Difference Between Tracheids and Vessels

Tracheids vs Vessels

To know the difference between Tracheids and vessels, we have to start with the structure of vascular plants. These plants have two types of tissues that are known as xylem and phloem. These tissues serve as conducting tissues, performing as a conduit for the transfer of water and other nutrients from the roots to the leaves. Xylem and phloem start from the leaves and extend up to the roots. These tissues are produced by cambium cells located just inside the outer layer of the plant called its bark. Xylem tissues transport water and other minerals from the soil up to the roots and stem of the plant. Xylem tissues contain long elongated cells called Tracheids and shorter and wider cells called vessel elements. Let us know a bit more about Tracheids and vessel elements.

Walls of both Tracheids and vessel cells are lignified and contain many pits that are openings in the wall. The presence of Tracheids and vessel cells is a characteristic of vascular plants only as they are absent in non vascular plants. Tracheids are not only a part of the transport system; they also perform as a structural support system having lignified walls. There are vascular bundles of Tracheids in non woody part of the plant. These cells efficiently carry water and other nutrients from the soil to various parts of the plant.

One notable difference between Tracheids and vessel is that Tracheids have the ability to retain water as they can resist gravity. This is because they happen to have a higher surface to volume ratio than vessel cells. While Tracheids are found in all vascular plants, vessel cells are a characteristic of only angiosperms. While Tracheids are single cells with openings on both ends (thus not called syncytes), vessels are formed by many cells joined in different arrangements (thus are syncytes).

In brief:

Tracheids vs. Vessels

• Tracheids and vessels are specialized cells that work as a conduit system helping in transport of water and other nutrients from the soil up to the stem and leaves of the plant.

• Tracheids and vessel cells are found in xylem and phloem tissues.

• While Tracheids are elongated cells, vessel is shorter and wider

• Tracheids can retain water resisting gravity while vessel do not have this ability.