8 Difference Between Trichomes And Root Hairs

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Trichomes

Trichomes is the term used to refer to tiny outgrowths from the plant epidermis. Although the term ‘’Trichomes’’ generally refers to outgrowth ranging from small hairs to larger outgrowths like thorns, it is typically used to refer to the tiny hairs that can be seen emerging from the surface of leaves and other epidermal surfaces of plant.

Characteristics Of Trichomes

  • These are the elongations or the extensions of epidermal cells.
  • They are found singly or in groups.
  • Trichomes may be unicellular or multicellular.
  • They are highly variable in shape varying from small protuberances of epidermal cells to very complex, multicellular, branched or stellate structures.
  • They are cutinized.
  • They may consist of either living or dead cells.
  • They persist throughout the life of a plant or may fall very soon.

Functions of the trichomes include

  • Control of the transpiration rate
  • Reduction of heating effect of sunlight
  • General protection of plant body from harmful insects and other agencies

Root Hairs

Root hairs are hair-like outgrowth of a plant root that absorbs water and minerals from the soil. Root hairs are tubular extensions of the epidermis that greatly increase the surface area of the root. They constantly die off and being replaced by new ones as the root grows and extends itself into the soil.

Characteristics of Root Hairs

  • Root hairs are tubular outgrowths of epiblema cells.
  • Root hairs are unicellular.
  • Root hairs are always un-branched.
  • They are found in clusters in young roots near their tips. It is known as root hair zone.
  • Root hairs are not cutinized
  • Root hairs are short lived.
  • Root hairs take part in absorption of water from the soil.
  • Hairs with living cells contain very little cytoplasm in their cells

Difference Between Trichomes And Root Hairs In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISON TRICHOMES ROOT HAIRS
Description These are the elongations or the extensions of epidermal cells.   Root hairs are tubular outgrowths of epiblema cells.  
Nature Trichomes may be unicellular or multicellular.   Root hairs are unicellular.  
Structure They are highly variable in shape varying from small protuberances of epidermal cells to very complex, multicellular, branched or stellate structures.   Root hairs are always un-branched.  
Existence They are found singly or in groups.   They are found in clusters in young roots near their tips. It is known as root hair zone.  
Presence Of Cutin They are cutinized.   Root hairs are not cutinized.  
Life Cycle They persist throughout the life of a plant or may fall very soon.   Root hairs are short lived.  
Role Control of the transpiration rate   Root hairs take part in absorption of water from the soil.  
Cells They may consist of either living or dead cells.   Hairs with living cells contain very little cytoplasm in their cells