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Every living thing undergoes certain stages in the life cycle. Each stage in the life cycle serves an important purpose in bringing a key product into existence and in the continuity of life itself.
Plants also do the same. Plants are generally divided into two groups: Flowering plants and Non-flowering plants.
Flowering plants are those plants which produce flowers to reproduce. Non-flowering plants are those which do not produce flowers during their life cycle and rely on spores for reproduction.
Flowering plants are also called angiosperms. We all love flowers due to their attractive colors and a beautiful smell. But how do these flowers reproduce?
Flowers produce seeds through the process of pollination. Pollination is a process in which pollen grains from the male part of the flower are transferred to the female ovary. The seeds then germinate from the ground and under specific conditions of sunlight, food, and water; they produce roots, leaves, stem and flowers. And the life cycle repeats.
If we divide them further based on the structure of their seeds, there are two groups. One is called monocotyledons or monocot and the other is called dicotyledons or dicot.
Monocot vs Dicot
The difference between monocots and dicots is that monocots have one cotyledon while dicots have two. Cotyledon is the part of the embryo within the seed that acts as an initial energy source for the plant. The cotyledon of a monocot seed is rather thin and does not contain sufficient food material while the cotyledons in dicot are fleshy and contain the required nutrients.
The other differences between monocot and dicot seeds lie in their leaves, flowers, stem, and roots.
Comparison Table Between Monocot and Dicot (in Tabular Form)
|Parameter of Comparison||Monocot||Dicot|
|Definition||Plants with seeds having only one cotyledon are called monocots.||Plants with seeds having two cotyledons are called dicots.|
|Leaves||The veins of the leaf of monocot seed plants are parallel.||The veins of the leaf of dicot seed plants have a net-like structure.|
|Flowers||Flowers are present in multiples of three.||Flowers are present in multiples of four or five.|
|Stem||Vascular bundles are scattered.||Vascular bundles are in a ring-like pattern.|
|Roots||Fibrous root-like structure.||Tap root-like structure.|
|Examples||Corn, wheat, rice, sugarcane, banana tree||Mango, orange, tomato, beans, pea|
What is Monocot?
Monocot is the type of flowering plant in which seeds have only one cotyledon.
The endosperm which is the tissue inside the seed is bulky in monocots and acts as the main supply of food for the seed. But the endosperm resides separately from the cotyledon inside the seed.
Apart from the seed structure, monocots have leaves that are long, narrow and have parallel venation. You would find a similar pattern on the leaves of corn, wheat and rice.
You can tell if a flowering plant is a monocot or dicot by the number of flower petals and parts. Monocots usually have petals and organs in multiples of 3.
Monocot stems tend to have vascular bundles scattered throughout the stem tissue. They are also arranged towards the outer edge of the stem. Vascular bundles are like the nutrient carriers that carry food and water to the stem.
If you dig a monocot seed plant and have a look at its roots, you will find out that its roots are adventitious, which means the roots arise from parts of the plant other than just the roots, for example, the stem.
The roots are smaller, thin and thread-like, that is why they are called fibrous roots. The adventitious (or fibrous) roots do not penetrate in soil deeply and so they are considered as a fit species to prevent soil erosion.
What is Dicot?
Dicot is the type of flowering plant in which seeds have two cotyledons.
The endosperm of dicot seeds exist inside the cotyledon and are responsible for transferring nutrients to seedlings via cotyledons.
The leaves of the dicot seed plant are usually round in shape and have veins that are branched or reticulated. Similar patterns can be seen on the leaves of orange, mango or peas.
The dicots tend to have flower parts in multiples of four or five.
Dicot stems also have a distinct shape. Their vascular bundles are arranged in a ring-like format. They have a taproot system. That means dicots have a single dominant root from which other small roots germinate laterally. The roots are dug deeper in soil and continue to make branches under the ground.
Main Differences Between Monocot and Dicot
The five distinct features that help us to identify the difference between monocots and dicots are listed below:
- Monocot plants have a single cotyledon inside the seed embryo while dicot plants have two cotyledons inside the seed embryo.
- Monocots have leaves with parallel venation while dicots have leaves with branched venation.
- Monocot seed plants tend to have flower parts in multiples of three while dicots have flower parts in multiples of four or five.
- Monocots have stems in which vascular tissue bundles are scattered whereas dicots have stems in which vascular bundles are arranged in rings.
- The roots of monocot plants are fibrous or adventitious whereas the roots of dicot plants have a taproot system.
Monocots and dicots are the most diversified group of flowering plants. Studying the seed types of flowering plants is useful in many ways.
It helps us to know how the seeds will germinate, what their growth requirements would be and how they are linked to various plant species.
The goal behind this classification is to build a strong and practical base to study the development of plant organisms. Moreover, it aids scientists in communicating information to other human beings efficiently.
The study of classification based on plant morphology has a direct impact on the advancement of our agriculture system. It contributes to analyzing food crops and prevents diseases and illnesses and hence, makes the food production better.
So, all of these factors play a significant role in making our botanical world advance towards a better future.
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