The cell is the structural and functional unit of all organisms and we all know the not all organisms have the same cell structure. Primitive cells such as bacteria have a simple cell structure while plants and animals show a higher level of cellular organisation. So as cells make up all tissue systems in a plant or animal body it’s only normal that they would be different. In this topic, we will have a brief overview of both plant and animal tissues, their structure and functions and how they differ from each other. We will also understand their similarities.
Simply put, plant tissue is a cluster of similar cells performing an organised function for the plant. These tissues create organs such as stems, roots, flowers and leaves. we can classify plant tissue in three categories:
It is different than other types of plant tissue. All plant cells originate from meristematic plant tissue. The apical meristem plays a role in plant growth above the soil whilst root meristem drive plant growth below the soil. Sub apical meristems drive the growth of the plant and carry leaves and intercalary meristems provide growth for the middle part of the plant body. It assists plant leaves to grow upwards towards sunlight. These cells grow asymmetrically and can be compared to animal stem cells.
There are several types of simple plant tissue. The first is the epidermis. This type of tissue is thin and has densely packed cells. In some plants, the epidermis is covered by waxy protection so the plant can survive stressful condition like extreme temperatures.
The epidermis has guard cells which operate the stroma. The stroma regulates the passage of water and air in leaves, and allow plants to move water and nutrients up the plant body from the soil.
Another major tissue in the plant body is the parenchyma. It has thin-walled cells and large vacuoles. It is found in all parts of the plant body especially in leaves, stems and roots. The parenchyma tissue in leaves is highly involved in the process of photosynthesis.
The sclerenchyma plant tissue is a type of structural tissue in the plant body which dies but retains its structure. It is found in the stem, bark and the hard shells of fruits and nuts and provides supports to plants.
There are two types of complex plant tissue observes. These are the phloem tissue and the xylem tissue. The xylem tissue system is specially designed for transporting water and nutrients whilst the phloem tissue carries sugar down the roots and stems.
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Like plants, an animal body is also made of different types of tissues. Generally, there are four types observed:
Epithelial Tissue: All internal and external organs of the animal body is lined with epithelial tissues. There are four types of tissues observed these are
These tissues are involved in the protection, absorption, secretion and other aspects of all internal and external organs.
Muscle Tissue: As the name suggests, muscles are made up of this type of tissue. The three types of muscles tissue observed are:
Skeletal muscle: these are striated and voluntary.
Smooth muscle: these are non-striated and involuntary.
Cardiac muscle: these are striated and involuntary.
The main functions of muscle tissue are the movement of the body by muscle contraction and relaxation.
Connective Tissue: They are a collection of different tissue which connect other tissue, organs and different parts of the body. The different types of connective tissues are:
Alongside connecting and supporting different organs, these tissues also transport substances between organs.
Nervous Tissue: Nervous tissues are made of specialised cells called neurones and neuroglia. They help nerve impulses travel and conduct electrochemical impulses travel between neurones.
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The difference s between plant and animal tissues are discussed below:
1. What are the similarities between plant and animal tissues?
There are many similarities between plant and animal tissues as well. Physiologically they may look different but they have similar functions. Below are some of the similarities between plant and animal tissues:
Bone tissue provides support for many animals. In plants, some specialised stem tissues have the same function.
Arteries, veins which are made of connective tissues transport nutrients, gases and waste in the animal body. In vascular plants, xylem and phloem do the same.
Respiratory tissue in animals exchange gases, tissues on leaves do the same thing. They exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen.
2. Give examples of plant and animal tissues
Examples of plant tissue:
Examples of animal tissues:
Blood and lymph
3. What is collenchyma?
Collenchyma plant tissue is similar to sclerenchyma. It provides support to the plant body. Collenchyma plant tissue can be seen in young plants, and in these plants, they have a limited number of cells. Due to this only a part of the cell wall in these cells will be thickened for support. Collenchyma is generally found wherever there is new growth and the other structural cells have not set in yet.