Biology

Difference Between Rhizoids and Rhizomes

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Main Difference

The main difference between Rhizoids and Rhizomes is that Rhizoids are structurally root-like, which is found or located at primeval fungi and plants, whereas Rhizomes are moderately underground stacks or bundles of roots and stems of upper plants.

Rhizoids vs. Rhizomes

Rhizoids can be found as unicellular or multicellular, while rhizomes are only found as multicellular. Rhizoids can be considered as root-like structures which are primarily found in primitive plants and fungi; on the other hand, rhizomes are considered as continuously rising, horizontal, underground stems from which the adjacent and adventitious roots are formed.

Primitive fungi and primitive plants such as liverworts, mosses, and hornworts contain rhizoids; on the contrary, vascular plants such as poplars, bamboos, ginger, turmeric, lotus, etc. consist of rhizomes. Root-like structures are present in rhizoids, while on its flip side, specialized radical bundles of stems which form underground or grows nearly the soil surface are present in rhizomes.

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The function which rhizoids perform is that they absorb water and minerals from the soil and provide anchorage to the plants; on the contrary, the primary function of rhizomes is that they store food and assist in vegetative propagation of plants and the stem is modified to store starch and protein. The rhizoids are also known as thin-hair like structure that mostly resembles the plant root but is not true roots; on the other hand, the rhizomes are also known as creeping rootstalk which contains both nodes and internodes.

Comparison Chart

RhizoidsRhizomes
A simple structure that resembles roots but in a more primitive form which provides anchorage and absorption of water to plants is known as rhizoids.Specialized stems that are found in a plant that consists of true roots found underground are known as rhizomes.
Considered As
Considered as root-like structures which are primarily found in primitive plants and fungiConsidered as continuously rising, horizontal, underground stems from which the adjacent and adventitious roots are formed
Type of Plants
Primitive fungi and primitive plants such as liverworts, mosses, and hornwortsVascular plants such as poplars, bamboos, ginger, turmeric, lotus, etc.
Stem/Root
Root-like structures are presentSpecialized radical bundles of stems which form underground are present
Unicellular/ Multicellular
Found as unicellular or multicellularOnly found as multicellular
Function
They absorb water and minerals from the soil and provide anchorage to the plantsThey store food and help in vegetative propagation of plants, and the stem is modified to store starch and protein
Also Known As
Also known as thin-hair like structure that mostly resembles the plant root but is not true rootsAlso known as creeping rootstalk which contains both nodes and internodes
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What are Rhizoids?

The root-like structures but are not true roots found in primitive plants such as mosses, liverworts, hornworts, fungi, and bryophytes. The primitive plants do not contain a body that is differentiated into roots, stem, and leaves. Rhizoids primarily help in the absorption of nutrients, water, and minerals from the soil and also anchor the plant body to the substrate.

Rhizoids could be present as multicellular or unicellular rhizoids. Unicellular rhizoids are present in liverworts. On its comparison, multicellular rhizoids are present in mosses.

Rhizoids are present in the gametophyte because the noticeable life stage of the primal plants usually is the gametophyte. The hair-like roots of the vascular plants can also be known as rhizoids.

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Fungi also contain rhizoids. The rhizoids in fungi consist of small dividing hyphae that typically grows towards down of the stem, attaching the hyphae of fungi to the substrate. These fungal hyphae discharge digestive enzymes on the food material and absorb the digested organic material and nutrients.

Rhizoids usually absorb water from the soil through the capillary action, the action in which water moves up between the threads of rhizoids but not through each of the rhizoids as the water does in real roots. Rhizoids are known as trichomes in plants which are present on the land, that attach the plant to the ground.

In some algae, there is present a broad rhizoidal structure that permits the algae to attach itself to a grimy substrate from which the algae can absorb nutrients. In microscopic free-floating organisms, there is present no rhizoids at all.

What are Rhizomes?

Rhizomes are continuously growing underground, horizontal stems of higher vascular plants. The rhizomes are also known as creeping rootstalk, which contains both nodes and internodes. Rhizomes can form roots and shoots thereof, which summarizes that rhizomes are also included in vegetative propagation, that’s the type of asexual reproduction in vascular plants.

Plants such as bamboos, poplar, ginger, turmeric, lotus, etc. are much dependent on rhizomes for their proper reproduction. The stem of rhizomes is modified to store starch and proteins, which is vital and comes in need of the subsistence of the plants under critical conditions. Besides, the rhizomes which store foods are importantly consumed as food by animals and humans as well.

Some examples of edible rhizomes are ginger, lotus, turmeric, potato, carrot, and sweet potato, which are used directly in cooking. The rhizome is the only stem present in some plants like ferns and water lilies. If rhizome gets detached from its plant body, each part of the rhizome may be able to give rise to a new plant. The primary function of the rhizome is to store food, proteins, and other nutrients.

Many plants contain rhizomes that usually grow above the ground, or some lie at the soil surface, which contains some ferns, iris species, whose scattering stems are rhizomes. Plants with underground growing rhizomes are bamboo, ginger, Chinese lantern, the Venus flytrap, western poison-oak, hops, the weeds Johnson grass, Alstroemeria, purple nutsedge, and Bermuda grass.

Many rhizomes generally produced a single layer, but in giant horsetails, the rhizome form multi-layered. Some rhizomes consist of many culinary values.

Key Differences

  1. Rhizoids are known as root-like structures which are primarily found in primitive plants and fungi; on the other hand, rhizomes are known as underground stems that are continuously growing, horizontally from which the lateral and adventitious roots are produced and are also known as creeping rootstalk which contains both nodes and internodes.
  2. The type of primitive plants which consists of rhizoids are mosses, liverworts, and hornworts; on the contrary, the type of vascular plants that consists of rhizomes are poplars, bamboos, ginger, turmeric, lotus, etc.
  3. Root-like structures but are not true roots found in rhizoids, while particular stems that are true roots are found in rhizomes.
  4. Unicellular or multicellular rhizoids are present; on its flip side, only multicellular rhizomes are usually present.
  5. To anchorage plants and absorb water and nutrients from the soil is the main function of rhizoid which it performs, while on the other hand, stems modified to store food, proteins, and starch and to help in vegetative propagation is the vital function of rhizomes.

Conclusion

The above discussion concludes that both rhizoids and rhizomes are root-related structures, but rhizoids are not true roots and are found in primitive plants and fungi mainly involved in absorbing the nutrients from the soil. In contrast, rhizomes are true roots found in vascular plants such as bamboos, ginger, poplars, etc. and involved in storing the food and proteins.

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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