The key difference between chlorenchyma and aerenchyma is that chlorenchyma is a specialized parenchyma tissue that contains chloroplasts and carries out photosynthesis while aerenchyma is a spongy tissue that contains large air spaces.
Parenchyma tissue is one of the three types of ground tissues in plants. Parenchyma cells are living cells with a prominent nucleus. They contain thin cell walls made up of cellulose. Furthermore, parenchyma cells lack a secondary wall and lignin deposition. At maturity, they remain alive and metabolically active. Moreover, there are different categories of parenchyma tissues. Chlorenchyma and aerenchyma are two types among them.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Chlorenchyma
3. What is Aerenchyma
4. Similarities Between Chlorenchyma and Aerenchyma
5. Side by Side Comparison – Chlorenchyma vs Aerenchyma in Tabular Form
What is Chlorenchyma?
Chlorenchyma is a modified parenchyma tissue found in mesophyll tissue layer of leaves and green colour stems of some plants. This tissue contains many chloroplasts, containing chlorophylls. So, they are visible in a green colour. Since they contain chloroplasts, they carry out photosynthesis and manufacture foods for the plant.
In addition to photosynthesis, chlorenchyma tissue helps in the storage function in plants. Cells of the chlorenchyma tissue are isodiametric in shape. They have uniform thin cell walls and do not undergo secondary thickenings. Furthermore, they have spaces between the cells.
What is Aerenchyma?
Aerenchyma is a spongy tissue that contains large air spaces. Compared to intracellular spaces, aerenchyma tissue possesses enlarged gas spaces which allow distinguishing them from other tissues. These cells are present mainly in roots and stems of wetland plant species. Furthermore, aerenchyma tissue has two basic types: lysigenous aerenchyma and schizogenous aerenchyma. Lysigenous aerenchyma develops during cell death while schizogenous aerenchyma develops during cell separation in wetland plant species.
Aerenchyma cells are important in crop survival under water-logging conditions. Moreover, this tissue is useful in providing oxygen to plant roots.
What are the Similarities Between Chlorenchyma and Aerenchyma?
- Chlorenchyma and aerenchyma are two types of parenchyma tissues present in plants.
- Both tissues are very important for the plant.
- Moreover, chloroplasts are present in both tissues.
What is the Difference Between Chlorenchyma and Aerenchyma?
Chlorenchyma tissue is the modified parenchyma tissue in order to carry out photosynthesis while aerenchyma tissue is the specialized spongy tissue that contains enlarged air spaces. Therefore, this is the key difference between chlorenchyma and aerenchyma.
The below infographic summarizes the difference between chlorenchyma and aerenchyma.
Summary – Chlorenchyma vs Aerenchyma
In brief, chlorenchyma and aerenchyma are two types of parenchyma tissues that carry out specific functions in plants. Chlorenchyma tissue is the parenchyma tissue modified to carry out photosynthesis, while aerenchyma tissue is the parenchyma tissue that contains enlarged air spaces. Moreover, chlorenchyma cells are abundant in the mesophyll layer of the leaves while aerenchyma cells are abundant in roots and stems of wetland plant species. Thus, this summarizes the difference between chlorenchyma and aerenchyma.
1. “Angiosperm Leaf: Mesophyll Arrangement in the Hydrophyte Potamogeton” By Berkshire Community College Bioscience Image Library (Public Domain) via Flickr
2. “Aerenchyma2” By User:Bb143143 – Self-photographed (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia