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Theories of Development and Differentiation of Meristems

There are four theories of development which include, apical cell theory, histogen theory,
tunica and corpus theory and promeristem theory.
1) Apical Cell Theory:
Apical meristems originally were envisioned as having a single initial cell (apical cell) or
apical initials. Apical meristem is governing the whole process of growth (Wolffs 1759).
Hofmeister (1857) claims that this cell visible in early stages of development and dividing
like a single apical cell. Nageli (1878) claims that a single apical cell is structural and
functional unit, which governs the entire process of apical growth. It is the basis for an
understanding of the method of growth and morphology in many groups, however the theory
was not applicable to seed plants.
2) Histogen Theory:
This theory, in contrast to the apical cell theory. This theory was developed by Hanstein
(1868). According to this theory the main body of the plant arises not from. A superficial cells
but from a massive meristem. This meristem has three parts:
Dermatogen, it is a uniseriate, outermost layer. It is the precursor of the epidermis.
Periblem, The region between plerome and dermatogen. Formed the cortex.
Plerome. A central core, formed the pith and primary vascular tissues. Plerome
constitutes the inner mass of the axis.
3) Tunica and Corpus Theory:
This theory was developed by A.Schmidt (1924). The growing apex of the stem is
differentiated into corpus and tunica. Corpus is located in the middle of apical meristem. It is
inner cell mass. It divides in all direction to form the central vascular cylinder and cortex.
Tunica consists of one or more peripheral layers of cells located at the outermost cell. It
forms anticlinal divisions, which divide in planes perpendicularly to surface of meristem. It
surrounds the corpus and enlarges in surface area. It form the epidermis and part of the cortex
in some cases. This concept used to describe apical structure of vegetative and floral part.
4) Promeristem Theory:
It consist of three components, which include:
Protoderm: formed the epidermis in stem and piliferous layer in the root. It is located
at the outermost layer.
Ground meristem: formed the cortex and the pith. It is located at the centre, between
protoderm and procambium.
Procambium: formed primary phloem and primary xylem.

Mature Tissues (Permanent Tissues)

It is the condition in which growth has stopped completely of for a time, or in other words,
its stops dividing. The cells may be living or dead, thin or walled. There is two constituent

Simple: Homogenous, it consists of one kind of cells. For example, parenchyma,

collenchyma and sclerenchyma.
Complex: Heterogenous, it consists of more than one kind of cells working together
as a unit. For example, xylem and phloem.