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Describe the structural adaptations of the leaf to the process of photosynthesis

  • The cuticle is transparent to allow light to pass through to reach photosynthetic tissues.
  • Has a broad flat lamina to provide a large surface area for trapping optimum light for photosynthesis and allows maximum gaseous exchange;
  • The leaf epidermis is thin to reduce the distance across which diffusion of carbon (IV) oxide gas to palisade cells and oxygen gas from palisade cells takes place;
  • Has numerous stomata that allow easy diffusion of gases into and out of the palisade tissue.
  • The leaf cuticle and epidermis are transparent to allow easy penetration of light to the photosynthetic tissue;
  • The palisade cells are numerous, elongated and contain numerous chloroplasts to trap optimum light for photosynthesis;
  • The palisade tissue is just beneath the upper epidermis exposing them to trap optimum light for photosynthesis;
  • The leaf has numerous leaf veins consisting of xylem for conducting water and dissolved mineral salts from the soil to the photosynthetic tissue, and phloem tissue for translocation of manufactured food from the leaf to storage organs and other parts of the plant;
  • Numerous and large air spaces in the spongy mesophyll layer for optimum gaseous exchange with the photosynthetic tissue;
  • Leaf mosaic arrangement minimizes overshadowing and overlapping exposing all leaves to light for photosynthesis;
  • The prominent midrib and leaf veins reduce the chances of rolling of leaves maintaining a large surface area for trapping optimum light for photosynthesis;

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