Difference Between Apical Meristem and Lateral Meristem (With Table)

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 occurence of several parts of plants, like flowers, leaves, cork and etc.

Apical Meristem vs Lateral Meristem

The difference between Apical Meristem and Lateral Meristem is that Apical meristems are a form of meristematic tissue found at the base and stem’s apex. However, on the contrary, Lateral Meristems are a form of meristematic tissue that can be found on both the roots and stems’ sides.

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 Between Apical Meristem and Lateral Meristem

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. 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 usually 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.

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 in 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 constitutes not only of protoderm but ground meristem and procambium as well. On the other hand, Lateral Meristems constitutes 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 generally 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 usually primary. On the other hand, the origin of the Lateral Meristematic tissues can be both primary and secondary in characteristic.

Conclusion

Plants have a range of tissues that give rise to a variety of structures. As a result, they can be clearly distinguished from one another. Apical Meristematic Tissues produce Apical Meristems, while Lateral Meristematic Tissues produce Lateral Meristematic Tissues. Apical Meristems are responsible for the formation of unique characteristics and structures in plants, such as leaves and flowers.

Apical Meristems are found in all phyla of plants. Apical Meristematic Tissues are often primary in origin. Whereas Lateral Meristems’ primary function is to strengthen plants by increasing their height and diameter. In practically every type of plant, lateral meristems can be found. Horsetails and mosses, on the other hand, are the only exceptions. The origins of the Lateral Meristematic tissues can be primary or secondary.

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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