When a seed grows, the plant seems to be creating matter from nothing. Where does this matter come from?

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When a seed grows, the plant seems to be creating matter from nothing. Where does this matter come from?

In: Biology

The plant consumes dirt nutrients and air molecules to make more plant parts. It’s loosely similar to how you consume food and water to make poop and muscles.

A lot of a living plant’s mass, and volume, is likely to be water.

You can see this in a leaf, pick a fresh one and watch as it loses mass and shrivels while it dries.

However, most of a plant’s ‘dry’ biomass is made from carbon.

This is primarily extracted from the CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere.

Essentially, the plant ‘inhales’ carbon dioxide, and through photosynthesis, forms it into glucose, which is then used in cellular respiration or converted to more complex sugars (cellulose being one of the most common) and becomes part of the structure of the plant.

In this way, plants grow and trap carbon from the atmosphere.

Partly from the seed itself. It has some basic nutrients stored in there for the first stage of life. The rest from dirt and the air.

It’s the same way how we grow. The cells in our body are fed and reproduce. We grow because the rate of reproduction exceeds the rate of death (of the cells). It’s the same thing for plants. Seeds contain everything the plant needs to grow, like food. Once the seed has water, the cells inside the seed reproduce and keep growing exponentially.