Have you ever witnessed the swelling of wooden doors or window frames during wet seasons? Or do the seeds expand when stored in the water? Do you understand why this occurs? It occurs due to a process called imbibition that occurs within the plant cells.
During imbibition, the water molecules or other liquid molecules are absorbed by the solid particles of the material, resulting in a huge rise in volume. Learn about imbibition conditions, variables, and significance by scrolling down.
What is Imbibition?
The phenomenon of imbibition is described as the absorption of water or any other liquid by the solid particles of material without forming a solution.
Imbibition is a specialized kind of diffusion that occurs when solids-colloids absorb water, increasing volume.
The solid particles that absorb water or any other liquid are known as imbibing, and the liquid that is absorbed is termed imbibe.
Imbibition in Plants
Imbibition is water absorption by hydrophilic-protoplasmic and cell wall components in plant cells.
Imbibition causes seeds to expand, leading to the seed coat or testa rupture.
The earliest phase in seed germination is imbibition.
Imbibition facilitates the transport of water into ovules that are maturing into seeds.
In the first stages of water absorption by the roots, imbibition is required.
Importance Of Imbibition in Plant Life
In addition to seed germination, it is considered that imbibition plays a vital role in plant physiology. In 1878, Sachs introduced the imbibitional idea. According to this idea, an upward movement of water (i.e., the rise of sap) in the stem results from imbibition.
However, this theory was rejected because it is obvious that a considerable amount of water passes by the lumen of xylem vessels, that can be measured by closing the lumen artificially with gelatin or oil (plant will show wilting).
Example Of Imbibition In Biology
Water penetration by hydrophilic colloids is an example of imbibition in nature. Matrix potential greatly adds to the water content of such compounds.
Dry seeds germinate in part through hydration. Additionally, imbibition can regulate circadian rhythms in Arabidopsis thaliana and (possibly) other plant species. The Amott test utilizes intoxication.
Due to the high absorption capabilities of proteins, proteinaceous pea seeds expand more than starchy wheat seeds.
Water consumption increases ambient volume, resulting in imbibitional pressure (IP). By placing dry wooden stalks into the cracks of rocks and soaking them in water, as the ancient Egyptians did to fracture stone blocks, it is possible to illustrate the magnitude of such pressure.
Split-thickness and full-thickness skin grafts are oxygenated and nourished by imbibition, sustaining cellular viability till the mechanisms of inosculation and revascularization have re-established a blood supply inside these tissues.
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