Primary Structure of Monocot Root-maize Root
The transverse section of the monocot root (maize) shows the following plan of arrangement of tissues from the periphery to the centre.
The outermost layer of the root is known as piliferous layer. It consists of a single row of thin-walled parenchymatous cells without any intercellular space. Epidermal pores and cuticle are absent in the piliferous layer. Root hairs that are found in the piliferous layers are always unicellular. They absorb water and mineral salts from the soil. Root hairs are generally short lived. The main function of piliferous layer is protection of the inner tissues.
The cortex is homogenous. i.e. the cortex is made up of only one type of tissue called parenchyma. It consists of many layers of thin-walled parenchyma cells with lot of intercellular spaces. The function of cortical cells is storage. Cortical cells are generally oval or rounded in shape. Chloroplasts are absent in the cortical cells, but they store starch. The cells are living and possess leucoplasts. The inner layer of the cortex is endodermis. It is composed of single layer of barrel shaped parenchymatous cells. This forms a complete ring around the stele. There is a band like structure made of suberin and lignin present in the radial and inner tangential walls of the endodermal cells. They are called casparian strips named after casparay who first noted the strips. The endodermal cells, which are opposite the protoxylem elements, are thin walled without casparian strips. These cells are called passage cells. Their function is to transport water and dissolved salts from the cortex to the xylem. Water cannot pass through other endodermal cells due to casparian strips. The main function of casparian strips in the endodermal cells is to prevent the re -entry of water into the cortex once water entered the xylem tissue.
All the tissues inside the endodermis comprise the stele. This includes pericycle, vascular system and pith.
Pericycle is the outermost layer of the stele and lies inner to the endodermis. It consists of single layer of parenchymatous cells.
Vascular tissues are seen in radial arrangement. The number of protoxylem groups is many. This arrangement of xylem is called polyarch. Xylem is in exarch condition, the tissue which is present between the xylem and the phloem, is called conjunctive tissue. In maize, the conjunctive tissue is made up of sclerenchymatous tissue.
The central portion is occupied by a large pith. It consists of thin- walled parenchyma cells with intercellular spaces. These cells are filled with abundant starch grains.
The transverse section of the dicot stem [sunflower] shows the following plan of arrangement of tissues from the periphery to the centre.
It is protective in function and forms the outermost layer of the stem. It is a single layer of parenchymatous rectangular cells. The cells are compactly arranged without intercellular spaces. The outer walls of epidermal cells have a layer called cuticle. The cuticle checks the transpiration. The cuticle is made up of waxy substance known as cutin. Stomata may be present here and there. Epidermal cells are living. Chloroplasts are usually absent. A large number of multicellular hairs occur on the epidermis.
Cortex lies below the epidermis. The cortex is differentiated into three zones. Below the epidermis, there are few layers of collenchyma cells. This zone is called hypodermis. It gives mechanical strength of the Stem. These cells are living and thickened at the corners.
Inner to the hypodermis, a few layers of collenchyma cells are present. This zone is called hypodermis. It gives mechanical strength to the stem. These cells are living and thickened at the corners. Inner to the hypodermis, a few layers of chlorenchyma cells are present with conspicuous intercellular spaces. This region performs photosynthesis. Some resin ducts also occur here. The third zone is made up of parenchyma cells. These cells store food materials. The innermost layer of the cortex is called endodermis. The cells of this layer are barrel shaped and arrange compactly without intercellular spaces. Since starch grains are abundant in these cells, this layer is also known a starch sheath. This layer is morphologically homologous to the endodermis found in the root. In most of the dicot stems, endodermis with casparian strips is not developed.
The central part of the stem inner to the endodermis is known as stele. It consists of pericyle, vascular bundles and pith. In dicot stem, vascular bundles are arranged in a ring around the pith. This type of stele is called eustele.
Pericycle is the layers of cells that occur between the endodermis and vascular bundles. In the stem of sunflower (Helianthus),a few layers of sclerenchyma cell occur in patches outside the phloem in each vascular bundle. This patch of sclerenchyma cell is called Bundle cap or Hardbast. The bundle caps and the parenchyma cells between them constitute the pericycle in the stem of sunflower.
The vascular bundles consist of xylem, phloem and cambium. Xylem and phloem in the stem occur together and form the vascular bundles. These vascular bundles are Wedge shaped. They are arranged in the form of a ring. Each vascular bundle is conjoint, collateral, open and endarch.
Primary phloem lies towards the periphery. It consists of protophloem and metaphloem. Phloem consists of sieve tubes, companion cells and phloem parenchyma. Phloem fibres are absent in the primary phloem. Phloem conducts organic food materials from the leaves to other parts of the plant body.
Cambium consists of brick shaped and thin walled meristematic cells. It is one to four layers in thickness. These cells are capable of forming new cells during secondary growth.
Xylem consists of xylem fibres, xylem parrenchyma vessels and tracheids. Vessels are thick walled and arranged in a few rows.
Xylem conducts water and minerals from the root to the other parts of the plant body.
The large central portion of the stem is called pith. It is composed of parenchyma cells with intercellular spaces. The pith is also known as medulla. The pith extends between the vascular bundles. These extensions of the pith between the vascular bundles are called primary pith rays or primary medullary rays. Function of the pith is storage of food.