Difference Between Parenchyma and Collenchyma

Main Difference

The main difference between parenchyma and collenchyma is that parenchyma is involved in storage, secretion, and photosynthesis, whereas collenchyma is involved in the transportation of nutrients and support.

Parenchyma vs. Collenchyma

Parenchyma is involved in storage, secretion, and in photosynthesis, whereas collenchyma is involved in the transportation of nutrients and support. Parenchyma is found in every part of the plant like fruits, flowers, leaves, the pith of the stem, and pulp while collenchyma found in leaves, petiole, and young stems which appears as incessant ring beneath the epidermis. Parenchyma is unspecialized cells; on the contrary, collenchyma is specialized cells in plants. Parenchyma contains a thin cell wall; on the other hand, collenchyma contains an unequal thin cell wall. The cell wall of parenchyma cells is made up of cellulose; on the flip side, the cell wall of collenchyma is made up of pectin and cellulose. Parenchyma cells have intercellular spaces present between them; conversely, collenchyma has no or little spaces present between them. The shape of parenchyma is isodiametric, whereas the shape of collenchyma is tubular. Parenchyma creates permanent tissues, when stimulated they can achieve meristematic activity same as collenchyma also creates permanent tissues, when stimulated they can achieve the meristematic activity. Parenchyma and collenchyma have living cells at maturity. The functions of parenchyma include are the storage of food, gas exchange, photosynthesis, and floating of aqueous plants while the function of collenchyma include is resisting bending and stretching by the wind and providing mechanical support to the plant.

Comparison Chart

ParenchymaCollenchyma
The cells found in every soft part of the plant is called parenchyma.The cells found in leaves, petioles, and young stems are called collenchyma.
Found In
In every soft part of the plantIn specific parts like leaves, petioles and young stems are called collenchyma.
Type of cells
Unspecialized cellsSpecialized cells
Cell Shape
IsodiametricTubular form
Cell Wall
Thin cell wallUneven cell wall
Cell Wall Material
CellulosePectin and cellulose
Intercellular Spaces
PresentNo or little spaces present
Meristematic Activity
PresentPresent
Functions
Storage of food, gas exchange, photosynthesis, and floating of aqueous plantsResisting bending and stretching by the wind and providing mechanical support to the plant

What is Parenchyma?

The cells found in every soft part of the plant is called parenchyma. Parenchyma is the simplest type of tissues which are made up of living cells and forming a thin layer of cell wall called a primary cell wall. This cell wall made up of cellulose and hemicellulose. Parenchyma all over in the plant and occur as continuous mass from leaves to roots, stem, and fruits. They have an active protoplast. Parenchyma is responsible for creating many other specialized tissues and cells. Structurally, parenchyma is isodiametric as they have thin cell walls, so they bear pressure and force all around of its cell walls. In this state, the cell increases its volume of capacity to equalize the pressure all over the sides. The parenchyma is abundantly present in organelles of plants like Golgi bodies and ribosomes. Parenchyma is living, and they may remain meristematic even at maturity- that they are capable of division if they get the stimulus.

Functions

  • The main function of parenchyma is to repair plants.
  • They are responsible for photosynthesis, the exchange of gases, and they form mesophyll cells in leaves.
  • Storage of fats, oils, proteins, starch and water in roots, tubers, cotyledons, and seed endosperm
  • Secretion
  • Provides buoyancy and other specialized functions

What is Collenchyma?

The cells found in leaves, petioles, and young stems are called collenchyma. Collenchyma is known for providing structural support to the cells of the plants. Collenchyma cells are also living cells having a thick layer of the cell walls. These cell walls are composed of hemicellulose, pectin, and cellulose. Cell wall gets thick and strongly affected by mechanical stress upon the plant. The collenchyma cell walls in shaken plants maybe 40-100 percent thicker than those who not shaken. The cells of collenchyma have a prominent nucleus. They have huge central vacuoles, which allow the cells to regulate and store ions and water. Collenchyma also stores food and prevents the tearing of leaves. Collenchyma cells are present in the leaves of dicots above petiole. They are absent in monocots. They are tubular.

Types

  • Angular
  • Lacunar
  • Lamellar

Functions

  • Carry out photosynthesis and manufacture food.
  • Resisting bending and stretching of parts of plants by the wind
  • Provide mechanical support to the plant.

Key Differences

  1. Parenchyma is involved in storage, secretion, and in photosynthesis, whereas collenchyma is involved in the transportation of nutrients and support.
  2. Parenchyma is found in every part of the plant like fruits, flowers, leaves, the pith of the stem, and pulp while collenchyma found in leaves, petiole, and young stems which appears as incessant ring beneath the epidermis.
  3. Parenchyma is unspecialized cells; on the contrary, collenchyma is specialized cells in plants.
  4. Parenchyma contains a thin cell wall; on the other hand, collenchyma contains an unequal thin cell wall.
  5. The cell wall of parenchyma cells is made up of cellulose; on the flip side, the cell wall of collenchyma is made up of pectin and cellulose.
  6. Parenchyma cells have intercellular spaces present between them; conversely, collenchyma has no or little spaces present between them.
  7. The shape of parenchyma is isodiametric, whereas the shape of collenchyma is tubular.
  8. Parenchyma creates permanent tissues, when stimulated they can achieve meristematic activity same as collenchyma also creates permanent tissues, when stimulated they can achieve the meristematic activity.
  9. Parenchyma and collenchyma have living cells at maturity.
  10. The functions of parenchyma include the storage of food, gas exchange, photosynthesis, and floating of aqueous plants while the functions of collenchyma include resisting bending and stretching by the wind and providing mechanical support to the plant.

Conclusion

Above discussion concludes that parenchyma is involved in storage, secretion, and photosynthesis, whereas collenchyma is involved in the transportation of nutrients and support.

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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