Normal and Aerial Root Anatomy

Pepper plants possess adventitious root system as they are developed from stem cuttings. Even when plants are grown from seeds, the primary root (tap root) ceases to

Figure 2.9 L.S. of an orthotropic shoot tip showing dome shaped meristem, leaf initials, central mucilage canal and numerous pearl glands, m=meristem, mu=mucilage canal pg=pearl glands, If=leaf initials.

grow after some time, and further development of the root system is through secondary roots only. Though aerial roots and underground roots of clonal pepper plants are adventitious, they differ in anatomical features. The normal underground root has a typical dicot root structure, consisting of an epidermis, a broad cortex and stele bound by an endodermis. The vascular tissue consists of 5-8 groups of xylem and phloem arranged radially, and there is also a relatively large pith, which is not very common in dicot roots. There is no central mucilage canal in the root. The metaxylem elements of each xylem group range from 1-3 and the protoxylem 5-8 (Fig. 2.10).

The aerial root differs from the normal root in having more number of xylem and phloem groups (12-15). The cortex is made of irregularly shaped, closely packed cells. The xylem elements are arranged as flattened discs, and their number is more but are smaller in size.

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