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NAME: Michael Timson

FORM: L6-4
LAB: #6
SUBJECT: Biology
TEACHERS NAME: Miss Sarjeant
TITLE: Drawing of a root dicot under a light microscope.
AIM: To draw a plan drawing of a root dicot under the light microscope.

real object


Size of image

= 14.5 cm
= 14.5 x 10000
= 145000 m

Real size of object



x 2.5


In a multicellular organism, plant and animal have different specialized cells situated
at various locations to carry out its unique functions. These functions all play an important
role in the survival of the organism. The shape and the structure of the cells determines the
function. Cells that carry the same functions are usually grouped together forming a tissue
which can be further grouped to form organs such as the roots in a plant.
The root of a dicotyledonous plant contains many variety of cells and thus tissues.
The tissues in the root dicot are the epidermis, cortex, phloem, xylem, pericycle and the
endodermis. The epidermis is formed by cells called the epidermal cells. They are a single
group of cells that covers the root and forms the boundary between the plant and the external
environment. The epidermis carry out two primary functions. These functions include the
protection of the underlying tissue of roots and the absorption of water and minerals. The
thin-walled epidermal cells of roots give rise to root hairs which greatly increase the surface
area available for the uptake of nutrients from the soil. Some of the cells in the endodermis
are thin-walled and are known as passage cells. The passage cells allow water to pass
through. The remaining cells in the endodermis are characterised by the presence of
thickening on their radial walls. These thickenings are known as casparian thickenings. They
are formed by the deposition of a waxy substance called suberin. The casparian thickenings
play an important role in creating and maintaining a physical force called root pressure which
assist in the movement of water up the xylem. In some older works the cells of the leaf
epidermis have been regarded as specialised parenchyma cells, but the established modern
preference has long been to classify the epidermis as dermal tissue, whereas parenchyma is
classified as ground tissue.
Cortex is a major component of the ground tissue of root. It is represented by several
layers of loosely (spaced) arranged parenchyma cells. The space allows oxygen, needed by
the cell in the roots for aerobic respiration, to diffuse easily from the stem down into the root
Intercellular spaces are prominent. The cells also allow a free movement of water into the
xylem vessels. The cortex may also store starch as an energy reserve for the plant.
Found at the centre of the root is a group of vascular tissues making up the stele. The
stele is comprised of the pericycle, the phloem and the xylem. The pericycle is a cylinder
of parenchyma or sclerenchyma cells that lies just inside the endodermis and is the outer most
part of the stele of plants. The pericycle is involved in the transport of materials through the
plant. Xylem tissue contains vessel elements. Vessel elements are dead, empty cells with

lignified side walls and no end wall. Lignin is a very strong water proof substance. Vessels
align themselves end to end to form continuous tubes allowing water to flow in an unbroken
column all the way form the root to the top of the plant. In addition to the transportation of
water. The xylem also provides support to the plant as their lignified walls are strong.
In vascular

plants, phloem is


living tissue that


organic nutrients (known

as photosynthate), such as sucrose, to all parts of the plant where needed. The phloem is
concerned mainly with the transport of soluble organic material made during photosynthesis.
This is known as translocation.
The endodermis is the central, innermost layer of cortex. It is comprised of compact
living cells surrounded by an outer ring of endodermal cells that are impregnated
with hydrophobic substances (Casparian Strip) to restrict apoplastic flow of water to the
inside. The endodermis is the boundary between the cortex and the stele and is involved in
the regulation of the flow of water and other substances between the two parts.