Inorganic

Inorganic

All of the other substances described in this topic are made up of molecules or groups of atoms but individual atoms in the form of ions are also important to living organisms. Ions are formed when atoms gain or loose electrons and are therefore positively or negatively charged.

Ion Role in living organism
Calcium Ca2+ Calcium phosphate is an important structural component of bones and teeth. Calcium ions are important in the transmission of nervous impulses and in the contraction of muscles.
Sodium Na+ Involved in the transmission of nervous impulses and used in the kidney to reabsorb water and produce concentrated urine.
Potassium K+ Also involved in nervous transmission and contributes to turgidity in guard cells which control stomatal opening.
Magnesium Mg2+ Chlorophyll molecules contain magnesium. Some enzymes which catalyse the breakdown of ATP have these ions at their active sites.
Chloride Cl- Also used in the kidney to produce concentrated urine. Chloride ions help to balance the positive charge of sodium and potassium ions in cells.
Nitrate NO3- Plants use the nitrogen in these ions to make proteins.
Phosphate PO43- Used for making nucleotides and with calcium, make calcium phosphate that gives bones their strength.

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