Top 12 Difference Between Parenchyma, Collenchyma And Sclerenchyma cells (With Pictures)

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Parenchyma

Parenchyma is a tissue composed of living cells, usually having only thin primary cell walls and varying widely by morphology and metabolism. Parenchyma in the primary plant body often occurs as a continuous mass, such as in the cortex or pith of stems, roots, mesophyll and flesh of fruits. The common characteristic of all parenchyma cells is that they are living at maturity and capable of cell division, making them plays an important role in wound healing and tissue regeneration.

Other important thing to note about parenchyma tissue is that they may be specialized to function in photosynthesis, storage or transport. Also, parenchyma is important to vascular tissues in the sense that it provides a route of exchange for materials within and between the xylem and phloem.

What You Need To Know About Parenchyma

  • Parenchyma cells are thin-walled cells that make up the inside of non-woody plant structures including stems, roots and leaves.
  • Parenchyma is made up of cells having very thin cell wall that is uniformly thickened.
  • Parenchyma cells are found in every soft part of the plant like leaves, fruits, bark, flowers, pulp and pith of the stems.
  • Parenchyma are usually isodiametric in shape, however they can still have other various shapes.
  • Parenchyma cells are unspecialized cells.
  • Parenchyma cells’ cell wall is made up of cellulose.
  • Parenchyma cells are loosely packed.
  • Parenchyma consists of living cells at maturity.
  • Parenchyma is found abundantly in plant tissues. Most plant tissues are made up of parenchyma cells.
  • Parenchyma cells originate from protoderm and ground meristem.
  • Parenchyma plays a major role in gas exchange, storage of food and photosynthesis.
  • Parenchyma cells have primary pit fields on the cell wall.

Collenchyma

Collenchyma is a tissue composed of elongated cells with irregular thick cell walls that provide support and structure. These cells are often found under epidermis or the outer layer of cells in young stems and in leaf veins. In plants with secondary growth, the collenchyma tissue is only temporarily functional and becomes crushed as woody tissue develops.

Collenchyma cells have thick deposits of cellulose in their cell walls and appear polygonal in cross-section. The strength of the tissue results from these thickened cell walls and the longitudinal interlocking of the cells. Collenchyma may form cylinders or occur as discrete strands and is one of the three ground or fundamental, tissues in plants, together with parenchyma (living thin-walled tissue) and sclerenchyma (dead supportive tissue with thick cell walls). An important feature of collenchyma is that it is extremely elastic- the cells can extend and thus adjust to increase growth of the organ.

What You Need To Know About Collenchyma

  • Collenchyma are plant tissues that consist of living elongated cells with unevenly thickened walls and acts as support especially in areas of primary growth.
  • Collenchyma is made up of unevenly thickened cell wall with more thickenings at the corners and composed of pectin and other substances.
  • Collenchyma cells are found in petiole, leaves and young stems, appearing as a continuous ring beneath the epidermis.
  • Collenchyma cells are usually polygonal in shape.
  • Collenchyma cells are specialized cells.
  • Collenchyma cells’ cell wall is made up of pectin and hemicelluloses.
  • Collenchyma cells have little space between cells.
  • Collenchyma consists of living cells at maturity.
  • Collenchyma cells make up the epidermal layers.
  • Collenchyma cells originate from pro-cambium like cells in the ground meristem.
  • Collenchyma plays a role in providing mechanical support to the plant and elasticity to the plant (resisting bending and breaking due to wind).
  • Collenchyma cells have no pit fields on the cell wall.

Sclerenchyma

Sclerenchyma is a protective or supporting tissue in higher plants composed of cells with thickened secondary layers made from cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin. Fibres and sclereids are the main types of sclerenchyma cells.

The cell orientation of the cellulose in sclerenchyma is naturally designed to provide diverse combinations of strength, flexibility and stiffness in plant organs subjected to different compressive and tensile stresses.

