Difference Between Root System and Shoot System

Main Difference

The main difference between the root system and shoot system is that root system is the part of the plant that contains tubers, roots, and adventitious rhizoids of the plant, whereas the shoot system is the part of plants that contains areal parts such as flower buds, flowers, leaves, and fruits of the plant.

Root System vs. Shoot System

Root system refers to the part of the plant that absorbs water and mineral from the ground, whereas the shoot system refers to the part of the plant that is aerial and erects part of the plant body. The root system is present beneath the ground while the shoot system is present above the ground. Root system develops into the ground; on the other hand, the shoot system develops upwards. The root system is composed of tubers, roots, and rhizomes; on the contrary, the shoot system is composed of buds, flowers, leaves, and fruits. The main function which root system performs is to absorb minerals and water from the soil while supporting the plant on the ground; conversely, main functions which shoot system perform are transport, reproduction, and photosynthesis. Root system does not perform photosynthesis, whereas the shoot system performs photosynthesis. Sexual reproduction does not undergo in root system while through flowers, shoot system undergoes sexual reproduction. In the root system, its fragments cannot be used as timber, whereas in the shoot system, its fragments mostly can be used as timber.

Comparison Chart

Root SystemShoot System
Reference to the part of the plant that generally grows beneath the ground, absorbing water and minerals from the soil is called root system.The aerial and erect part of the plant body which grows upwards is called shoot system.
Relative Position to the Ground
Present beneath the groundPresent above the ground
Growth Pattern
Into the groundDevelops upwards
Composed Of
Tubers, roots, and rhizomesBuds, flowers, leaves, and fruits.
Main Function
To fascinate water and minerals from the soil while supporting the plant on the ground and stores foodTransport, reproduction, and photosynthesis and conducts minerals up and down in the plant parts.
Photosynthesis
Does not produce photosynthesisProduce photosynthesis
Sexual Reproduction
Does not reproduce through sexual reproductionReproduce through sexual reproduction
Timber
Fragments cannot be used as timberAll its fragments can be used as timber

What is Root System?

Reference to the part of the plant that generally grows beneath the ground, absorbing water and minerals from the soil is called root system. It symbolizes the underground portions of the plant that are tubers, roots, and rhizoids. The root system is present beneath the ground. Root system does not perform photosynthesis and sexual reproduction. Some major functions of the root system are the closure of the plant body with the ground, storage of food, absorption of water and minerals, and prevention of soil erosion.

Parts of the Root System

  • Root: Root is a major part of the root system. Two major types of root system based on the type of plant are:
  • Tap Roots present in dicots
  • Fibrous roots present in monocots
  • Tubers: They are fleshy, enlarged underground stem that consists of buds capable of producing new plants.
  • Rhizoids: Rhizoids are the parallel stem of the plant from which the adventitious roots produce.

What is Shoot System?

The aerial and erect part of the plant body which grows upwards is called shoot system. It refers to the parts or components of the plant body which grows above the ground. It includes leaves, stems, seeds, fruit, flowers, and buds. The main functions which shoot system perform are transport, reproduction, and photosynthesis. In the shoot system, its parts can be used as timber. Shoots are usually eaten by animals due to the presence of fibers which are much softer and easier to be digested and chewed by these animals.

Parts of the Shoot System

  • Stem: Stem is the main part of the shoot system as it is the one that provides an axis for leaves, fruits, and buds. The stem completely strengthens the plant while directing nutrients and water all over the plant. Two types of plants stem are: Herbaceous Stem is a bendable stem; Woody Stem is hard and does not easily bend;
  • Leaves: The photosynthetic parts of the plant are leaves. The cells present in the leaf contain chlorophyll that captures the sunlight, and it is the source of energy for the production of glucose.
  • Flower: In angiosperms, this part of the flower helps in sexual reproduction.
  • Seed: It is the main reproductive parts of plant structure that are produced by both angiosperms and gymnosperms.
  • Fruit: It generally consists of seeds inside its structure.
  • Bud: Bud develops into a flower or a leaf and only occur in dicots.

Key Differences

  1. Root system refers to the part of the plant that absorbs water and mineral from the ground, whereas the shoot system refers to the part of the plant that is aerial and erects part of the plant body.
  2. The root system is present beneath the ground while the shoot system is present above the ground.
  3. Root system develops into the ground; on the other hand, the shoot system develops upwards.
  4. The root system is mainly made of parts of plants such as tubers, roots, and rhizomes; on the contrary, shoot system is mainly made of aerial parts of plants such as buds, flowers, leaves, and fruits.
  5. The main and specific function of root system performs is to get minerals and water from the soil while giving strength to the plant on the ground; conversely, main and specific functions of shoot system are transport, reproduction, and photosynthesis.
  6. Root system does not perform photosynthesis, whereas the shoot system performs photosynthesis.
  7. Sexual reproduction does not undergo in root system while through flowers, shoot system undergoes sexual reproduction.
  8. In the root system, its fragments cannot be used as timber, while in the shoot system, its various fragments can be used as timber.
  9. The root system retrieves nutrients from soil and stores food while shoot system conducts minerals up and down in the plant parts.

Conclusion

Above discussion concludes that root system consists of tubers, roots, and rhizoids of the plant, whereas the shoot system consists of buds, flowers, leaves, and fruits of the plant.

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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