A root is the part of the plant that develops underground and helps the plant anchor firmly in the soil. It absorbs water and minerals from the soil and conducts them to the stem through the xylem of the plant.
Roots are homogeneous in nature because they produce similar organs from the pericycle, such as secondary and tertiary roots. They are positively geotropic, positively hydrotropic, but negatively phototropic. They also can not synthesize their own food.
Regions of Roots
Root Cap Region
- The apical part of the root is covered by a structure called the root cap which protects the apex of the root.
- It secretes mucilage which acts as a lubricant for the root to make its way through the soil. Mucilage also helps in the uptake of water and nutrients.
- As the root extends further in the soil, the root cap wears out and renews constantly.
- Pandanus contains multiple root caps.
The region of Meristematic Cells or Region of Cell Division
- A few millimeters above the root cap is the region of meristematic cells. The cells in this region are thin-walled with dense protoplasm. These cells divide actively.
- The meristem at the apex consists of:
- The outermost layer is known as the Dermatogen. Its cells mature into epiblema and root cap.
- Inner to dermatogen lies the Periblem. Its cells mature into the cortex.
- The central region is called the Plerome whose cells mature into stele.
Region of Elongation
- Here the cells enlarge to make the root grow in length.
- The length is about 4-8 mm.
- It lies next to the meristematic region.
- These are newly formed cells which lose the power of division, hence, they elongate rapidly.
Region of Maturation
- In this region, the cells differentiate into various tissues such as
- Root hair to absorb water and nutrients from the soil.
- The zone behind the root hair known as the permanent zone which produces lateral roots. It anchors the roots firmly in the soil and transports water and nutrients upwards.
- It also gives rise to lateral roots.
Root makes the base of a plant which helps a plant to survive. It supplies water and minerals to the plants thereby contributing to its growth and development.
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