What You Need To Know About Sclerenchyma

  • Sclerenchyma is a supportive or protective tissue in higher plants (vascular plants) composed of cells with walls thickened and often lignified.
  • Sclerenchyma is made up of a thick and rigid cell wall composed of lignin and other substances.
  • Sclerenchyma cells are found in the mature parts of the plant like herbaceous perennials and woody plants.
  • Sclerenchyma cells are tubular in shape.
  • Sclerenchyma cells are specialized and mature cells.
  • Sclerenchyma cells’ cell wall is made up of waterproofing lignin.
  • Sclerenchyma cells have no intercellular spaces present between them, cells are tightly packed.
  • Sclerenchyma consists of dead cells at maturity and thus why protoplast is absent.
  • Sclerenchyma cells are usually found in plenty on the outer woody stem portion of large trees.
  • Sclerenchyma originates from protoderm pro-cambium and ground meristem.
  • Sclerenchyma cells provide mechanical support to the plant. It also supports transportation of water and nutrients to the plants.
  • Sclerenchyma cells have simple and bordered pit fields.

Also Read: Difference Between Meristematic Tissues And Permanent Tissues In Plants

Difference Between Parenchyma, Collenchyma And Sclerenchyma Cells In Tabular Form

Basis of Comparison Parenchyma Collenchyma Sclerenchyma
What are they They are thin-walled cells that make up the inside of non-woody plant structures including stems, roots and leaves. They are plant tissues that consist of living elongated cells with unevenly thickened walls and acts as support especially in areas of primary growth.  Is a supportive or protective tissue in higher plants (vascular plants) composed of cells with walls thickened and often lignified.  
Cell wall Thickness Made up of cells having very thin cell wall that is uniformly thickened. Made up of unevenly thickened cell wall. Made up of a thick and rigid cell wall.
Presence Cells are found in every soft part of the plant like leaves, fruits, bark, flowers, pulp and pith of the stems.   Cells are found in petiole, leaves and young stems, appearing as a continuous ring beneath the epidermis.   Cells are found in the mature parts of the plant like herbaceous perennials and woody plants.  
Cell Shape Usually isodiametric in shape, however they can still have other various shapes.   Cells are usually polygonal in shape.   Cells are tubular in shape.  
Cells (Specialized/Unspecialized)   They are unspecialized cells. They are specialized cells.   They are specialized cells.
Cell wall components Cell wall is made up of cellulose.   Cell wall is made up of pectin and hemicelluloses. Cell wall is made up of waterproofing lignin.
Intercellular Spaces Cells are loosely packed. Cells have little space between cells. Cells have no intercellular spaces present between them, cells are tightly packed.
Cell Constituents Consists of living cells at maturity. Consists of living cells at maturity.   Consists of dead cells at maturity and thus why protoplast is absent.
Composition in plant tissue Found abundantly in plant tissues. Collenchymacells make up the epidermal layers.   Found in plenty on the outer woody stem portion of large trees.
Cells Origin Cells originate from protoderm and ground meristem. Cells originate from pro-cambium like cells in the ground meristem. Cells originate from protoderm pro-cambium and ground meristem.
Function Plays a major role in gas exchange, storage of food and photosynthesis. Plays a role in providing mechanical support to the plant and elasticity to the plant (resisting bending and breaking due to wind). Cells provide mechanical support to the plant. It also supports transportation of water and nutrients to the plants.
Pit Fields Cells have primary pit fields on the cell wall.   Cells have no pit fields on the cell wall.   Cells have simple and bordered pit fields.  
Cell Wall Formation The cell walls are primarily in nature without sculpturing. The cell walls are primarily in nature with no sculpturing. The cell walls are formed secondarily with various sculpturing like annular, spiral, reticulate etc.

Summary

Also Read: Difference Between Simple Permanent Tissue And Complex Permanent Tissue

What is the main difference between parenchyma, Collenchyma and Schlerenchyma?

Parenchyma is a tissue composed of living cells, usually having only thin primary cell walls and varying widely by morphology and metabolism.

Collenchymas are plant tissues that consist of living elongated cells with unevenly thickened walls and acts as support especially in areas of primary growth.

Sclerenchyma is a supportive or protective tissue in higher plants (vascular plants) composed of cells with walls thickened and often lignified.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Great stuff..!! simple and clear. I have been teaching biology for a very long time in Finland. I can only say that this article has made things simple for me. My lesson plan was a success courtesy of this article.

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