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Roots


Roots anchor the plant to the ground, and absorb water and minerals from the soil. They can also be used as storage for food.
A root only grows near the root tip. The root tip is an apical meristem covered by a root cap. At the root tip, the apical meristem generates new cells for both the root cap and the root.

Illustration of a root
Root Cap: a protective and lubricative cover for the apical meristem of the root. It is also responsible for gravitropism (growth response to gravity). As the root tip pushes through soil, the root cap wears away and new root cap cells are replenished by the apical meristem.
Zone of elongation: region a few millimeters long where cells produced by the apical meristem elongate. All root growth occurs here.
Zone of maturation: also called the root-hair zone, this is the region where most primary tissue cells mature.
Root hair: extension of the epidermis (the outmost single-layer of cells) of young roots. Root hairs greatly increase the absorption area for roots to take in water and minerals. Short-lived; died root hairs are replaced by new ones as root growing. Exhibit





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