Anatomy of Monocot and Dicot Roots

Introduction to Anatomy of Monocot and Dicot Roots

The embryo builds up into an adult plant along with roots, stem and leaves because of the activity of the apical meristem.  A mature plant has 3 types of tissue systems. They are as follow:

1. Dermal,

2. Fundamental and

3. Vascular system.

The dermal system involves the epidermis that is the primary outer protective covering of the plant body. The periderm is other protective tissue which supplants the epidermis in the roots and stems which go through secondary growth.  

The fundamental tissue system involves tissues which form the ground substance of the plant where other permanent tissues are endow embedded. Collenchymas, Parenchyma, and sclerenchyma are the major ground tissues.

The vascular system consists of the two conducting tissues, the phloem and xylem.  In dissimilar parts of the plants, the several tissues are distributed in characteristic patterns.  This is better understood via studying their internal structure through cutting sections (transverse / longitudinal or both) of the part to be studied.

Primary structure of monocotyledonous root - Maize root

The inner structure of the monocot roots depicts the 3 tissue systems from the periphery to the centre.  They are as follow:

1. Epiblema or rhizodermis,

2. Cortex and

3. Stele.

Rhizodermis or epiblema

Epiblema or rhizodermis is the outermost layer of the root. Epiblema or rhizodermis contains a single row of thin-walled parenchymatous cells with no any intercellular space. Cuticle and Stomata are not present in the rhizodermis. Root hairs which are found in the rhizodermis are all the time unicellular. Water and mineral salts are absorbed by them from the soil.  Root hairs are usually short lived.  The major function of rhizodermis is protection of the inner tissues.


It is homogenous. That is the cortex is formed of only one type of tissue termed as parenchyma. It contains several layers of thin-walled parenchyma cells with lots of intercellular spaces. The task of cortical cells is storage.   Cortical cells are usually oval / rounded in shape. Chloroplasts are not present in the cortical cells, but Chloroplasts store starch. The cells are possess and living leucoplasts. The most inner layer of the cortex is endodermis.  It is created of single layer of barrel shaped parenchymatous cells.

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Diagram: T.S. of Maize root

This creates a complete ring around the stele. There is a band type structure made up of suberin exists in the radial and transverse walls of the endodermal cells.  They are termed as Casparian strips named after Casparay who first noted the strips.

The endodermal cells that are opposed to the protoxylem elements are thin-walled with no casparian strips.   These cells are termed as passage cells.  Their task is to from the cortex transport water and dissolved salts to the xylem. Water cannot pass by other endodermal cells because of casparian strips.  The major function of casparian strips in the endodermal cells is to avoid the re-entry of water into the cortex one time water entered the xylem tissue.


All the tissues in the endodermis have the stele. This involves pericycle, vascular  system and pith.


Pericycle is the most outer layer of the stele and be positioned into inner to the endodermis.  It contains a single layer of parenchymatous cells.

Vascular System

Vascular tissues are observed in radial arrangement.  The no. of protoxylem groups is several. This arrangement of xylem is termed as polyarch. In exarch condition the Xylem is. The tissue that is available among the xylem and the phloem is termed as conjunctive tissue. In maize, the conjunctive tissue is built up of sclerenchymatous tissue.


The central portion is occupied by large pith.  It consists of thin- walled parenchyma cells with intercellular spaces.  These cells are filled with abundant starch grains.

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