Question Video: Recalling the Simple Tissue That Provides Support for the Xylem | Nagwa Question Video: Recalling the Simple Tissue That Provides Support for the Xylem | Nagwa

Question Video: Recalling the Simple Tissue That Provides Support for the Xylem Biology • First Year of Secondary School

The diagram provided outlines the basic structure of the xylem. What type of simple plant tissue, comprised of dead cells with thick cell walls, provides structure and support for the xylem?

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Video Transcript

The diagram provided outlines the basic structure of the xylem. What type of simple plant tissue, comprised of dead cells with thick cell walls, provides structure and support for the xylem?

To answer this question, let’s look at the three different types of simple plant tissue: parenchyma tissue, collenchyma tissue, and sclerenchyma tissue. Parenchyma tissue is made up of parenchyma cells, which have a thin cell wall made of cellulose and make up most of the soft tissues found inside the leaves, stem, and roots. The cell wall of parenchyma cells does not contain any lignin, and water can pass through their cell walls easily. Parenchyma cells are living cells that carry out a number of functions: photosynthesis, storage of water and nutrients, secretion of sap, and assistance with aeration for gas exchange with the atmosphere. As the xylem transports water through dead cells with thick cell walls, the thin-walled and water-permeable living parenchyma tissue cells cannot be those providing structure to the xylem.

Collenchyma tissues are composed of collenchyma cells, which are longer than parenchyma cells and have thicker cell walls that are reinforced with hemicellulose and pectin. Collenchyma cells are essential to provide structure, support, elasticity, and flexibility in the growing regions of plants and are most likely to be found below the epidermis of leaf veins and stems. Even though they play a role in structural support, like parenchyma cells, collenchyma cells also tend to be alive and water permeable. So this cannot be the tissue providing structure to the xylem.

The final tissue type is sclerenchyma tissue, which is the toughest of the three simple tissue types in plants. Mature sclerenchyma cells are usually dead. And they have thick cell walls reinforced with both hemicellulose and a substance called lignin, which makes the cells waterproof. Due to these features, sclerenchyma tissues function to provide mechanical strength and support, especially in the vascular tissues of a plant, which are the xylem and phloem, and the cortex of stems, leaves, and any fruit that is produced.

Therefore, the tissue that’s comprised of dead cells with thick cell walls that provides structure and support for the xylem is the sclerenchyma tissue.

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