Scope and importance of Plant Anatomy

 Scope and importance of Plant Anatomy

 Definition, Scope and Importance


The plant body is made up of cells, the structural and functional units.These cells are grouped into masses called tissues which perform different functions in the plant body. Different tissues together form tissues systems. J. Sachs (1875) identified three main tissue systems in the plant body viz. Dermal, vascular and ground tissue systems. The epidermis and the associated structures form the dermal tissue systems. The vascular tissue system is made up of xylem and phloem and occupies the central position. The remaining tissues are together called as ground tissue system. It is made up of various winds of tissues i.e. Parenchyma, Collenchyma and Sclerenchyma. Depending upon the plant part or plant taxon or both various tissues are distributed in characteristic patterns within the plant body. Fundamentally the plant body consists of cylindrical axis bearing many lateral appendages. This axis is derived from the axis of the embryo, consisting of two parts that are structurally and physiologically different. The part of the axis which s aerial is called the stem and the part which is subterranean is called the root. The leaf is a lateral appendage of the stem. The axis consists of an outermost layer of cells, the epidermis. Centrally a core of vascular tissue is present. The ground tissue present in between the vascular region and the epidermis is called the cortex; and the tissue which is present in the centre is called the pith. Pith may be absent in roots. In the leaf the vascular system commonly forms a network of strands embedded in the ground tissues. Here the ground tissue is called mesophyll which is specially adopted for photosynthesis. In the stem, height is achieved by the activities of the apical meristems. The leaf primordial and most often the bud primordial arise from the apical meristem develop into leaves and lateral branches respectively. In root, the lateral rots are formed at its apex, but at some distance behind it. They develop from the primordial formed in the outer most layer of vascular cylinder called the pericycle. After a period of vegetative growth the vegetative apical meristem of the shoot is transformed into a reproductive apical meristem that is floral primordial. This produces a flower organ inflorescence. Plant anatomy deals with the study of internal structure of the plant body. The purpose of the study is to co-relate the structure of the tissues with the functions they perform. Now plant anatomist can take the help of electron microscope and radio isotopes for studying the ultimate structure of plant tissues. Anatomical studies alone do not give a complete picture of lines of evolution. But taken along with other sources it can help in understanding how the higher plants have been evolved.
Definition - Plant anatomy is a branch of Botany which deals with the study of internal
structure of plant.
The study of the internal organization of plant organs is called plant anatomy. It is also
called as internal morphology.
Scope & Importance of Plant Anatomy
1. Importance of anatomy in plant Physiology - Physiology is the study of functioning of plants. While the study of physiology one needs the knowledge of anatomy of plant. It helps to understand the study of functions performed by plants& the life processes or physiological processes of plants like seed germination ,growth & development, absorption of minerals, ascent of sap, translocation of solutes, transpiration, photosynthesis, ripening of fruit, senescence & death of plants. To study the physiology anatomical features of plant organs (like leaf, stomata etc.) are studied.
2. Importance of anatomy in taxonomy – In taxonomy anatomical characters like structure of epidermal hairs, stomata, veins, vascular tissue etc are very useful for identification of plant. Crystals, starch grains, latex, resins, oil, mucilage, tannins, alkaloids occur in some plant tissues. These compounds are valuable to indicate the taxonomic affinity among the plant.
3. Importance of anatomy in wood identification - The detailed anatomical characters of wood are studied that help in the identification of wood of commercial use. Detailed study regarding the pattern of secondary growth; type of medullary rays distribution pattern, diameter, length thickening pattern of vessels growth rings help in wood identification.
4. Importance of anatomy in phylogenetic studies - The types of wood parenchyma is considered as
 important character in the phylogenetic studies to explain the phylogenetic relationship of one group with another. The following characters are important in phylogeny Nature of stele, elements of xylem &
phloem, nature of medullary rays, length, diameter & thickening of vessels. Few characters are considered as a primitive character. e.g. absence of vessel is primitive character and presence of xylem with trachids & vessels is a advanced character. Protosteie is a primitive character and siphonostele is advanced character. Such characters are of vascular plants are considered very important in
phylogenetic studies.
5. Importance of plant anatomy in pharmacognosy – Many plants are store house of crude drugs. Many anatomical methods are used in the identification of crude drugs & also in detecting the purity, the adulterants. The methods used are section cutting, clearing & peeling, maceration, microtomy, phytochemistry etc. Thus with the help of anatomical features anatomical methods identification of crude drugs is carried out.
6. Importance of plant anatomy in tissue culture - The plant cell is totipotent. The meristematic particularly apical meristem can be used as explants in tissue culture.


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