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Vascular Cylinder: Definition & Concept

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  • 0:00 The Transport System In Plants
  • 0:55 Structure & Function
  • 2:19 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Meredith Mikell
Just as your veins move important substances through your body, plant vascular tissue does the same for plants. Here we'll learn about the vascular cylinders in plants, their structure, and how they work, and we'll finish with a brief quiz.

The Transport System in Plants

Look down at your wrists. Your veins are likely very visible, in a blue or greenish color. As you may have learned studying anatomy, your veins and arteries transport nutrients throughout your body, allowing all of the many, many cells that you're made of to function.

Plants have a similar system, wherein they take water and nutrients in through their roots and move them upwards and outwards, to the branches, stems, and leaves. This is accomplished with vascular tissue, tissue responsible for the transport of critical substances. There are several types of this tissue, which combined, make up vascular cylinders, running from the stems of plants down into the center of the roots. Plant vascular tissue is a topic of interest you likely encountered in grade school, maybe doing a leaf rub to see the veins or the classic food dye experiment to turn a carnation flower different colors!

Structure & Function

If you were to cut the stem of a flower in half and look at the cross section, you would see a collection of tiny tubes - vascular tissues. There are two primary types of vascular tissue that make up the core of a vascular cylinder: xylem and phloem. Xylem is the tissue that transports water and minerals, while phloem transports plant food, larger organic molecules. These vascular tissues run through the entirety of the plant, and if you looked at a cross section of stem, the tissues are bundled in the center into the vascular cylinder.

But just as you have several different tissue types throughout your body (bone, muscle, fat, skin, etc.) plants are made up of other tissue types, too. Meristematic plant tissues are involved in plant growth and make up the exterior layers, including the cork and bark of trees. These tissues surround the vascular cylinder.

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