debbie394
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What is the difference between a plant cell and vascular tissue
Where are they located. I am having difficulty imagining?
Do the plant cells surrounded the vascular bundles ?
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macpatgh-Sheldon
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Hi - the vascular tissue, as you might know, consists of xylem and phloem, xylem transporting water upwards from the roots, and phloem carrying food synthesized by photosynthesis from the leaves to all other parts of the plant. Try and clarify in your mind that the vascular "tissue" (tissue is simply a collection of similar cells that perform a common function like muscle in mammals that executes movement) consists of plant cells, too except that e.g. in a mature tree, for example, the xylem cells are dead and lignified (they have deposits of hard material called lignin) so they form wood.

The vascular bundles, as they are called, are placed differently in the stem than in the root. In the stem, they are placed as a ring of bundles in an incomplete circle a short way inside from the outer part [epithelium](in cross section) so in 3-D, they form an incomplete cylinder, rather like the tube of a pen. The teleological reason for this is that the main forces that the stem (being above ground) faces are horizontal (wind), and a tubular structure best resists such forces.

In the root, the xylem and phloem are present as a single group in the centre of the circular cross section i.e in 3-D, they are like a central rod. This is because the main force the root has to withstand is vertical as the root pushes downwards as it grows. A rod is the best shape to handle such forces.

Both the above arrangements follow from the fact that the vascular bundles are the stronger parts of the plant - one proviso: there are some variations in different species of plants depending on the habitat.

Hope this helps!

M (specialist biology tutor)
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