A multicellular plant with specialised organs can only function effectively if it has an organised transport system. The over-all nutrition and growth of a plant may depend as much on the efficient transfer of nutrients between its component parts as it does on their total synthesis or uptake. Long-distance transport of nutrients in higher plants has been studied for over 250 years, and although there is now one generally accepted theory of water movement in the xylem, there is still much uncertainty and confusion about the movement of organic substances in the phloem.
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