•Other than certain reproductive cells, plants are non-motile. As a substitute for motility, they have evolvedthe ability to grow toward essential resources, suchas light, water, and mineral nutrients, throughouttheir life span.•Terrestrial plants are structurally reinforced to sup-port their mass as they grow toward sunlight againstthe pull of gravity.•Terrestrial plants lose water continuously by evapo-ration and have evolved mechanisms for avoidingdesiccation.•Terrestrial plants have mechanisms for moving waterand minerals from the soil to the sites of photosyn-thesis and growth, as well as mechanisms for movingthe products of photosynthesis to nonphotosyntheticorgans and tissues.
OVERVIEW OF PLANT STRUCTURE
Despite their apparent diversity, all seed plants (see
) have the same basic body plan (Figure 1.1).Thevegetative body is composed of three organs:
. The primary function of a leaf is photosynthesis,that of the stem is support, and that of the root is anchorageand absorption of water and minerals. Leaves are attachedto the stem at
, and the region of the stem betweentwo nodes is termed the
. The stem together withits leaves is commonly referred to as the
.There are two categories of seed plants: gymnosperms(from the Greek for “naked seed”) and angiosperms (basedon the Greek for “vessel seed,” or seeds contained in a ves-sel).
are the less advanced type; about 700species are known. The largest group of gymnosperms is theconifers (“cone-bearers”), which include such commerciallyimportant forest trees as pine, fir, spruce, and redwood.
, the more advanced type of seed plant,first became abundant during the Cretaceous period, about100 million years ago. Today, they dominate the landscape,easily outcompeting the gymnosperms. About 250,000species are known, but many more remain to be character-ized. The major innovation of the angiosperms is theflower; hence they are referred to as
Web Topic 1.2
Plant Cells Are Surrounded by Rigid Cell Walls
Afundamental difference between plants and animals isthat each plant cell is surrounded by a rigid
. Inanimals, embryonic cells can migrate from one location toanother, resulting in the development of tissues and organscontaining cells that originated in different parts of theorganism.In plants, such cell migrations are prevented becauseeach walled cell and its neighbor are cemented together bya
.As a consequence, plant development,unlike animal development, depends solely on patterns ofcell division and cell enlargement.Plant cells have two types of walls: primary and sec-ondary (Figure 1.2).
Primary cell walls
are typically thin(less than 1
m) and are characteristic of young, growingcells.
Secondary cell walls
are thicker and stronger thanprimary walls and are deposited when most cell enlarge-ment has ended. Secondary cell walls owe their strengthand toughness to
, a brittle, gluelike material (seeChapter 13).The evolution of lignified secondary cell walls providedplants with the structural reinforcement necessary to growvertically above the soil and to colonize the land.Bryophytes, which lack lignified cell walls, are unable togrow more than a few centimeters above the ground.
New Cells Are Produced by Dividing TissuesCalled Meristems
Plant growth is concentrated in localized regions of celldivision called
. Nearly all nuclear divisions(mitosis) and cell divisions (cytokinesis) occur in thesemeristematic regions. In a young plant, the most activemeristems are called
; they are located atthe tips of the stem and the root (see Figure 1.1). At thenodes,
contain the apical meristems for branch shoots. Lateral roots arise from the
, aninternal meristematic tissue (see Figure 1.1C). Proximal to(i.e., next to) and overlapping the meristematic regions arezones of cell elongation in which cells increase dramaticallyin length and width. Cells usually differentiate into spe-cialized types after they elongate.The phase of plant development that gives rise to neworgans and to the basic plant form is called
. Primary growth results from the activity of apicalmeristems, in which cell division is followed by progres-sive cell enlargement, typically elongation. After elonga-tion in a given region is complete,
mayoccur. Secondary growth involves two lateral meristems:the
) and the
The vascular cambium gives rise to secondary xylem(wood) and secondary phloem. The cork cambium pro-duces the periderm, consisting mainly of cork cells.
Three Major Tissue SystemsMake Up the Plant Body
Three major tissue systems are found in all plant organs:dermal tissue, ground tissue, and vascular tissue. These tis-
Schematic representation of the body of a typi-cal dicot. Cross sections of (A) the leaf, (B) the stem, and (C)the root are also shown. Inserts show longitudinal sectionsof a shoot tip and a root tip from flax (
), showing the apical meristems. (Photos © J. RobertWaaland/Biological Photo Service.)