The key difference between simple and complex tissue is that a simple tissue has only one type of cells while a complex tissue has several different types of cells.
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 present in the growing regions such as the tip of the stem and roots. Meristematic tissues form permanent tissues. Permanent tissues make the bulk of the plant. Permanent tissues possess larger cells and thin cell walls; their nucleus is small and contains less cytoplasm. Moreover, their cells do not undergo cellular division. Based on the composition of cell types, permanent tissues have two categories as simple and complex tissues. The difference between simple and complex tissue appears in areas such as composition, functions, etc.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Simple Tissue
3. What is Complex Tissue
4. Similarities Between Simple and Complex Tissue
5. Side by Side Comparison – Simple vs Complex Tissue in Tabular Form
What is Simple Tissue?
Simple tissues are the plant tissues that have only one type of cells. There are three types of simple tissues: parenchyma, collenchyma and sclerenchyma. Parenchyma tissue has thin-walled living cells that make the softer parts of plants. The functions of parenchyma include storage of food and photosynthesis.
The living cells of collenchyma have thickenings at the corners. Collenchyma tissue provides mechanical support for growing stems and leaves. Moreover, sclerenchyma has thick-walled dead cells (fibres) and makes the hard parts of the plant body. Hence, it provides strength to the plant parts.
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 have two types: epidermis and periderm. Epidermis contains epidermal cells and their outgrowths. It secretes cuticles and controls gas exchange and water loss. Periderm contains cork cells, cork cambium, and parenchyma cells. It protects the older stems and roots by forming a protective cover.
Vascular tissues have two types: xylem and phloem. Xylem has tracheids, vessel members, parenchyma cells, and sclerenchyma cells. The main functions of the xylem are to distribute water and water-soluble nutrients and to provide structural support. Furthermore, phloem has sieve-tube members, parenchyma cells, and sclerenchyma cells. This tissue helps to transport sugars and provides support to the plant.
What are the Similarities Between Simple and Complex Tissue?
- Plants contain simple and complex tissues.
- They contain living plant cells.
- Moreover, they are important for the growth and development of plants.
- They carry out different functions in plants.
What is the Difference Between Simple and Complex Tissue?
Simple tissue is made up of one type of cells while complex tissue is made up of more than one type of cells. Thus, this is the key difference between simple and complex tissue. Examples of simple tissues are parenchyma, collenchyma, and sclerenchyma while examples of complex tissues are epidermis, periderm, xylem and phloem. The following infographic summarizes the difference between simple and complex tissue.
Summary – Simple vs Complex Tissue
Simple and complex tissues are two types of plant tissues. Simple tissues contain only one type of cells while complex tissues contain more than one type of cells. This is the key difference between simple and complex tissue. Parenchyma, collenchyma, and sclerenchyma are simple plant tissues while epidermis, periderm, xylem and phloem are complex plant tissues.
1. “Plant Tissue – Definition, Types and Explanation.” Biology Dictionary, 26 Aug. 2018, Available here.
1. “Pith Parenchyma in the Monocot Root: Smilax” By Berkshire Community College Bioscience Image Library (Public Domain) via Flickr
2. “Monocot Stem: Xylem Vessels in Zea Long Section” By Berkshire Community College Bioscience Image Library (Public Domain) via Flickr