Plant Tissue Systems

Cells that work together to perform a specific function form a tissue. Tissues are arranged into systems in plants, including the dermal system, ground system, and vascular system, which are summarized in Table 29-1. These systems are further organized into the three major plant organs—the roots, stems, and leaves. The organization of each organ reflects adaptations to the environment.

Dermal Tissue System

The dermal tissue system forms the outside covering of plants. In young plants, it consists of the epidermis (EP-uh-DUHR-muhs), the outer layer made of parenchyma cells. The outer epidermal wall is often covered by a waxy layer called the cuticle, which prevents water loss. Some epidermal cells of the roots develop hairlike extensions that increase water absorption. Openings in the leaf and stem epidermis are called stomata. Stomata regulate the passage of gases and moisture into and out of the plant. In woody stems and roots, the epidermis is replaced by dead cork cells.

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