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Vessel member [ Botany ]

Dictionary of botanic terminology - index of names

Synonym: Xylem vessel element or Vessel segment 
  A vessel element or vessel member is a single cellular component of a vessel  dotted with perforations which is dead at functional maturity . Formerly also known as vessel segmet.  

Vessel member & tracheids

Vascular plants have two kinds of Tracheary Elements Tracheids & Vessel Members.
Conifers have only tracheids. Angiosperms have also  vessels.
Vessels are made from a xylem cell type called a xylem vessel member. Vessel members are a specific long and narrow (but generally shorter than tracheids) cell type with primary and secondary cell walls found in the xylem. Vessels are vertically aligned tubes or "pipes" made up of many dead cells that transport liquids in xylem. Vessels are found in Angiosperms . Vessels begin as single living cells that join at their top and bottom to form a short conduit. Other vessel conduits connect from the sides to form a transport pathway from root tips to leaf tips. Vessels curve and join with other vessels.
The newly formed vessels do not become functional until the end walls or septa between the vessel cells rupture. These openings in their end walls are the "Perforation Plates". Perforation plates facilitate water movement in the Xylem

Principal characteristic of vessel elements:
  • Dead at functional maturity
  • Shape: Vessels are composed of elongated vessel members in series connected by Perforation plates.
  • Cell wall: primary and secondary, lignified.
  • Function: Xylem Chief water-conducting element in Angiosperm xylem.

Compare whit:  Tracheids







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