In a plant, the root is a crucial structure, constantly providing the leaves and the stem with all the requires water and mineral salts through the process of photosynthesis that occurs in them. However, different plants exhibit a different root system. The two main types of root systems observed are tap root system and fibrous root system
What Is Tap Root System?
It is a primary root, tapering vertically downwards forming the centre through which subsidiary rootlets branch out. This mass of roots develops from the radicle of the embryo consisting of the taproot, secondary root, tertiary roots and rootlets.
The persistent primary root is the thickest, largest and prominent of all which narrows down towards the tip whereas the secondary and tertiary roots branch out in the first and second order.
What Is Fibrous Root System?
Unlike the tap root system, the fibrous or adventitious root system is the one in which all of the root branches are approximately of the same thickness as typically observed in grasses. It is made of several thread-like strands typically emerging from the stems and does not penetrate deep into the soil. This is because their roots secure firmly to the soil particles.
Difference Between Tap Root and Fibrous Root
The table below lists some of the important differences between Tap Root and Fibrous Root
|Characteristics||Tap Root||Fibrous Root|
|Primary root||Presence of a one large and long root||One large, long root is absent|
|Level of penetration into soil||Deeply penetrates||Does not penetrate deeply|
|Differentiation of the primary root||Taproot is the differentiated primary root, which later emerges as the centre of the root system||Fibrous root is not the differentiated primary root and is eliminated in later stages|
|Develops from the stem?||No||Yes|
|Lateral roots||Develop from main root||Absent|
|Example||Dicot plants||Monocot plants|
|Presence in gymnosperms||Yes||No|
|Presence in grass||No||Yes|
|Role as a storage structure||Can store in some cases||Does not store|
|Holding on to soil particles||Formation of a net not observed in order to hold soil particles||Forms a network, thereby holding soil particles together at the surface|
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