Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
ash_wolf

Anaerobic Plants

Recommended Posts

hi there...i was looking through some practice question sheets, when i came across the question: "Name a plant that respires anaerobically throughout it's lifetime"

do any of you know any plants that always respire anaerobically? i thought about fungi, but i wasn't sure if it fell under the category of 'plants'...are there other plants that do so, and just out of sheer interest, how does this mechanism work??

thanks...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not really a plants guy (unless they get infected), and I cannot think of a single anaerobe plant. However, you are right in your suspicion regarding fungi. They are clearly not plants.

In addition, during photosynthesis oxygen is produced and thus no true anoxic conditions would be there...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd guess that it would be holoparasitic plants, which are completely parasitic and have lost their photosynthetic ability.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oh ok, so does that mean that these holoparasitic plants feed off other plants and do not respire to produce their own food? Just out of interest, do you know how this works?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd guess that it would be holoparasitic plants, which are completely parasitic and have lost their photosynthetic ability.

 

To my knowledge, parasitic plants don't have a metabolism substantially different from green plants. Of course, they don't photosynthesize (or photosynthesize at a reduced rate) and instead they leech metabolites from a host plant. But they process these metabolites in the same way as a "normal" plant.

 

As to the original question, I can think of 3 answers that are probably all wrong.

The first answer would be "yeasts" or "bacteria". But yeasts or bacteria aren't plants so that would rule out this answer.

The second answer would be "none". I can't think of any plant that specializes in anaerobic respiration.

The third answer would be "all". All plants are capable of carrying out anaerobic respiration, and they do this when oxygen is locally or temporarily depleted. It's the same process that takes place in our muscles when we can't keep up oxygen supply: sugars are fermented to lactic acid, which still yields a bit of energy when oxygen is lacking. But that doesn't really fit the question either.

 

So I am as intrigued as you are by the question!

By the way, what is the level of your education? Should we be looking for a real complicated answer or a more simple one?

 

Airmid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Airmid, i'm a high school student, and this is a 'name the following' question, so i guess it has to be an easy, one word answer.....

I was compelled to think that your third 'answer' is the right one, as all plants respire anaerobically at some point, producing ethyl alcohol....but, as you said, it didn't fit the question....

but, do aquatic plants respire anaerobically? then we might have an answer...or maybe even hydroponic plants...?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, it might well be that the answer is "marsh plants". I found this article on the web about Potamogeton pectinatus, a typical marsh plant.

 

Here's a bit from the introduction:

Potamogeton pectinatus is an aquatic monocot that overwinters as small tubers in the beds of lakes and rivers where oxygen supply can be severely limited or extinguished. A notable feature is that elongation by the terminal shoot of tubers is strongly promoted by anaerobic conditions.

The resulting strong, directional, anaerobic elongation provides submerged P. pectinatus with the means to escape from the sediment of streams and lakes into better-lit, oxygenated conditions closer to the water surface.

 

Because the plant goes through the process every year one could indeed say that it "respires anaerobically throughout it's lifetime".

 

Airmid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, this would be a very special interpretation of the question. There are a number of plant that have a anaerobic phase, but always connected with aerobic respiration phase. If that is indeed the right answer, I think one should smack the one writing that question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yeah...it does seem to fit the question....thanks a lot, all of you!!! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only true anaerobes are bacteria. Even Potamogeton pectinatus and others that undergo a period of dormancy are still aerobic during that time but their oxygen consumption is highly reduced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beside archaea and bacteria there are also (obligate) anaerobic fungi. But I think that is about all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is a group of fungi generally found in guts of herbivorous animals and are members of the order of Neocallimastigales. There is also limited evidence that they are also found outside guts, though.

Neocallimastix and Orpinomyces are some of the better known genera.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.