The function of hypodermis is: (a) Protection (b) Hardness (c) Support (d) Storage
Hint: Hypodermis cells are modified to provide mechanical strength.
Complete answer: In plants, hypodermis lies beneath the epidermis of leaves. It is also the outermost layer of the cortex. The other layers of cortex are the cortical layers and endodermis layer. Hypodermis can be made up of collenchyma cells or sclerenchyma cells. These types of cells are not living because they lack protoplasm constituents. Rather, they are modified in such a way so that the plant gets some mechanical strength. In monocot plants, hypodermis is usually made up of sclerenchyma cells whereas dicot plants have hypodermis which consists of collenchyma type cells. Hence, the hypodermis functions mainly to support the plant mechanically.
Additional information:The words protection and hardness may seem similar to ‘support’ but actually hypodermis cannot protect the plant (from pests, environmental adversities); neither can it provide hardness, because the leaves of plants are not really ‘hard’. So, support is the appropriate term in this scenario. So, the correct option is ‘Support’. Note:Hypodermis of Vertebrate skin is entirely different from hypodermis of the plants. Skin hypodermis is also called subcutaneous tissue. It is the innermost layer of integument and derived from mesoderm. It lies below the dermis layer and is made up of loose connective tissue. It stores fats or lipids. Hence, the function is entirely different from plant hypodermis. In the question skin is not mentioned, so here plant hypodermis should be considered only.