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Characteristics of Vascular Tissue in Plants

  • Botany

In this characteristics of vascular tissue in plants post we have briefly explained about vascular tissue system in plants, evolution, and diversity. Read on to learn more about vascular tissue system in plants!!

Vascular plants are the tracheophytes, which translates to “tube plants.” The early vascular plants were quickly dominating the terrestrial ecosystems. Why did they succeed? It was primarily due to their tube-like vascular tissue system in plants.

Vascular Tissue System in Plants

Vascular Tissues

The vascular tissue system in plants to which these plants are known are designed to transport fluid, and they are made up of narrow, long cells laid out end-to-end, making tubes. There are two kinds of vascular tissue system in plants, and they are called Phloem and Xylem. Both are illustrated in the image below.

Vascular Plants Common Characteristics

Xylem and phloem are the two types of vascular tissue system in plants.

Xylem: The Xylem tissue is a vascular one that carries water and dissolved minerals from the root to the leaves and stems. The tissue type is made up of dead cells without the walls that connect adjacent cells. The walls on the sides are thick and reinforced by lignin, making them strong and water-resistant.

Phloem: Phloem, a vascular organ, transports food (sugar dissolved within the water) from the photosynthetic cells to other plant areas to allow development or storage. The tissue comprises living cells separated by wall-like end surfaces with tiny perforations or holes.

Evolution

The first vascular plants developed around 442 million years back. They may have evolved from bryophytes with moss-like ancestors. However, they lived a cycle led by the diploid generation of sporophytes. As they evolved, early vascular plants evolved into more plant-like in various ways.

Vascular plants evolved into true roots comprised of vascular tissue system in plants. In comparison to rhizoids can absorb more water as well as minerals from the soil. They also hold plants securely in the ground to expand without falling over.

Vascular plants developed stems comprised of vascular tissue and lignin. Because lignin, the branches are stiff, which means plants can grow above the ground so that they will receive more sunlight and air. Due to their vascular tissues, the stems keep tall plants filled with water to prevent them from drying out in the atmosphere.

Vascular plants developed leaflets to absorb sunlight. Initially, leaves were small and needle-like. This helped decrease water loss. Later, the leaves grew more prominent and more expansive, which meant that plants could absorb more sunlight.

With their vascular tissue system in plants and various other adaptations, the earliest vascular plant had an advantage over nonvascular plants. They were able to grow taller and use the sun’s rays in the upper air. Bryophytes were pioneers of photosynthesis on land. However, the earliest vascular plants were the first photosynthetic pioneers to air.

Diversity

The descendants that survive of the earliest plant species that are vascular comprise clubmosses along with the ferns. There are more than 1,200 species of clubmoss and more than 20000 species of ferns. The two types of vascular plants have no seeds and reproduce through spores. Two examples are shown in the figures below and the following.

Clubmosses look similar to mosses and are low in the soil. They are not mosses. Instead, they have stems, roots, and leaves; however, they are tiny. The leaves of ferns are more similar to “typical” plants. They have big leaves and could grow exceptionally tall. Some even develop into trees.

Mosses. Image Source: https://bio.libretexts.org/

Fern. Image Source: https://bio.libretexts.org/

Summary

Vascular plants are also known as tracheophytes. vascular tissue system in plants comprise the xylem as well as the phloem. They permit plants to grow taller in the air without drying out. Vascular plants include stems, roots and leaves.

Further Readings