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3: Plant Structure

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    Plants cells are complex structures with several organelles lacking in animal cells. Among these are the cell wall, central vacuole, and plastids (the most familiar of which are chloroplasts). There are three main tissue types, called epidermal, ground, and vascular tissue. Each tissue type consists of specialized cells adapted for unique functions. Plants have two organ systems: the root system and the shoot system (figure \(\PageIndex{a}\)). The root system is typically belowground and consists of roots, which specialized in water and nutrient absorption. The shoot system consists of stems and leaves and is typically aboveground. Stems function in supporting the plant and transporting materials (conduction), and leaves function in photosynthesis. This unit will explore these structure at the macroscopic and microscopic level.

    A block of recently germinated grass with a network of roots underneath
    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): The shoot system consists of the stems and leaves, and the root system is the fibrous mat embedded in the soil. Image by Maria Morrow (CC-BY-NC).

    Thumbnail Image: Cross section of a beach grass leaf from Berkshire Community College Bioscience Image Library (public domain).

    This page titled 3: Plant Structure is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Melissa Ha, Maria Morrow, & Kammy Algiers (ASCCC Open Educational Resources Initiative) .

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