The root hairs near the tips of actively growing roots absorb water and dissolved minerals. Root hairs are modified epidermis cells. Root hairs increase the surface area for absorption



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HortBotany

Lesson Plan #6 – instructor



Roots


  • Functions of a root system:




  • Absorption: the root hairs near the tips of actively growing roots absorb water and dissolved minerals. Root hairs are modified epidermis cells. Root hairs increase the surface area for absorption.


root hairs on a radish seedling



  • Anchorage: the root system of a plant supports and anchors the plant in the soil.




These large caliper roots on Maple play an important role in anchoring the plant. They do not, however, absorb water and nutrients.

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  • Plants, in general, have one of two types of root systems:





tap root




    • fibrous root system; more typical of the monocots. In monocots the radicle is short-lived and the root system becomes highly branched.


fibrous root system




  • Storage: some plants have root systems that have been modified for food storage. Plants store extra glucose produced during photosynthesis in modified roots as starches. It is an advantage, from the plants perspective, to store excess food underground and away from browsing animals.

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  • Two major types of root modifications for food storage:



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