Two of a plant’s most complex components, the phloem, and xylem, are responsible for carrying nutrients and water. Together, they comprise the plant’s vascular tissues and bundles. Collectively, they facilitate the efficient delivery of vital nutrients, minerals, and liquids.
Discover the fundamental similarities and dissimilarities between the xylem and phloem here.
Similarities between Xylem and Phloem:
- It’s important to note that both the xylem and phloem are multicellular, complex conducting tissues.
- Xylem and phloem are present during plant development’s primary and secondary phases.
- Both provide the vital function of moving nutrients and water throughout a plant by making up parts of the vascular tissues that make up the plant.
- They contain parenchymal cells that can divide and grow.
- Both are surrounded by a layer of dead cells called bast fibers.
- The primary xylem and phloem originate from procambium, which has not undergone complete differentiation.
What are the differences between the xylem and phloem?
The differences depend upon the following categories:
- Phloem can move in a bidirectional manner. It can move up or down a plant’s stem or from the “source to sink.”
- But the xylem only travels in one direction (up the plant’s stem).
- The phloem has an elongated, tubular structure. Material can move longitudinally through the sieve tubes thanks to the microtubules that extend between the sieve components and the pores in the cross walls at both ends.
- The tubular shape of the xylem and the absence of cross walls make it possible for water to flow continuously through the tissue and transport inside the xylem to proceed faster. Depending on the lignin pattern, the xylem can be either protoxylem (the earliest xylem to form) or metaxylem (the mature xylem).
Which of the following is common for both the xylem and phloem?
Phloem and xylem are both vital for transporting materials in plants; the former carries food and nutrients from the leaves to the rest of the plant, while the latter carries water and minerals from the roots to the stems, leaves, and flowers.
Which of the following characteristics applies to both xylem and phloem transport?
Phloem and xylem both have tubular features that make transport easier.
Water in xylem channels is transported not by cell diffusion but by bulk flow. Water enters into the cells of the phloem via a diffusion gradient created by the concentration of organic substances within the phloem cell (e.g., leaf), and phloem sap moves from the source of organic substance to sugar sinks via turgor pressure. The xylem enables water and mineral transmission due to negative hydrostatic pressure, while the phloem relies on positive hydrostatic pressure. As a result, translocation occurs due to phloem loading and unloading.
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