Definition - What does Translocation mean?

Translocation is a biological process that occurs in all plants and involves the movement of water and other soluble nutrients through the xylem and phloem from one part of the plant to another. Mainly, translocation describes the movement of liquids from the roots to the shoots and leaves and carbohydrates (sugars) from the leaves to the rest of the plant. High and low concentration gradients (pressure) of liquid and sugars within different parts of the plant propels the translocation process.

WineFrog explains Translocation

Translocation is absolutely necessary for plant survival, as it combines with the structures xylem and phloem to distribute organic solutes or sugars throughout the plant body. All plants have a division between photosynthetic parts that make carbohydrates/sugars and non-photosynthetic parts that contain water and minerals, which must be exchanged to provide all parts equal energy.

Translocation occurs when there are excess regions of sugars or carbohydrates in mature leaves that travel to the sinks (areas that are lacking nutrients). Common sinks are the root systems, flowers, fruits/berries and new leaf growth. When leaves are half grown, they transform from sinks to become sources of energy for the plant. This ensures that the plant continually has high levels of photosynthetic parts. The pressure difference between sinks and sources allows for translocation and pressure diffusion, which moves at a rate of approximately 1 meter per hour.

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