Root hairs

Root hair cells, the rhizoids of many vascular plants, are tubular outgrowths of trichoblasts, the hair-forming cells on the epidermis of a plant root. That is, root hair cells are lateral extensions of a single cell and only rarely branched. Just prior to the root hair cell development, there is a point of elevated phosphorylase activity.

Root hair cells vary between 5 and 17 micrometres in diameter, and 80 to 1,500 micrometres in length (Dittmar, cited in Esau, 1965).

Root hair cells can survive for 2 to 3 weeks and then die off. At the same time new root hair cells are continually being formed at the top of the root. This way, the root hair coverage stays the same.

It is, therefore, understandable that repotting must be done with care, because the root hair cell~s are pulled off for the most part. This is why planting-out leaves the plant withered for some time.

The root system of a flowering plant consists of one or more main roots from which small rootlets branch. The ends of these rootlets are covered with a fuzz-like growth. An examination with a magnifying glass will reveal that the "fuzz" consists of many tiny projections called root hairs.

Locate a diagram that shows a young, growing root. The growing point, the meristem, is the area where cells are dividing rapidly and the root is increasing in length. At the tip of the root is the root cap, which is a rather loosely packed mass of cells. Root cap cells are scraped off as the root tip pushes its way down into the soil. Just above the growing point many of the surface cells bear slender processes known as root hairs. These root hairs serve to absorb water and dissolved mineral compounds from the soil. Water enters root hairs from the soil and moves to all parts of the plant. As the water enters and moves through the plant, it carries the dissolved minerals that the plant needs for growth.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • root hairs — Outgrowths from epidermal cell walls of the root, specialized for water and nutrient absorption …   Glossary of Biotechnology

  • root — root1 rootlike, adj. /rooht, root/, n. 1. a part of the body of a plant that develops, typically, from the radicle and grows downward into the soil, anchoring the plant and absorbing nutriment and moisture. 2. a similar organ developed from some… …   Universalium

  • Root — /rooht/, n. 1. Elihu /el euh hyooh /, 1845 1937, U.S. lawyer and statesman: Nobel peace prize 1912. 2. John Wellborn /wel beuhrn/, 1851 91, U.S. architect. * * * In botany, the underground anchoring part of a plant. It grows downward in response… …   Universalium

  • Root hair — A root hair is a tubular outgrowth of root epidermal cells of vascular plants. They are found only in the region of maturation of the root. Root hairs are a specialized form of rhizoid.Root hairs form an important surface over which plants absorb …   Wikipedia

  • root hair — noun thin hairlike outgrowth of an epidermal cell just behind the tip; absorbs nutrients from the soil • Hypernyms: ↑plant organ • Part Holonyms: ↑root * * * noun : one of the many hairlike tubular outgrowths of epidermal or sometimes cortical… …   Useful english dictionary

  • root — [[t]ru͟ːt[/t]] ♦♦♦ roots, rooting, rooted 1) N COUNT: usu pl The roots of a plant are the parts of it that grow under the ground. ...the twisted roots of an apple tree. 2) V ERG If you root a plant or cutting or if it roots, roots form on the… …   English dictionary

  • To split hairs — Hair Hair (h[^a]r), n. [OE. her, heer, h[ae]r, AS. h[=ae]r; akin to OFries. h[=e]r, D. & G. haar, OHG. & Icel. h[=a]r, Dan. haar, Sw. h[*a]r; cf. Lith. kasa.] 1. The collection or mass of filaments growing from the skin of an animal, and forming… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dragon root — Green Green (gr[=e]n), a. [Compar. {Greener} (gr[=e]n [ e]r); superl. {Greenest.}] [OE. grene, AS. gr[=e]ne; akin to D. groen, OS. gr[=o]ni, OHG. gruoni, G. gr[ u]n, Dan. & Sw. gr[ o]n, Icel. gr[ae]nn; fr. the root of E. grow. See {Grow.}] 1.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Glossary of botanical terms — Many of the terms used in Wikipedia glossaries (often most) are already defined and explained within Wikipedia itself. However, lists like the following indicate where new articles need to be written and are also useful for looking up and… …   Wikipedia

  • Trichome — Trichomes, from the Greek meaning growth of hair , are fine outgrowths or appendages on plants and certain protists. These are of diverse structure and function. Examples are hairs, glandular hairs, scales, and papillae. Algal trichomes Certain… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.