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Types of root

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introduction
• Roots are the principal water-absorbing organ
of a plant.

• They are present on essentially all vascular
plants.

• By definition, a root must have vascular tissues,
water conducts in xylem and sugar conducts
in phloem, arranged in a particular way.

• Much thinner, threadlike rhizoids (means "root-
like") are present on the nonvascular plants,
such as mosses and liverworts, and on
gametophytes of vascular plants without
seeds, such as ferns, horsetails, and club
mosses.
• There are three primary functions of
roots:
– to anchor the plant to a substrate,
– to absorb water and dissolved
minerals, and
– to store food reserves.

• Typically we see roots in soil, but there
are specialized types of aerial roots
(air roots) that enable climbing
plants and epiphytes to become
attached to rocks, bark, and other
non-soil substrates.

• In addition, parasitic plants may form



• To absorb water and dissolved minerals,
a young sector of a root commonly
possesses numerous single-celled
projections called root hairs, which
greatly increase the absorbing surface
of the root and achieve much greater
contact with soil particles.

• Water uptake into the young root is
rapid because there is little resistance
through the outer cell walls, and in
general these walls contain virtually
no water-repellent wax (cutin).
• Both young and old roots can be
important repositories for
carbohydrates, usually in the form of
starch grains located in root cortex,
but in addition older roots may store
massive quantities of starch and even
become specialized below-ground
storage organs.

• Storage of carbohydrates in roots and
other below-ground plant organs is an
important plant strategy for surviving
FIBROUS ROOT
• A fibrous root system (sometimes
also called adventitious root system)
is the opposite of a taproot system. It
is usually formed by thin, moderately
branching roots growing from the
stem. A fibrous root system is
universal in monocotyledonous plants
and ferns, and is also common in
dicotyledonous plants.

• Most trees begin life with a taproot,
but after one to a few years change
to a wide-spreading fibrous root
system with mainly horizontal
surface roots and only a few
vertical, deep anchoring roots.
• A typical mature tree 30-50 m tall
has a root system that extends
horizontally in all directions as far
as the tree is tall or more, but well
over 95% of the roots are in the top
50 cm depth of soil.
TAP ROOT
• Taproots result when the main
root growing downward, the
primary root, grows much
larger than the secondary
roots.
• If you have dug up dandelions in
your backyard, you've seen
their taproots
• . In gardens, carrots are even
better taproot examples. Oak,
• At the right you see
the taproot of a
seedling Water
Oak. The yellow
line denotes where
the soil's surface
was when we
pulled the seedling
from my garden
soil, so you can see
that, at least in the
case of this
seedling, the
taproot can
penetrate the soil
• How tap root can beneficial to plant?
– allows the plant to reach down
quite far to find water to sustain
itself. In drier climates, or areas
where water tends to run deep, this
can be incredibly useful.
– Indeed, many desert plants have
incredibly well-developed tap root
systems, allowing them to survive in
even the most arid of climates.
• Also function as a reservoir for
food and water.
• The tap root can grow very wide,
and remain relatively protected
underground, allowing the
plant to save up energy for
times when it may need it, such
as when producing seeds.
• Many plants that use their tap
root as a source of food
actually create tap roots that
humans find appealing as well,
and the so-called root
vegetables are generally plants
AERIAL ROOT
• You can see aerial roots on English Ivy,
Poison Ivy, Trumpet Creeper,  and lots
of other vines and creepers.
• Aerial roots anchor climbing stems to
vertical surfaces. the vine's aerial
roots stick to one of the slats of a
yellow-painted window shutter. The
diagonal item is the vine's stem,
which in real life is about the size of a
small lollipop's rolled-paper handle (2
mm diameter), and you can plainly
see how each tendril of the aerial root
ends in a flat appendage that sticks to
the slat's old paint..
Example of aerial
root
• These things stick so well that when
later we pulled the stem away, the
roots broke but the stickers stayed
stuck. Remember that here we are
seeing roots arising from along the
plant's stem, not at it's base.
• You could follow this stem to the
ground and then below the ground
you'd find regular fibrous roots.
• Function
– The main job of these aerial roots is
to support the vine as it climbs up
the window shutters, not to absorb
water and nutrients.
– Organs arising where they are not
typically found, such as these roots
arising from along a stem, are said
to be adventitious
THE END
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