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Plant Structure and Function

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Plant Biology Learning Framework

Society Learning Goals Articles Sample Learning Objectives
Plant Structure and Function
How do structures of plants enable life functions?
  • Compare and contrast the structures by which vascular and non-vascular plants obtain and retain water, allow for gas exchange for photosynthesis, and allow for long-distance internal transport of water.
  • Map onto a phylogenetic tree of plants the locations where innovations for acquiring water, retaining water, exchanging gases, upright stature, and reproduction in the absence of swimming sperm arose.
  • Analyze structural and anatomical features that optimize photosynthesis under various environmental conditions such as shading, water deficit, or high temperature.
  • Contrast the primary cell wall component of plants, fungi, and bacteria.
  • Analyze the roles of cellulose and cell wall matrix components in support, growth, and cell-cell recognition as well as protection against pathogens.
  • Categorize defense mechanisms into structural, constitutive biochemical, and induced biochemical responses, evaluating the cost and benefits of each.
  • Plants have conducting tissues that transport water, carbohydrates, and nutrients through both passive and active mechanisms.
  • Compare and contrast the long distance transport of carbohydrates with that of water and nutrients in a plant.
  • Diagram the pathway of carbohydrate transport from a source to a sink, indicating where active transport is required.
  • Categorize plant structures and their particular features that facilitate dispersal of the plant in the environment.
  • Select a plant structure that is capable of movement and analyze the features that enable it to move.


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