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Ground Tissue

As we know, based on the ability of cell division, plant tissues are of two types: meristematic tissue and permanent tissue. Meristematic tissues are the ones whose cells continue to divide throughout the plant’s life. Upon maturation, these cells lose their ability to divide and rapidly differentiate into permanent tissue. This permanent tissue further differentiates into three main tissue types: dermal, vascular, and ground tissue.

What is Ground Tissue

As stated, ground tissue is a type of permanent tissue that arises from the ground meristem. It comprises a major area of a young plant and lies between the vascular and dermal tissues. This tissue fills in the soft parts of the plants, such as cortex, pith, and pericycle.

Its Types

Based on the nature, morphology, and composition of the cell walls, there are three fundamental types of cells that make up a ground tissue:

1. Parenchyma

Parenchyma cells are the most common type of filler cells in ground tissues. In stems, they are found in cortex and pith, whereas in roots, they fill the cortical region. They also form the mesophyll of leaves, endosperm of seeds, and the pulp of fruits.

It is composed of simple, living, non-vascular, and undifferentiated cells. Its cells have relatively thin primary walls. Upon reaching maturity, most of the cells remain alive.

2. Collenchyma

The collenchyma cells are found below the epidermis or the outer layer of cells in young stems, and leaf veins. They are usually absent in roots.

Collenchyma cells are living, and elongated, having relatively thicker primary cell wall than parenchyma.

3. Sclerenchyma

Unlike the previous two types, it has thick secondary cell walls. The cells are dead at maturity and their walls are lignified. As they are dead, these cells are usually found in the non-growing regions of the plant, such as leaf vein, stem, branches, trunk, and bark.

Functions

Each type of ground tissue performs a specific set of functions for the plant.

  1. Parenchyma is responsible for photosynthesis in the leaves, and carbohydrate storage in the roots. It also helps to heal the wound of an injured plant.
  2. Collenchyma helps in cell elongation and growth of plants. It also provides structural and mechanical support to the plant.
  3. Sclerenchyma provides a skeletal framework of the plant part, giving it a definite shape. It also provides mechanical support, thus contributing to the rigidity of the plant.

Article was last reviewed on Monday, May 2, 2022

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