Types of Root Systems in Plants
The roots are those organs of a vascular plant which are modified in order to provide a haven to the plant. Roots absorb water and supply nutrients into the plant body so it grows taller and faster and stores the byproducts of photosynthesis. Some roots have
been altered to exchange gases and absorb moisture. Roots typically grow underground. However, some plants have adventitious roots that come up through the ground from the shoot.
There are two types of root systems: Tap root system and Fibrous root system.
1. Tap root system: A tap root system contains the main root (also called radicle) which descends vertically.
● These roots develop from the radicle of the embryo during Germination.
● From this primary root, many other later roots of various sizes sprout. The tap root system is mostly found in dicotyledonous plants (also called dicots) such as carrots, mustard, and dandelions.
● When the weeds of dandelions are pulled, their tap roots frequently break off, and the remaining root sprouts another root. The soil is deeply penetrated by a tap root system.
● Taproots are found underneath the surface of the soil only.
● The shapes of the taproot systems vary from one plant to another; however, the most common shapes are conical, fusiform (tapering from both ends), and napiform roots (round at the top and tapering below).
● The conical root is the broadest at the top and gradually gets narrower as it descends. Plants like carrot exhibit it.
● The middle of the fusiform root is the widest, and the top and bottom are tapered. It is present in plants like radish.
● The very wide top of napiform rot abruptly tapers into a tail at the bottom. Plants like turnip exhibit it.
2. Fibrous root system: The other type of root system is called the Fibrous root and it emerges from the system as thin, somewhat branched roots with no primary roots.
● Fibrous roots develop from the stem tissue of the plant base.
● The tap root system is mostly found in Monocotyledon plants (also called Monocot), as well as other plants like ferns, which also have fibrous roots.
● Fibrous roots are found either underground or aerial (above the ground). ● Due to the existence of adventitious roots in plants, the fibrous root system is also known as an adventitious root system.
● The radicle is where the fibrous root system originates as a taproot; however, as the plant grows, the radicle de-generates and no primary root is visible.
● When the plant is fully grown, the fibrous roots emerge from the ground.
● The fibrous root system’s roots move more horizontally than vertically, however, they are unable to go further into the soil any deeper.
● Fibrous roots are considered vital for the prevention of soil erosion because of their ability to hold the soil on the surface tightly.
● Additionally, these roots are more effective in absorbing nutrients. However, due to their smaller surface area and insufficient vertical depth, these roots might not be able to endure drought conditions.
● The plants that have fibrous root systems include grass, wheat, rice, and coconut.
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