Apical Meristem vs Lateral Meristem: Difference and Comparison

Several types of tissues in plants give rise to a variety of structures. Hence, they can be easily differentiated from each other. Apical Meristems are the product of apical meristematic tissues, and Lateral Meristems are the product of lateral Meristematic tissues.

These types of tissues are specialised in the formation and occurrence of several parts of plants, like flowers, leaves, cork, etc.

Key Takeaways

  1. Apical meristems are found at the tips of roots and shoots, while lateral meristems are found along the length of stems and roots.
  2. Apical meristems are responsible for vertical growth, whereas lateral meristems contribute to radial growth.
  3. Apical meristems give rise to primary tissues, while lateral meristems generate secondary tissues, such as wood and bark.

Apical Meristem vs Lateral Meristem

Apical meristem is a plant tissue located at the tips of the roots and shoots. It is responsible for growth, including the elongation of the plant body. The lateral meristem is located in the stem and roots of the plant and is responsible for growth, including the thickening of the plant body.

Apical Meristem vs Lateral Meristem

Apical meristems’ primary function is to aid in the expansion of the plant’s overall length. All of the plant’s main growth is essentially controlled by apical meristems. The apex of the roots and stems is where the height rise happens.

The ground tissue, phloem, xylem, and epidermis are all produced by apical meristems. The protoderm, as well as the ground meristem and the procambium, make up the apical meristem.

The primary function of lateral Meristems is to aid in the overall expansion of root and stem diameter. All of the secondary growths that occur in plants are primarily controlled by lateral meristems.

The outer and inner bark of trees and woodlands is formed by lateral meristems. Cork cambium and vascular cambium are both made up of Lateral Meristems.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonApical MeristemLateral Meristem
Present inThe apex of roots and stems. Sides of both roots and stems.
Responsible forPrimary growths occurring in the plant.Secondary growths occurring in the plants.
Main roleThey help in increasing the overall length of the plant.They help in an overall increase of the diameter of the roots and stems.
Give rise toGround tissue, phloem, xylem and epidermis.The outer and inner bark of trees and woods.
Consists of Protoderm, ground meristem, procambiumCork cambium, vascular cambium.
Development ofLeaves and flowers.Makes the plants stronger by growing taller and in diameter as well.
Found/occur inPlants belonging to all phyla.Exceptions- absent in horsetails and mosses.
OriginPrimary.Primary/secondary.

What is Apical Meristem?

Apical meristems are a form of meristematic tissue found at the tip of roots and stems. All of the plant’s primary growths are primarily controlled by apical meristems.

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Apical meristems’ primary function is to aid in the growth of the plant’s overall length. From the apex of the roots and stems, the plant grows taller.

Ground tissue, phloem, xylem, and epidermis are all produced by apical meristems. Apical Meristems are made up of protoderm, ground meristem, and procambium, among other things. The Apical Meristematic Tissues have a primary origin.

Apical Meristems are responsible for the formation of specific characteristics and structures in plants, such as leaves and flowers. Apical Meristems can be found in a wide range of plant species across all phyla.

apical meristem

What is Lateral Meristem?

Lateral Meristems are a form of meristematic tissue found on both the roots and stems’ sides. All of the secondary growths in plants are primarily controlled by lateral meristems.

The primary function of lateral Meristems is to aid in the general expansion of the diameter of the roots and stems.

The outer and inner bark of trees and woodlands are both produced by lateral meristems. Not just cork cambium but also vascular cambium is made up of Lateral Meristems.

Lateral Meristems are primarily responsible for making plants stronger by allowing them to grow taller and wider in diameter.

Plants with lateral meristems can be found in practically every category. Horsetails and mosses, on the other hand, are exceptions. The origins of the Lateral Meristematic tissues might be primary or secondary in nature.

Main Differences Between Apical Meristem and Lateral Meristem

  1. Apical meristems are a type of meristematic tissue which are present in the apex of roots and stems. On the other hand, lateral Meristems are a type of meristematic tissue which are present on the sides of both roots and stems.
  2. Apical Meristems are primarily responsible for all the primary growths occurring in the plant. On the other hand, Lateral Meristems are primarily responsible for all the secondary growths occurring in the plants.
  3. The main role of Apical meristems is that they help in increasing the overall length of the plant. The increase in height occurs from the apex of the roots and stems. On the other hand, the main role of lateral Meristems is that they help in an overall increase of the diameter of the roots and stems.
  4. Apical Meristems are important for giving rise to ground tissue, phloem, xylem and epidermis. On the other hand, Lateral Meristems are important in giving rise to the outer and inner bark of trees and woods.
  5. Apical Meristems constitute not only protoderm but ground meristem and procambium as well. On the other hand, Lateral Meristems constitute not only cork cambium but vascular cambium as well.
  6. The main work of Apical Meristems is that they allow the development of special features and structures in plants, like leaves and flowers. On the other hand, the main work of Lateral Meristems is that they mainly focus on making the plants stronger by growing taller and in diameter as well.
  7. Apical Meristems occur in all categories of plants belonging to all phyla. On the other hand, Lateral Meristems are present in almost every category of plants. However, horsetails and mosses are the exceptions to the same.
  8. The origin of the Apical Meristematic tissues is primary. On the other hand, the origin of the Lateral Meristematic tissues can be both primary and secondary in characteristic.
Difference Between Apical Meristem and Lateral Meristem
References
  1. https://academic.oup.com/treephys/article-abstract/35/10/1086/2364626
  2. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/BF02858768.pdf
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Last Updated : 09 September, 2023

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8 thoughts on “Apical Meristem vs Lateral Meristem: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The article seems to imply that apical and lateral meristems are the primary and secondary functions of plant growth, but it does not explicitly state this. It would be beneficial to clarify this aspect for readers seeking a comprehensive understanding.

    Reply
  2. This article is a very comprehensive analysis of the different types of tissues in plants and their role in growth. It offers a clear understanding of apical and lateral meristems and their functions, essential for botany enthusiasts and students.

    Reply
  3. The in-depth description of the development and functions of apical and lateral meristems is commendable. However, the article would benefit from the inclusion of real-life examples or case studies to illustrate the practical applications of these concepts.

    Reply
  4. The article’s comparison between apical and lateral meristems provides valuable insights into plant physiology. However, a touch of humor or engaging anecdotes could enhance the readability and appeal to a broader audience.

    Reply
  5. The extensive comparison table clearly outlines the differences between apical and lateral meristems, offering a quick reference guide. However, the article lacks visual aids such as diagrams or illustrations to assist visual learners in understanding the concepts.

    Reply
  6. While the article provides a comprehensive explanation of apical and lateral meristems, it might be overwhelming for readers unfamiliar with botanical terms. It would be beneficial to include more simplified definitions and examples for better comprehension.

    Reply
  7. This detailed comparison between apical and lateral meristems is quite enlightening. It provides a deeper insight into the structure and roles of these tissues. I’m impressed by the clarity and thoroughness of the information provided.

    Reply
  8. The article effectively highlights the primary and secondary functions of apical and lateral meristems, making it an invaluable resource for anyone interested in plant biology. The information is presented in a concise and understandable manner.

    Reply

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