Difference Between Simple and Complex Tissue

Simple vs Complex Tissue

The difference between simple and complex tissue appears in areas such as composition, functions, etc. In plants, there are two types of tissues; meristematic tissue and permanent tissue. Meristematic tissues are responsible for forming new tissues by adding cells to the plant body. Thus, they maintain the plant growth. Meristematic tissues are mainly found in the growing regions; the tip of the stem and the tip of the root. The meristematic tissues form the permanent tissues. The bulk of the plant body is formed from permanent tissues. The three characteristic features of permanent tissues include; (a) cells are larger and possess thin cell walls, (b) nucleus is small and contains less cytoplasm, and (c) cells do not undergo cellular division. Based on the composition of cell types, permanent tissues are divided into two categories; simple and complex tissues. The difference between simple and complex tissue will be discussed in this article.

What is Simple Tissue?

Simple tissues are the plant tissues that are made up of only one type of cells. There are three types of simple tissues; parenchyma, collenchyma and sclerenchyma. Parenchyma has thin-walled living cells and makes the softer parts of plants. The functions of parenchyma include storage of foods and photosynthesis. The living cells of collenchyma have thickenings at the corners. Collenchyma is found in growing stems and leaves and provides mechanical support. Sclerenchyma has thick-walled dead cells (fibers) and makes the hard parts of the plant body. Hence, it provides strength to the plant parts.

Difference Between Simple and Complex Tissue

What is Complex Tissue?

Complex tissues are the plant tissues that contain more than one type of cells. There are two types of complex tissues; dermal and vascular. Dermal complex tissues are further divided into epidermis and periderm. Epidermis is composed of epidermal cells and their outgrowths. It secretes cuticle and control gas exchange and water loss. The periderm is composed of cork cells, cork cambium, and parenchyma cells. It protects the older stems and roots by forming a protective cover. Vascular tissues are xylem and phloem. Xylem is composed of tracheids, vessel members, parenchyma cells, and sclerenchyma cells. The main functions of xylem are to distribute water and water soluble nutrients and also to provide structural support. Phloem is made up of sieve-tube members, parenchyma cells, and sclerenchyma cells. This tissue helps to transport sugars and provides support to the plant.

What is the difference between Simple and Complex Tissue?

• Composition:

• Simple tissues contain similar types of cells.

• Complex tissues contain different types of cells.

• Examples:

• Simple tissues: parenchyma, collenchyma, and sclerenchyma.

• Complex tissues: epidermis, periderm, xylem and phloem.

• Functions:

• The functions of simple tissues are photosynthesis, storage of foods, secretion, tissue repair, structural support, etc.

• The functions of complex tissues are secretion of cuticle, protection, control of gas exchange and water loss, structural support and distributing water and sugars.


Images Courtesy:

  1. Plant cell types by Kelvinsong (CC BY-SA 3.0)