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October, 2006
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Adaptations that Reduce Water Loss

JoVE 11100

Though evaporation from plant leaves drives transpiration, it also results in loss of water. Because water is critical for photosynthetic reactions and other cellular processes, evolutionary pressures on plants in different environments have driven the acquisition of adaptations that reduce water loss.

In land plants, the uppermost cell layer of a plant leaf, called the epidermis, is coated with a waxy substance called the cuticle. This hydrophobic layer is composed of the polymer cutin and other plant-derived waxes that are synthesized by epidermal cells. These substances prevent unwanted water loss and the entry of unneeded solutes. The specific composition and thickness of the cuticle vary according to plant species and environment. Other leaf adaptations can also minimize evaporation, primarily by reducing surface area. For example, some grasses have a folded structure that reduces water loss. Alternatively, other grass species undergo a rolling of the blade to protect against evaporation. Some desert-dwelling plants have leaves coated in microscopic hairs that trap water vapor, therefore reducing evaporation. Water primarily evaporates through tiny holes in plant leaves called stomata. The stomata of some plants are located exclusively on the lower leaf surface, protecting them from excessive heat-associated evaporation. Other plants trap water vapor

 Core: Biology

An Introduction to Endocytosis and Exocytosis

JoVE 5646

Cells can take in substances from the extracellular environment by endocytosis and actively release molecules into it by exocytosis. Such processes involve lipid membrane-bound sacs called vesicles. Knowledge of the molecular architecture and mechanisms of both is key to understanding normal cell physiology, as well as the disease states that arise when they become…

 Cell Biology


JoVE 10709

Cells use energy-requiring bulk transport mechanisms to transfer large particles, or large amounts of small particles, into or out of the cell. The cells envelop the particles in spherical membranes called vesicles or vacuoles. Vesicles that transport material into the cell are built from the cell membrane. These vesicles encapsulate external molecules and transport them into the cell in a process called endocytosis. Pinocytosis (“cellular drinking”) is one of three main types of endocytosis. In pinocytosis, the cell repeatedly takes in fluid from the surrounding environment using tiny vesicles. Pinocytosis occurs in many cell types. In the small intestine, bristle-like protrusions called microvilli use pinocytosis to absorb nutrients from food. Egg cells use pinocytosis to obtain nutrients before fertilization. In pinocytosis and other forms of endocytosis, vesicles form when sections of the cell membrane sink inward, creating tear-shaped pockets that surround the material being taken into the cell. In pinocytosis, the imported material consists of fluid and other molecules. As the membrane reconnects, the vesicles pinch off, separating from the membrane. In the process, the vesicles enter the cell, taking the enclosed substances with them. Specific characteristics distinguish pinocytosis from the other forms of endocytosis&mdash

 Core: Biology

Characterization Of Multi-layered Fish Scales (Atractosteus spatula) Using Nanoindentation, X-ray CT, FTIR, and SEM

1Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, 2Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alabama, 3Environmental Laboratory, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center

JoVE 51535


Studying Organelle Dynamics in B Cells During Immune Synapse Formation

1Laboratory of Immune Cell Biology, Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, 2Faculty of Medicine, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, 3Centro de Investigaciones en Biología Celular y Biomedicina, Facultad de Ciencia, Universidad San Sebastián

JoVE 59621

 Immunology and Infection

Live Cell Imaging and 3D Analysis of Angiotensin Receptor Type 1a Trafficking in Transfected Human Embryonic Kidney Cells Using Confocal Microscopy

1Department of Biochemistry, Georgetown University Medical Center, 2Department of Medicine, Georgetown University Medical Center, 3Department of Physics, Georgetown University Medical Center, 4Department of Oncology, Georgetown University Medical Center

JoVE 55177

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