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Cork Cambium

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The study of an organism’s internal structure is called anatomy. Histology, or the study of tissue organization and structure, is a component of plant anatomy research. Anatomy reveals the structural adaptation to various settings and reveals the structural differences of various groups of plants.

Tissue is a collection of cells with shared ancestry and typically performing a similar function.

  • Meristematic tissue is a straightforward tissue made up of clusters of comparable, immature cells that have the ability to divide and create new cells. Apical meristems are those that grow at the tips of roots and shoots.
    In particular, intercalary meristems are found between mature tissues in grasses. Both apical and intercalary meristems are primary meristems because they emerge early in a plant’s life and aid in the formation of the main plant body.
    The term “lateral meristem” refers to the meristem that grows on the sides of plants and contributes to the growth of their girth. In the primary lateral meristem, there is intrafascicular cambium. Cork and vascular cambium are secondary meristems.
  • Permanent tissue refers to cells that have lost the capacity to proliferate and have physically and functionally specialized. Simple permanent tissues are those with cells that are all similar in structure and function, whereas complicated tissues are those with a variety of cell types.
    Simple permanent living tissue known as parenchyma is composed of isodiametric cells with thin walls. A substantial central vacuole and nuclei-containing cytoplasm are enclosed within each cell. They can be discovered in the softer, non-woody parts of the stem, root, leaves, fruits, and flowers. They serve as food storage and give plants softer portions turgidity.

Cells in the collenchyma have significantly thicker corners as a result of cellulose, hemicellulose, and pectin. Chlorophyll is frequently oval, spherical, or polygonal in shape. They give the plants’ developing portions, such as young stems, mechanical support.

Cork Cambium

The outer cortical and epidermal layers break down and need to be replaced in order to produce new protective cell layers while the stem continues to girthen as a result of the activity of the vascular cambium. As a result, cork cambium or phellogen, another meristematic tissue, eventually forms, mainly in the cortical area. There are a few levels of phellogen. It is constructed of compact, almost rectangular compartments with thin walls. Cells are severed on both sides by phellogen. Differentiating into cork or phellem are the outer cells. The inner cells develop into a secondary cortex or phelloderm, whereas water cannot penetrate the cork because of suberin deposition in the cell wall. Secondary cortical cells are parenchymatous. The periderm is the aggregate name for phellogen, phellem, and phelloderm.

Pressure accumulates on the remaining peripheral layers as a result of the cork cambium’s activity. These layers eventually phellogen, perish, and peel off. All tissues outside of the circulatory system are referred to as “bark” in a non-technical sense. Cork cambium, which comprises secondary phloem. Periderm and secondary phloem are two of the tissue types that are referred to as bark.

Cork cambium

Cork cambium

Structure of Cork Cambium

The periderm’s cork cambium is made up of a single layer of relatively undifferentiated cells. A ring of cells known as the cambium tissue forms on the outside of the plant’s woody tissue and extends the entire length of the mature stem or branch. These undifferentiated cells divide to produce the periderm’s growing cells, particularly the cork cells that make up the branch’s or trunk’s outermost surface.

Early or soft bark is the term used to describe bark that forms early in the season. Late or hard bark forms when the season comes to a close. Give the cell layers of diverse types that make up the bark. 

In some areas, the phellogen instead of cork cells removes closely packed parenchymatous cells. Immediately after breaking through the epidermis, parenchymatous cells create lenticels, or apertures resembling lenses. Lenticels allow the transfer of gases that exist between the exterior environment and the stem’s interior tissue. Most woody trees have these.

Functions of Cork Cambium

  • The cork, a robust protective substance, and secondary cortex are produced by the cork cambium.
  • In roots and stems, it is in charge of secondary growth that takes the place of the epidermis.
  • One of the plant’s meristems, a group of tissues made up of embryonic cells from which the plant develops, is the cork cambium.
    It guards the tree against fungal or bacterial illness.
  • It stops water from escaping through the bark.
  • Phellogen (cork cambium) is a meristem that produces periderm tissue. 

Difference between Cork Cambium and Vascular Cambium

Cork Cambium

Vascular Cambium

It’s a Meristematic tissue. It’s also a Meristematic tissue. 
It’s a component of tree bark.  It’s present inside the cork cambium. 
The cork cambium produces the cork and the secondary cortex.  The vascular cambium produces secondary xylem and secondary phloem.
Cork cambium develops from the secondary lateral meristem. The vascular cambium develops from the apical meristem. 
The stem and root are shielded by the cork cambium, which also stops water loss. The vascular cambium creates lignified cells and gives the plant its structural support.
Produces the lenticels.  Produces the medullary cells

FAQs on Cork Cambium

Question 1: Give an example of thick-walled parenchyma cells. 


Xylem Parenchyma in secondary tissue is the thick-walled parenchyma cells. 

Question 2: What are the meristematic tissues?


They are a collection of cells that are always young and have the capacity to divide indefinitely. 

Question 3: What is the function of tracheids?


Tracheids sustain the tree mechanically and convey water.

Question 4: Describe phellogen. 


The cork cambium is what divides cells into their upper and lower halves. The periderm is made up of the upper side cells from the phellem and the lower phellogen and phelloderm.

Question 5: How does the cork cambium function?


The cork cambium’s production of cork serves as a dense layer of cells that guards the delicate vascular cambium and secondary phloem against mechanical harm, predation, and desiccation.

Question 6: What type of tissue is cork cambium?


Many vascular plants have a type of meristematic tissue called a cork cambium. The meristem in question is specifically a lateral meristem, which is one that is concerned with the lateral growth of plants.

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Last Updated : 28 Oct, 2022
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