MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: what happens to plants grown in an atmosphere of 14-CO2 instead of 12-CO2

Date: Sun Feb 6 10:58:52 2005
Posted By: Yazan Abbas, Undergraduate, Biochemistry, McGill University
Area of science: General Biology
ID: 1104713896.Gb

14-CO2 is a radioactive carbon dioxide molecule in which the carbon
atom is replaced with the carbon-14 isotope.  Growing plants in 14-CO2
instead of 12-CO2 is an experimental technique that is used to study phloem
transport.  Plants use carbon dioxide in the atmosphere during the
photosynthetic process and incoporates it into the sugar molecules it
produces as energy.  These sugar molecules are thought to travel from their
areas or production(leaves) to their areas of utilization and storage through
the plant tissue phloem.  When a plant takes in this radioactive molecule,
the movement of the radioactive carbon-14 isotope can be tracked useing
photographic film (which is senstitive to radiation) and studies on the
rate of flow, for instance, can be made.

1 - "angiosperm." Encyclopędia Britannica. 2005. Encyclopędia Britannica
Online 6 Feb. 2005 .

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