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What are the Difference Between Radicle and Plumule

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Difference Between Radicle and Plumule

Radicle and plumule are two essential parts of an embryo plant but they are both different from each other. The experts at Vedantu have summarised these differences for an easy understanding. To understand this difference between radicle and plumule, we must first understand the process of their origin which begins from a seed. A seed is an important part of flowering plants as it plays a crucial role in the life cycle of these plants.

Every seed contains an embryo that turns into a plant after germination. For the embryo to grow into a plant it must receive all the ingredients needed for its growth like warmth, sunshine, moisture, and nutrient-rich soil. The young plant that germinates or grows from the seed has three primary parts; roots, shoot, and embryonic leaves.

The main difference between plumule and radicle is that while plumule is the embryonic shoot of this seedling, the radicle is the embryonic root. The embryonic leaves are called cotyledons. Both plumule and the radicle are present inside the seed and are joined to the cotyledons.

The Radicle

After germination, the first part of the embryo that grows from the seed is called the radicle. It is an embryonic root of the seedling and later grows on to become the root of the plant. The radicle grows from the micropyle of the seed and develops further down into the soil. As it grows into the soil, it starts to absorb water from it for the growth and development of the embryo. After the emergence of the radicle, the plumule comes out from the seed. It supports the cotyledons and performs photosynthesis, a process that produces food required by the plant for its growth.

There are two types of radicle: antitropous and synchronous. They are different from each other because of the direction of their growth. When the radicle grows away from the hilum, it is known as Antitropous and when it grows towards the hilum, this type of radicle is known as synchronous.

The Plumule

The primary shoot that comes out of the embryo in the seed is the plumule. This plumule later develops into the first leaves of the seedling and is found above the cotyledons during the germination process. The growing tip of the tiny shoot called epicotyl is the part that is known as the plumule. Epicotyl develops into leaves, stems, and flowers as the plant grows.

The process of germination of the seed can be classified into two parts: epigeal germination and hypogeal germination. Epigeal germination is when the plumule appears after the cotyledons have grown above the ground. Hypogeal germination occurs when the plumule grows above the soil while the cotyledons are below the surface of the soil.

Most of the plumules are conical in shape and as cotyledons start to store food, the plumule starts to become small. Sometimes the seed stores less food and in such a scenario, the plumule becomes large and grows well-formed leaves. These leaves then capture more sunlight to perform photosynthesis.

Let’s look at some key points that differentiate between plumule and radicle.

Difference Between Radicle and Plumule




Part of the plant.

It is the embryonic shoot.

It is the embryonic root of the plant.

Timing of emergence

Plumule comes out after the radicle.

Radicle is the first to appear from the seed, followed by the plumule.

Future growth 

Plumule grows on to become the shoot of the plant, into its stem and leaves.

The radicle grows to become the root system of the plant.

Growth direction

Plumule grows upwards, away from the soil.

Radicle grows down further deep into the soil.


Plumule is not as white as the radicle.

Radicle is whiter in color than the plumule.


The function of plumule is to perform photosynthesis that helps the plant is producing food for itself. This leads to the rapid growth of the plant.

The function of the radicle is to absorb water from the soil for the growth of the embryonic plant.


It is negatively phototropic which means that it grows away from the sunlight.

It is positively phototropic which means that it grows towards sunlight.


Plumule is a bud-like structure that is sometimes conical in shape.

Radicle had an elongated shape.


It is negatively hydrotropic.

It is positively hydrotropic.

One of the essential factors that help to differentiate between radicle and plumule is that they both grow into different parts of the plant.

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FAQs on What are the Difference Between Radicle and Plumule

1. Explain the Origin of the primary organs of a plant?

Angiosperm embryogenesis can be described in terms of an important studied flowering factory called cowgirl’s bag (Capsella bursa-pastoris). The zygote dissects into two cells, the terminal cell and the rudimentary cell. The terminal cell divides by a wall formed at right angles to the first fractionalization wall and also again by a wall formed at right angles to this; a quadrant of cells is therefore formed. The separation of the quadrant cells in a transverse plane also produces an octant stage. By transverse divisions, the rudimentary cell forms a hair, the suspensor, of over ten cells, the end cell of which swells to form an absorbing organ. The attachment cell, or hypophysis, adjoins the octants deduced from the terminal cell.

At this point, the potential way forward for each of the zones of the embryo is often specified. The four cells of the octet group eventually produce seed leaves (cotyledons) and thus the tips of shoots. The four are on the opposite side of the hypocotyl, which is part of the embryo that connects the cotyledon to the primary root (young root). The radicle, and therefore the root cap, arises from the pituitary gland. In the light of the fact that the embryo is mature, the Suspensor cells recede.

2. What is Radicle?

In botany, the radicle is the first part of a seedling (a growing factory embryo) to crop from the seed during the method of germination. The radicle is the embryonic root of the factory and heightens above in the soil. The radicles transpire from seed through the micropyle. Radicals in seedlings are of two types.

Those pointing to the ground from the scars of the seed fleece or hilum are classified as retrograde, while others pointing to hilum are in sync.

Still, the seedling under pre-emergence damping-off, If the radicle begins to decay. This complaint takes shape on the radicle as darkened spots. Ultimately, it causes the death of the seedling.

In 1880 Charles Darwin published a book about shops he'd studied, The Power of Movement in Shops, where he mentions the radical.

It's hardly a magnification to say that the tip of the radicle, therefore, endowed acts like the brain of one of the lower creatures; the brain being positioned within the anterior end of the body, entering prints from the sense- organs, and directing the several movements.

3. What are plumules and their functions?

Plumules are principally a part of a seed embryo. It's a cub-like or a small portion of the factory embryo giving rise to the first true leaves, especially above the cotyledons, and is grown into a factory giving rise to many leaves, branches, flowers, and seeds.

Plumule is a part of the seed embryo, which evolves into the shoot after the germination of seeds. It's a shoot tip, with a small cub-suchlike or a small portion of the factory embryo. It's also called a baby factory or a new factory arising from the seed embryo. Plumules give rise to an advanced plant.

Plumule is a part of the embryo, which helps within the expansion of the shoot system, consisting of stem, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds.

Plumule produces food for the growing embryonic factory through the natural process of photosynthesis.

4. What is Scutellum?

The store of food conserved in angiosperm seeds differs between monocots and dicots. In monocots, indistinguishable as sludge and wheat, the only cotyledon is entitled as scutellum; the scutellum is secured onto the embryo through the vascular towel. Food reserves are stored within the large endosperm. After germination, enzymes are concealed by the aleurone, a single sub-caste of cells just inside the seed fleece that is adjacent to the endosperm and embryo. The enzymes devalue the stored carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids, the products of which are engaged by the scutellum and transported via a vasculature beachfront to the developing embryo. Thus, the scutellum is often seen to be an absorptive organ, not a storehouse organ.

The two cotyledons within the dicot seed even have vascular connections to the embryo. In endospermic dicots, the food conserves are stocked within the endosperm. Through germination, the 2 cotyledons thus act as absorptive organs to require up the enzymatically released food conserves, like monocots. Tobacco, tomato, and pepper are examples of endospermic dicots. Non-endospermic dicots, the triploid endosperm develops typically following double fertilization, but the endosperm food conserves are snappily remobilized and progress into the developing cotyledon for the store. The two halves of a peanut seed (Arachis hypogaea) and the split peas (Pisum sativum) of split pea haze are individual cotyledons loaded with food conserves.

5. What is the function of the cotyledon in monocot seeds?

The cotyledon in monocots consists of a structure called the "scutellum" and is an outgrowth of the embryo. The scutellum is secured to the embryo by the vascular towel. The scutellum is right up as opposed to the endosperm. When germination is initiated, the embryo starts to cache gibberellic acid (GA). After 24 hours the scutellum also begins to synthesize GA. The GA triggers the conflation of colourful enzymes by the aleurone subcaste ( just under the pericarp/ testa). These enzymes ( including nascence-amylase) enable mobilization of the endosperm and the products are absorbed by the scutellum and passed to the developing embryo.

6. What is the Role of the Plumule?

The plumule is the rudimentary embryonic shoot that grows from the seed after germination. It is connected to the cotyledons and holds them. It later grows into the shoot of the plant and forms the stems and leaves of the plant. One of the primary functions or the role of the plumule is to perform photosynthesis for the seedling. The plumule is positively phototropic and grows towards the sunlight, a crucial ingredient needed by the plant for photosynthesis.  With photosynthesis, the plant produces food for itself that helps in its growth and development.

7. What is the Role of the Radicle?

Radicle is the embryonic root that grows from the seed. It is the first part to emerge from the embryo through the micropyle of the seed and is the embryonic root that later develops into the root system of the plant. The radicle is positively hydrotropic and grows down into the soil towards the water and away from the sunlight. It absorbs the water from the soil for the growth of the embryo.

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