Taproot is the main root of a primary root system, growing vertically downwards, from which other roots sprout out laterally. Taproot develops from the radicle of a seed, forming the primary roots, which in turn branch to form tertiary roots. These may further branch to form rootlets. For most plant species, the radical dies some time after seed germination, causing the development of a fibrous root system, which lacks a main downward-growing root. Taproot is common in dicotyledonous plants such as dandelion, roots of carrot plant and beets. In dicotyledonous plants, a taproot acts a storage organ for food.
Other examples of plants with taproot system include:
- Poison ivy
- Annual flowers
A fibrous root is usually formed by thin, network of branching roots of about equal diameter. This network of roots does not arise as branches of the primary root but consists of many branching roots that emerge from the base of the stem. Fibrous roots grow fairly to the surface of the ground. This type of root system is common in monocotyledonous plants and ferns or plants that have leaves with parallel venation.
Examples of plants with fibrous root system include:
- Sweet potatoes
- Coconut palm
Facts About Fibrous Root (Adventitious Root)
- Fibrous roots are generally found in monocots i.e maize, sugarcane, banana and grasses.
- Upon the germination of a seed, the first root i.e the radical, does not last long and is replaced by adventitious roots.
- Fibrous roots are short and have small surface area.
- Fibrous roots are short and most of them grow horizontally in the soil.
- Fibrous roots hold many soil particles together at the surface of the soil.
- In adventitious root system, a number of main root develop at one point or spot. All roots are similar in thickness, except in cases where they are swollen for storage.
- Plants with fibrous roots have comparatively shorter lives.
- Fibrous roots can develop from stem or leaves.
- Plants with fibrous roots cannot tolerate drought, because the roots dry out easily. Though they are quick in absorbing surface and irrigation water.
- Fibrous roots are generally thin, hair-like, and uniform in thickness and are in the form of the cluster.
- A single plant generally has hundreds of fibrous roots.
- Plants with fibrous roots typically have parallel leaf venation.
- Fibrous roots do not have ability to store food.
- Plants with fibrous roots do not anchor very well in the soil and they usually very easy to uproot.
- The fibrous root system begins as a taproot from the radicle, but as the plant grows, the radicle degenerates and no primary root is seen.
- Once the plant is developed, the fibrous root appears as a mat underneath the plant.
- According to the evolutionary theory, fibrous root system evolved before before the taproot history.
- Plants with fibrous root systems usually have leaves with parallel venation.
Also Read: Difference Between Monocot And Dicot Leaves
Facts About Taproot
- Taproots are generally found in dicots i.e flowering plants and shrubs.
- Upon germination of a seed, the first root that emerges from it is referred to as the radical or primary root. This radical then forms the taproot.
- Taproot is relatively longer and has a large surface area.
- Tap root grows vertically deep into the soil.
- Taproots are responsible for absorbing nutrients and water from deep sources.
- Taproot system has one main root which is referred to as taproot which produces lateral branches referred to as secondary roots which in-turn produce tertiary roots.
- Plants with taproots usually live longer.
- Taproots develop from the radical, which is the embryonic root.
- Taproots help the plant to be tolerant to the drought since they reach much deeper water sources.
- The main taproot is usually very thick in size.
- A single plant generally has one taproot.
- Plants with Taproots typically have reticulate leaf venation.
- Taproots sometimes act as storage organ for food.
- The taproot enables a plant to anchor firmly into the soil. This makes it very difficult to uproot the plant.
- The shape of the taproot might differ from one plant to another, but the common shapes include: conical, fusiform and napiform.
- Plants with a taproot system usually have leaves with reticulate venation.
- According to evolutionary history, the taptoot system evolved from the fibrous root.
- The division of the primary root into further branches increases the surface area for water and mineral absorption from the soil.
Also Read: Difference Between Monocot And Dicot Root
Differences Between Taproot And Fibrous (Adventitious) Roots In Tabular Form
|Points of Comparison||Taproot||Fibrous root|
|Origin||Develops from the radicle of the seed.||Develops from the stem tissue of the plant base.|
|Appearance||Generally found in dicotyledonous plants.||Generally found in monocotyledonous plants.|
|Thickness||Taproot is the thickest while secondary and tertiary taproots have a much reduced thickness.||Fibrous roots on the other hand, have the same thickness.|
|After germination||After germination of a seed, the first root that emerges from it is known as radical or primary root. The radical eventually forms the taproot.||The fibrous root system begin as a taproot from the radicle, but as the plant grows, the radicle degenerates and no primary root is seen.|
|Examples||Conifers, carrots, dandelions, poison ivy, annual flowers, radishes and beetroot.||Onions, tomatoes, lettuce grasses, lilies, palms, corn, beans, peas, sweat potatoes, rice and wheat.|
|Anchorage||Taproot system has one main root called taproot and it produces lateral branches called secondary roots which in turn produce tertiary roots.||In Adventitious root system, a number of main root develop at one point or spot.|
|Branching||Secondary and tertiary roots grow off from the main taproot and create a tap root system.||Fibrous roots do not branch like the way taproot does, they are a clump of roots derived from the plant base.|
|Growth||Taproot is long and grows vertically deep in to the soil.||Fibrous roots are short and most of them grow horizontally in the soil.|
|Lifespan||Has a long lifespan.||Has a short lifespan.|
|Absorption of Water||Has ability to absorb water from deeper layers of the soil.||Fibrous root system does not have such ability.|
|Holding of Soil Particles||Taproot doesn’t hold soil particles together.||Fibrous root holds many soil particles together at the surface of the soil, hence preventing soil erosion.|
|Storage||Acts as storage organ for food.||Do not store anything.|
|Occurrence||A single plant usually has a one taproot.||A single plant can have hundreds of fibrous roots.|
Also Read: Difference Between Trichomes And Root Hairs
Similarities between Taproot and Adventitious (Fibrous) root
- Both have the main function of absorption of water and nutrients from the soil.
- Both are found in higher plants.
- Both act as plant anchorage by holding the plant firmly with the soil.
- Both taproots and fibrous roots are true root types.
- Both grow underground.
What is the main difference between taproot and fibrous root system?
Taproot develops from the radicle of the seed whereas; fibrous root develops from the stem tissue of the plant base.