Difference Between Apical Meristem and Lateral Meristem

Main Difference

The main difference between apical meristem and lateral meristem is that apical meristem discusses a meristem at the apex of a plant root or shoot that produces auxin and initiate the shoot or root to increase in length. Whereas lateral meristem refers to a meristem that is organizing in parallel to the sides of an organ and is responsible for the increase in the diameter of the organ.

Apical Meristem vs. Lateral Meristem

Apical meristem is involving in the prime growth of the plant that rises the length at the apex whereas lateral meristem is participating in the subsequent development of the plant that grows in diameter. Apical meristem is the meristematic tissue at the top of stem and roots, which is responsible for the primary growth of the plant whereas lateral meristem is the meristematic tissue at the margins of stems and roots, which is responsible for the secondary growth of the plant. The apical meristem rises the length of the plant at the apex of stem and roots, but the lateral meristem increases the diameter of stem and roots. The apical meristem contains procambium, protoderm, and ground meristem, on the other hand, the lateral meristem comprises cork cambium and vascular cambium. The apical meristem gives an increase in the xylem, epidermis, phloem, and ground tissue conversely the lateral meristem gives rise to inner bark, wood, and outer bark. The apical meristem permits the plant to develop into unique structures like leaves and flowers, but the lateral meristem permits the plant to grow into tall by making it stronger. The apical meristem happens in all species of plants on the flip side the lateral meristem is absent in horsetails and mosses.

Comparison chart

Apical MeristemLateral Meristem
Meristematic tissue at the tip of stem and roots, which is responsible for the primary growth of the plantMeristematic tissue at the margins of roots and stems, which is responsible for the secondary growth of the plant
Growth
Rises the length of the plant at the apex of stem and rootsIncreases the diameter of stem and roots
Give Rise To
Epidermis, phloem, xylem, and ground tissueWood, outer bark, and inner bark
Consist of
Procambium, protoderm, and ground meristemVascular cambium and cork cambium
Occurrence
Occurs in all phyla of plantsAbsent in mosses and horsetails
Functions
Allows the plant to develop into unique structures like flowers and leavesAllows the plant to grow into tall by making it stronger

What is Apical Meristem?

The apical meristem is the growth area in plants present within the root tips and the tops of the new shoots and leaves. Apical meristem is a cluster of the dense pack and undifferentiating cells. It involves in the prime growth of the plant by increasing the length of the plant. Apical is an explanation of progress occurring at the tips of the plant, both top, and bottom. Apical meristem is responsible for making cells and growth to drive the plant into the light and air, where it can photosynthesize and exchange gases. Cells in the apical meristem are not generalizing and keenly divide to produce new cells throughout the plant life, but cells in the center of the plant steadily lose their power of division and become a stable tissue these cells become vacuolated and expanding by absorbing water. The conditions of the soil around the roots are detecting, and signals are creating within the apical meristem which directs the plant towards the water and desired nutrients. The primary central cells in the apical meristem are first differentiating into procambium protoderm, and ground meristem. The plant’s vascular tissue, phloem, and xylem are separating from procambium. The protoderm is dividing into the epidermis. Ground meristem is differentiating into the ground tissue that stores food in the form of starch and provides support to the plant. Its principal function is to activate the growth of new cells in new seedlings at the tips of roots and shoots and developing buds.

What is Lateral Meristem?

The lateral meristem lies alongside the stem and roots involving in the secondary growth. Secondary growth occurs only in dicots. The lateral meristem is present in all woody plants and is responsible for the thickening of the vascular cambium and the cork cambium. The vascular cambium produces both secondary xylem and phloem. The secondary xylem is originating inside the stem tissue and is known as wood, and the secondary phloem is creating in the stem boundary which provides the inner bark. The differential growth of the vascular cambium provides annual rings in the stem. They provide secondary tissues from a circle of vascular cambium in stems and roots. Cork cambium lies closer to the surface, produces the outer bark. It serves as the secondary lateral meristem.

Key Differences

  1. Apical meristem is the meristematic tissue at the tip of stem and roots, responsible for the primary growth of the plant whereas lateral meristem is the meristematic tissue at the margins of roots and stems, which is responsible for the secondary growth of the plant.
  2. The apical meristem rises the length of the plant at the apex of stem and roots while the lateral meristem increases the diameter of stem and roots.
  3. The apical meristem contains procambium, protoderm, and ground meristem, on the other hand, the lateral meristem comprises vascular cambium and cork cambium.
  4. The apical meristem gives an increase in the epidermis, phloem, xylem and ground tissue conversely the lateral meristem gives a boost to wood, inner bark, and outer bark.
  5. The apical meristem permits the plant to grow into unique structures like flowers and leaves, but the lateral meristem permits the plant to grow into tall by making it stronger.
  6. The apical meristem happens in all phyla of plants on the flip side the lateral meristem is absent in mosses and horsetails.

Conclusion

Above this discussion, it concludes that the apical meristem is the growth area in plants present within the root tips and the tips of the new shoots and leaves whereas lateral meristem refers to a meristem arranging in a parallel to the margins of an organ which is responsible for the increase in diameter of the organ.

Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White

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