hair gain the oxygen from the air spaces between the soil particles
and produce the energy needed through respiration.
• Supporting system.
• The stems keep the leaves upright to
expose to the light and provide a place for
the plant to keep its flowers and fruits.
• Transport of fluids between the roots and
the shoots in the xylem and phloem.
Water Movement in Plant
• Plant will gain water when the
root absorbs the water from the
soil and plant will lost water
through the stomata.
• From the soil, water will be
absorbed by the root and
transport along the stem to
reach the leaf.
• When water reaches the leaf, it
takes part in making food.
• Excessive water in the leaf will
be lost through transpiration.
How Plant Transport Water?

• From root to leaves, xylem vessel

will help in water transportation.
• Xylem is made up of column of dead
cells which form tubes to transport
• The column of cells in xylem is free
from living contents and this helps
to enhance water transportation.
• Xylem is lignified to provide support
to the plant.
How Plant Lost Water?
• In the leaf, water will evaporate from cells in
the spongy mesophyll layer and form the
water vapour.
• Water vapour will diffuse from the leaves to
the outside when the water vapour at
outside is lower than inside.
• Spongy mesophyll cell will release the water
and will be in water shortage. So, more
water will be drawn from the xylem in the
• The water lost in the veins will be replaced
by water passing up the xylem tissue in the
stem and root.
• This phenomenon is called transpiration.
• Transpiration helps to regulate water content in the
plant and has cooling effect towards the plant.
• The movement of water from the roots through the
stem to the leaves is aided by the system called
transpiration stream.
• The phenomenon of transpiration can be
demonstrated by placing a plastic bag around the
shoot of a pot of plant.
• The water released from transpiration in the plastic
bag can be indicated by using cobalt chloride paper
which will change its colour from blue to pink.
Factors Affecting Rate of Transpiration
Destarching a Plant
• In order to observe whether starch has been made, it is important to
start with a plant that does not contain starch.
• If the plant has starch present on the leaves is left in darkness for 2 to
3 days, the starch will be removed.
• This plant will now be known as destarched plant.
• Destarched plant is used for the study of the effect of carbon dioxide
towards the plant.
The Effects of Carbon Dioxide Towards The
Process of Photosynthesis
Presence of Carbon Dioxide Helps in Starch
• Soda lime is used to absorb carbon dioxide and remove it from the
• Sodium hydrogencarbonate solution is a liquid which releases
carbon dioxide into the air.
• The plants were left for in daylight for a few hours before a leaf from
each of them was tested for starch.
• Presence of carbon dioxide is important for starch production.
Plant Presence of carbon dioxide Presence of starch
With soda lime No No
With sodium hydrogen carbonate Yes Yes
Light and Starch Production
• A leaf from a destarched plant was covered with
an aluminium foil and another leaf was covered
with a plastic covering and they were left for
over 4 hours exposure to sunlight.
• These two leaves were then tested for starch.
• Light is needed for starch to be produced in leaf

Leaves Light availability Starch Production

Covered with aluminium foil No No
Plastic covering Yes Yes
Chlorophyll and Starch Production
• Chlorophyll gives plant its green colour.
• A plant with white patches on its green leaves are
known as variegated plants.
• Variegated plants are used to investigate the role of
chlorophyll in starch production.
• Variegated plant is destarched and placed in the light for few hours.
• When a leaf is removed and tested with iodine solution, the results
are illustrated in the table below.

Leaves Chlorophyll Starch Production

Green parts Yes No
White parts YNo Yes

• This experiment shows that chlorophyll is required for starch

production and thus necessary for photosynthesis to take place.
Investigating Oxygen Production in Plants

• Photosynthesis will lead to the

production of oxygen gas.
• The production of oxygen
therefore, can act as indicator for
photosynthesis to occur.
• Aquatic plant is often used for this
investigation because the gases
escape from their surface in
bubbles can be easily seen and
Presence of Light Helps in Oxygen Production
in Plant
• One set of the apparatus was
put in a sunny place and the
other one was kept in the dark.
• After one week, the amount of
gas collected in each test tube
was examined.
Plant Oxygen Production
In the sunny place Yes
In the dark No
How to Test for Oxygen Gas?
• Put a glowing wooden into a test tube which
contains oxygen gas.
• The presence of oxygen gas will re-ignite the
glowing splinter.
Mineral Salts
• Soil contains mineral salts
that act as supplement for
plant to grow healthily.
• These mineral salts are
dissolved in water and will
be taken in by the plant
through the roots.
• The mineral will the move
the the site where they
are needed.
Minerals Functions Effect of deficiency

Nitrogen • Needed for the development of the • Leaves turn yellow

leaves. • Shows stunted growth.
• Required to make the green pigment of
• Makes proteins that form part of the
structure of the plant

Phosphorus • Needed for the development of root. • Shows stunted growth

• Help plants to make food by
photosynthesis and to respire.

Potassium • Help in the development of flowers and • Leaves turn yellow

fruits. • Abnormal growth
• Help plants to make chlorophyll and
proteins forming part of the structure of
the plant.
Path of Minerals Through Living Things
• When animals eat plants, they take in the minerals in the plant tissues
and use them in their bodies.
• Some of the minerals are expelled as waste or urine that animal
• Bacteria will feed on these wastes and decompose the minerals back
into the soil.
• The mineral salts are also released when the plants and animals die and
the decomposers break down their bodies.
• Plants animals and their wastes are called biodegradable as they can be
broken down into simpler substances that can be recycled again to
create new living organisms.
Carbon Cycle
Dry Wet
• Refer to the mass of living things. Biomass Biomass
• Two types: wet biomass and dry
• Wet biomass is the mass of a living
thing when it is still alive.
• The dry biomass the the mass of the
living part of the organisms when all
the water has been removed.
• In order to get the dry biomass, the
organisms must be killed and dried out.
Functions of Biomass
• Used to monitor the environment.
• The total biomass of organisms can be
acquired by weighing some individuals
and estimating the number of
organisms in the habitat.
• The biomass can then be monitored
from time to time to see if there is a
change in the biomass which might
indicate the environmental changes.
• Meanwhile, biomass in other words
also mean a type of renewable energy