The key difference between apical intercalary and lateral meristem is that the apical meristem situates at the tips of the roots and the shoots while the intercalary meristem situates at the internodes and lateral meristem locates at the lateral side of the stem and the roots.
Meristematic tissue in a plant includes the young cells that are capable of active division. Further, meristem has the ability to differentiate into different cells upon maturation. And, these meristematic tissue cells are living cells. They are oval, round or polygonal in shape. Also, meristem can be divided into three types based on the occurrence of the meristem. They are apical meristem, intercalary meristem and the lateral meristem. The difference between apical intercalary and lateral meristem is based on the position where the meristem occurs.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Apical Meristem
3. What is Intercalary Meristem
4. What is Lateral Meristem
5. Similarities Between Apical Intercalary and Lateral Meristem
6. Side by Side Comparison – Apical vs Intercalary vs Lateral Meristem in Tabular Form
What is Apical Meristem?
The Apical meristem is present at the apex of the plant such as the root tip and the shoot tip. The presence of the apical meristem allows the shoot to grow above the soil and the root to grow below the soil. Therefore, as a result, the plant height increases by the action of the apical meristem.
The apical meristem has two main zones. They are the promeristem zone and the meristematic zone. The promeristem zone contains dividing cells which initiate cell division in the root and shoot apex. The meristematic zone contains the epiderm, procambium, and the ground meristem.
What is Intercalary Meristem?
Intercalary meristem as suggested by its name is found in the internodes and in the intercalary positions of the leaf. Further, this aids in increasing the height of the plant along with the help of the apical meristem. As a result, the intercalary meristem is also a part of the apical meristem. The intercalary meristem also contains actively dividing cells. Also, the distribution of the intercalary meristematic tissue can be nicely observed in monocotyledonous plants (monocots) such as grass.
What is Lateral Meristem?
Lateral meristem locates in the lateral surfaces of the stem and the root. In contrast to the apical and the intercalary meristems, the main function of the lateral meristem is to increase the thickness of the plant. That is, the lateral meristem multiplies cells along the radius of the plant and increases the diameter of the plant. Also, the lateral meristem appears in the vascular cambium during primary growth and in the cork cambium during the secondary growth of the plant.
What are the Similarities Between Apical Intercalary and Lateral Meristem?
- Apical Intercalary and Lateral Meristem consist of living cells.
- They comprise round, polygonal or oval-shaped
- Furthermore, all three meristems are capable of dividing and differentiating.
- Also, the cells in all three are highly active cells.
- In addition, all three meristems can be observed during the primary growth.
What is the Difference Between Apical Intercalary and Lateral Meristem?
Meristematic tissues are mainly of three types namely apical, intercalary and lateral. The key difference between apical intercalary and lateral meristem is their location. Apical meristem positioned at the root and shoot tips while intercalary meristem and lateral meristem positioned at internodes and lateral surfaces of the shoot and root. Another difference between apical intercalary and lateral meristem is the functional role they play within the plant. Apical meristem and intercalary meristem contribute to the increased plant height while lateral meristem increases the thickness of the plant.
Summary – Apical vs Intercalary vs Lateral Meristem
Meristem is vital for the growth of the plant. Meristem contains actively dividing, living plant cells which are capable of differentiating. Based on the position of the meristem in the plant, there are three types. They are the apical, intercalary and the lateral meristem. They differ based on their position and the functional role in the plant. Apical and intercalary meristems contribute towards increasing the height of the plant. In contrast, lateral meristem is involved in increasing the thickness of the plant. This is the difference between apical intercalary and lateral meristem.
1.“Meristematic Tissue: Characteristics, Types and Function -.” – A Complete Notes for Students, 28 July 2017. Available here
1.”34886440510″ by Berkshire Community College Bioscience Image Library (public Domain) via Flickr