Basic Concepts of Plant Structure and Growth

Plant structure is divided into two main parts namely root and shoot. The root system helps the plant to anchor to the soil to absorb minerals and water, store food, and conduct water and nutrients to the shoot system. The shoot system is the vegetative part of the plant that produces stems, leaves, flowers, and fruits. Leaves and side branches develop from the stem. Leaves help the plants to produce their food through photosynthesis. The surface area of leaves increase the area for photosynthesis in plants. Monocot plants produce one seed leaves and dicots produce two seeded leaves. The primary growth of root and shoot in plants occurs at the tip of the plant called apical meristem. Secondary growth of plants occurs in vascular and cork cambium by the increase of its girth. The wood of a tree has two zones namely heartwood and sapwood. Heartwood is the inner layer of the wood whereas sapwood surrounds the outer layer of the plant.

Basic Structure of the Plant
Plant consist of two organ systems

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Root System

Shoot System Root System: The root system is below the ground and it includes root, tubers, and rhizomes. Plant anchor to the soil with the help of the roots. The additional function of the roots includes absorption of minerals and water from the soil, transportation of water and nutrients from roots to various parts of the plant, and store food in the form of tubers. Root systems is divided into two types

Taproot System: Taproots have a single vertical root with numerous smaller lateral roots. Examples include radish, turnips, and beetroot. They store and serve food to shoot the system and help the plants anchor

Fibrous root system: Fibrous root consists of many lateral roots that arise from the stem. They are present in the upper strata and do not reach deep into the soil. Exposure to water is high in the fibrous roots of plants. This type of roots hold plants well and reach a large surface area of the soil hence prevent soil erosion.

Shoot System: The upper part of the plant that is above the soil is known as the shoot system. It consists of the stem, leaves, flowers, and fruits.

Stems: Nodes are the region in the stem from which side branches and leaves grow. The area in between each node is known as the internode. Axially buds are found at the nodal region that contains embryonic tissue. These tissues undergo cell division and allow the stem to grow. Small holes present on the stem are known as Lenticels. Lenticels provide good airflow into the stem and they disappear as the stem gets older. Terminal bud allows the stem to grow in length and is found at the tip of the stem.

Leaves: Photosynthesis occurs in the leaves. The position and surface area of the leaves help the plant to absorb the maximum amount of sunlight to undergo photosynthesis. The structure of the leaf consists of the blade, margin, midrib, petiole, and veins.

Flowers: Flowers are the reproductive structure of the plants. Flower bearing plants are called angiosperms. Angiosperms are classified into two groups 1. Monocots 2. Dicots 1. Monocot plants: Monocots do not have a division in their seed they have only one cotyledon. The leaves are arranged parallel in the stem. It consists of scattered vascular bundles that help in the transport of water and minerals. They have a fibrous root system. The petals are present in multiples of 3. 2. Dicot plants: Dicots have two cotyledons. The leaves are in the netted arrangement in the stem. The stem consists of vascular bundles that are arranged in a ring form that helps in the transport of water and minerals. They have a taproot system. The number of petals of the flower is present in multiples of 4 or 5.

Fruits: Fruits are the seed-bearing structure of plants. Seeds are important for the germination of the new plants.

Growth in Plants
Primary Growth: Roots and stems grow in their tip with the help of apical meristem.

Primary Root Growth: Roots grow at the apical meristem. It consists of dividing cells. There are four zones in the growing root tip namely the root cap, zone of elongation, zone of cell division, and zone of maturation. Root cap present at the tip and protects all three zones. Cells elongate for cell division in the zone of elongation. Cells divide and allow the tip to grow in the zone of cell division. The zone of maturation is far from the root tip in this region the divided cells mature.

Primary Stem Growth: The stem grows at the tip of the terminal bud. It consists of dividing cells called apical meristem. The dividing cells increase the length of the stem. Secondary Growth: Secondary growth occurs in the vascular and cork cambium. Unlike primary growth secondary growth increases the width of the stem.

Vascular Cambium: It is the main growth in the stem and roots of the plants. On the inner side, it produces secondary xylem towards the pith and on the outer side, it produces secondary phloem. The wood is formed by the accumulation of secondary xylem whereas the secondary phloem is shed off with the bark.

Cork Cambium: It is the outer part of the bark. Cork cambium is found between the cork that is present outwards and the primary phloem that is present inwards.


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