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an organism's ability to alter itself in response to local environmental conditions


external form


a group of cells with a common function, structure, or both


several types of tissues that together carry out particular functions

root system

a system of roots

shoot system

consists of stems and leaves


an organ that anchors a vascular plant

taproot system

consists of one main vertical root that develops from an embryonic root

lateral roots

develop from the taproot

fibrous root system

a mat of generally thin roots spreading out below the soil surface, with no root standing out as the main one


any plant part that grows in an unusual location

root hair

an extension of a root epidermal cell


an organ consisting of an alternating system of nodes and internodes


the points at which leaves are attached


the stem segments between nodes

axillary bud

a structure that has the potential to form a lateral shoot, commonly called a branch

terminal bud

includes developing leaves and a compact series of nodes and internodes

apical dominance

inhibiting the growth of axillary buds


the main photosynthetic organ of most vascular plants, consisting of a flattened blade and petiole stalk


the vascular tissue of leaves

tissue system

consists of one or more tissues organized into a functional unit connecting the organs of a plant

dermal tissue system

the outer protective covering


a single layer of tightly packed cells


protective tissues that replace the epidermis in older regions of stems and roots


a waxy coating that helps prevent water loss

vascular tissue system

carries out long-distance transport of materials between roots and shoots


conveys water and dissolved minerals


transports organic nutrients such as sugars


the vascular tissue of a root or stem

vascular cylinder

the form of the stele of the root in angiosperms

vascular bundles

strands consisting of xylem and phloem

ground tissue system

tissues that are neither dermal nor vascular


ground tissue that is internal to the vascular tissue


ground tissue that is external to the vascular tissue


the cell contents exclusive of the cell wall

indeterminate growth

growth occurs throughout a plant's life

determinate growth

growth that ceases after reaching a certain size


plants that complete their life cycle in a single year or less


generally live two years


plants that live many years


perpetually embryonic tissues

apical meristems

provide additional cells that enable the plant to grow in length (primary growth)

herbaceous plants

nonwoody plants

lateral meristems

causes growth in thickness (secondary growth)

vascular cambium

lateral meristem that adds layers of vascular tissue called secondary xylem and secondary phloem

cork cambium

lateral meristem that replaces the epidermis with periderm, which is thicker and tougher


cells that remain as sources of new cells


cells that continue to divide until the cells they produce become specialized within developing tissues

primary plant body

the parts of the root and shoot systems produced by apical meristems

root cap

a root part that protects the apical meristem as the root pushes through the soil during primary growth

zone of cell division

includes the root apical meristem and its derivatives

zone of elongation

when root cells elongate

zone of maturation

when cells complete their differentiation and become functionally mature


the innermost layer of the cortex/a cylinder one cell thick that forms the boundary with the vascular cylinder


the outermost cell layer in the vascular cylinder, from which lateral roots arise

leaf primordia

finger-like projections along the flanks of the apical meristem, from which leaves arise


allow CO2 exchange between the surrounding air and the photosynthetic cells inside the leaf

guard cells

regulate the opening and closing of stomata


the region between the upper and lower epidermis/consists mainly of parenchyma cells

palisade mesophyll

consists of one or more layers of elongated cells on the upper part of the leaf

spongy mesophyll

below the palisade mesophyll

leaf traces

connections from vascular bundles in the stem

bundle sheath

a protective vein enclosing which consists of one or more layers of cells

secondary plant body

consists of the tissues produced by the vascular cambium and cork cambium

fusiform initials

produce elongated cells such as the tracheids, vessel elements, and fibers of the xylem

ray initials

initials which are shorter and oriented perpendicular to the stem or root axis, and produce vascular rays


older layers of secondary xylem


outer layers of xylem


small raised aresas of the periderm which enable living cells within a woody stem or root to exchange gases with the outside air


includes all tissues external to the vascular cambium


the development of body forma and organization

systems biology

An approach to studying biology that aims to model the dynamic behavior of whole biological systems.

asymmetrical cell division

one daughter cell receives more cytoplasm than the other during mitosis

pattern formation

the development of specific structures in specific locations

positional information

signals that continuously indicate to each cell its location within a developing structure


the condition of having structural differences at opposite ends of an organism

phase changes

the morphological changes that arise from transitions in shoot apical meristem activity

meristem identity genes

associated with the transition from vegetative growth to flowering

organ identity genes

genes that regulate the development of the characteristic floral pattern

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