Xylem is the complex, dead and permanent tissue responsible for carrying nutrients and water, whereas phloem is the soft and permanent tissue play its role in transporting the food and other organic material produced by the green parts especially leaves by the process of photosynthesis.
Xylem and phloem are the two types of vascular tissues, present in plants and together constitute vascular bundles. Their function is to efficiently transport the materials which can be food, water, nutrients, organic materials, etc. between the stems, roots, and leaves of plants.
Content: Xylem Vs Phloem
|Basis for Comparison||Xylem||Phloem|
|Meaning||Xylem is the complex tissue of plants, responsible for transporting water and other nutrients to the plants.||Phloem is living tissue, responsible for transporting food and other organic materials.|
|Contains||Dead cells (parenchyma is the only living cells present in the xylem).||Mainly contains living cells (fibers are the only dead cells in the phloem).
|Comprises of||Xylem vessels, fibre and tracheids.||Phloem fibers, sieve tubes, sieve cells, phloem parenchyma and companion cells.|
|Found||Xylem is located in the centre of the vascular bundle, deep in the plant.||Phloem is located on the outer side of the vascular bundle.|
|Kind of movement||Unidirectional.||Bidirectional.|
|Role||Xylem transports only minerals and waters from the roots.||Phloem transports food materials that are prepared by the green parts of the plants to other parts of the plant.|
|Provide mechanical support.||Does not provide mechanical support.|
|Other features||Xylem is the dead tissues at maturity, but no cell contents.||Phloem is the living tissue, but not with the nucleus.|
|Xylem often constitutes the bulk of the plant body.||Phloem forms a small part of the plant body.|
|In xylem, the conducting cells or tracheary cells are dead.||In phloem, the conducting cells are living.|
Definition of Xylem
In vascular plants, xylem is the type of transport tissue. These are dead, complicated, and permanent tissue. The substantial task is to carry water and other nutrients to different parts of the plants.
Xylem is chiefly formed of the vessels and tracheary elements like tracheids, vessels, xylem parenchyma. These are the thick walled and found in the center of the cell.
Xylem is also responsible for recovering the water lost through means of transpiration and photosynthesis. It also provides mechanical support to the plant. The presence of lignin cells provides strength to the plants.
Also, these lignified secondary walls make the xylem water proof and prevent from collapsing at the time of transpiration. The flow of water in this process is unidirectional, i.e. from the root to the top part of the plant.
Definition of Phloem
Phloem is also the types of transport tissue in vascular plants. They are the living and permanent tissue, responsible for carrying the food and soluble organic nutrients. These organic nutrients are named as photosynthates, which is a glucose and is transported to every part of the plant, wherever necessary.
The phloem surrounds xylem. The word ‘phloem‘ which means bark, is derived from the Greek word ‘phloos‘, as the phloem is the innermost layer of the bark of the trees.
Phloem is made up of the phloem parenchyma, phloem fibers, sieve tube elements along with dead and living soft-walled cells. The outer phloem layer is made up dead cells, and the inner layer is made up of living cells.
Key Differences Between Xylem and Phloem
Given below are the important points which distinguish xylem with that of phloem:
- Xylem is the complex tissue of plants, responsible for transporting water and other soluble nutrients to the plants and the flow is unidirectional which is from root to the upper part of the plant, while on the other hand phloem is the another kind of the vascular, living tissue which is responsible for transporting food and other organic materials, prepared by the green parts of the plants like leaves. The flow of material in phloem is bi-directional.
- Xylem mainly made up of dead cells and parenchyma is the only living cells present, whereas phloem mainly contains living cells and fibers are the only dead cells.
- Xylem is found in the center of the vascular bundle, deep in the plant and made up of xylem vessels, fiber, and tracheids, whereas phloem is found on the outer side of the vascular bundle and made up of phloem fibers, sieve tubes, sieve cells, phloem parenchyma and companion cells.
- Xylem transports only minerals and waters from the roots, and also provide mechanical strength to the plant, on the contrary phloem transports food materials that are prepared by the green parts of the plants to other parts but is incapable of providing mechanical support to the plant.
- Xylem often constitutes the bulk of the plant body, but the conducting cells or tracheary cells are dead, while phloem forms a small part of the plant body and the conducting cells are living.
- The cell wall is made up of cellulose of both xylem and phloem.
- Both contain chloroplast.
- Both contain vascular tissue, which helps in transportation of material throughout the plant.
- Both xylem and phloem contain parenchymatous cells.
The two most important complex kind of tissue, constituting vascular bundles is the xylem and phloem. We discuss their role that xylem is responsible for transporting of water and other soluble materials in the plant in a unidirectional manner.
On the contrary, the role of phloem is to transport the food and other organic material produced by leaves (through the process of photosynthesis). Hence both the vascular tissues have their equal importance, which is necessary for the growth of the plants.