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What is Differentiation, Dedifferentiation and Redifferentiation?

Last updated date: 23rd Jul 2024
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Let us introduce: What is Differentiation, Dedifferentiation, Redifferentiation

Differentiation is the process by which a cell stops being able to divide and develops a particular function.  Cell differentiation is what gives cells their adulthood. The xylem tissue, which consists of vessels, tracheids, xylem parenchyma, and xylem fibres. Together, the tracheids and vessels make up the tracheary elements, which support mineral and water conduction. When the differentiation process is finished, the tracheary elements are no longer active and are dead and hollow. Differentiated live cells that have lost the capacity to divide periodically regain it; this process is referred to as dedifferentiation. Meristems and tissues are able to divide, resulting in the generation of cells that later lose the capacity to divide but evolve to play specific roles, or redifferentiate. Consequently, redifferentiation is the maturing or differentiating of tissues after they have experienced dedifferentiation.

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Let Us Explain Dedifferentiation and Redifferentiation


A cell can restore its ability to divide through a process called dedifferentiation, but it also loses the function that was given to it through differentiation. For example, during a plant's secondary growth, fully differentiated permanent tissues such the vascular cambium and cork cambium (meristems) are formed.


Redifferentiation is the process through which a dedifferentiated cell acquires a specific role and loses its capacity to divide once more. As an illustration, consider the development of secondary xylem and phloem from dedifferentiated cambial ring cells.

Dedifferentiation and Redifferentiation Difference





A cell can restore its ability to divide through a process called dedifferentiation, but it also loses the function that was given to it through differentiation.

Redifferentiation is the process through which a dedifferentiated cell acquires a specific role and loses its capacity to divide once more.


Cork cambium, wound meristem, and interfascicular vascular cambium are examples of dedifferentiated tissue that functions as meristematic tissue.

The tissue that has undergone redifferentiation is the functionally specialized tissue. Consequently, this is yet another way that dedifferentiation and redifferentiation differ.



The process of dedifferentiation enables the plant body to make new cells in a specific region.

Redifferentiation is necessary to carry out a task unique to a certain area of the plant.


Dedifferentiation occurs when fully developed parenchyma cells are used to create the interfascicular cambium and cork cambium.

One instance of redifferentiation is the specialization of the vascular cambium into secondary xylem and phloem.


During development, cells undergo some substantial structural changes and also produce lignocellulosic secondary cell walls, which are strong, elastic, and able to carry water over long distances.

Secondary xylem and secondary phloem cells are incapable of further cell division, and once they have reached adulthood, they carry out a range of functions, including preserving the structural integrity of the plant.

Characteristics of Dedifferentiation and Redifferentiation

Meristematic cells differentiate to become permanent tissues. Permanent tissues can be of two types:

1. Simple tissue - Simple tissues are those that consist just of one type of cell. Parenchyma, collenchyma, and sclerenchyma are a few examples.

2. Complex tissue - Complex tissues are those made up of multiple cell types. as in phloem and xylem

Modifications During Differentiation- Take into account the xylem tissue, which is made up of tracheids, vessels, xylem parenchyma, and xylem fibres. The tracheary elements, which aid in the conduction of water and minerals, are made up of the tracheids and vessels combined. The tracheary parts are still alive while they are still developing, but once differentiation is complete, they turn dead and hollow.

In general, the treated differentiated cells revert to the redifferentiated state, performing a specific role, following dedifferentiating the plant body to prepare it for physiological or structural change.


Differentiation is the long-term, qualitative alteration of the protoplasm and cell walls of cells, tissues, and their organs in terms of their structure, chemistry, and physiology. Genes are suppressed as a result, leading, for instance, to cells losing protoplasm in order to produce a tracheary element. Dedifferentiation is the process through which differentiated cells regain their ability to proliferate through mitosis.

In the plant body, the dedifferentiated tissue therefore functions as several meristematic tissues. Redifferentiation, in contrast, occurs when differentiated cells lose their previously acquired potential to divide. It enables these cells to specialize in their functional roles, enabling them to carry out a particular task within the body of the plant. Dedifferentiation and redifferentiation therefore differ primarily in their impact on the ability of differentiated cells to divide.

FAQs on What is Differentiation, Dedifferentiation and Redifferentiation?

1. What is the process of differentiation?

The process through which specific cambium and apical meristem cells of mature roots and shoots carry out specific roles is known as differentiation. During this period, a plant goes through a significant number of modifications. Differentiation is an essential stage for plant growth.

2. Explain the phases of plant growth?

Three phases are there in plant growth; Formative phase: the first phase of plant growth is cell division which occurs through mitosis. In this the pre- existing cells get divided and lead to the formation of many new cells which are required for plant growth.

Second phase is enlargement of the cell as the name itself clearly defines, it’s the stage where plants grow and size of all tissues and organs also changes in this phase. Moreover, protoplasm production, water absorption, the development of vacuoles, and the insertion of cell walls gets thicker.

Third phase is maturation of the cell in this stage where cells expand and take a permanent shape and plants lose the ability of redifferentiation as it reaches maturity.

3. What is dedifferentiation and redifferentiation?

In the dedifferentiation process, cells that have lost the capacity to divide regain it under specific circumstances. The redifferentiation process, on the other hand, causes the cells to divide and create cells that lose their ability to divide once more but develop to carry out particular duties, this answer explain dedifferentiation and redifferentiation.