Tissues: Plant and Animal Tissues

Cell: A cell is the basic structural and functional unit of a living organism. Example: Nerve cell.
Tissue: A tissue is a group of cells having a common origin, similar structure and function and held together by a cementing substance. Example: Connective tissue.
Organ: Different types of tissues working together and contributing to some specific function inside the body constitute an organ. Example: Stomach.
Organ system: Different organs coordinate to perform a specific life process and form an organ system. Example: Digestive system.
Organism: Various organ systems working simultaneously together constitute an organism. Example: Plants. 

Plant Tissues

  • Meristematic tissue
  • Permanent tissue

Meristematic tissues

CHARACTERISTICSCells are thin-walled and made up of cellulose.
LOCATIONLocated at the tips of the roots and stems, base of the node, base of the internode or at
the base of the leaf.
FUNCTIONThe cells of meristematic tissue divide actively, resulting in growth (increase in thickness and
length) of plants.

Types of Meristematic tissues

  • Apical meristem
  • Intercalary meristem
  • Lateral meristem/Cambium

Apical meristem:

LOCATIONLocated at the growing points of the stem, roots, branches and in growing young leaves near the tips of stems and axillary buds.
FUNCTIONEnables the root and stem to grow by increasing the length of plants.

Intercalary meristem:

LOCATIONLocated at the internodes or stem regions between the places at which the leaves attach, and at leaf bases, especially of certain monocotyledons
FUNCTIONThe cells are active and continuously form a number of new cells.

Lateral meristem/Cambium:

LOCATIONPresent laterally (on the sides) on the roots and stem and is situated parallel to the longitudinal axis
below the bark.
FUNCTIONThe girth and width/diameter/thickness of the stem or root increases due to the lateral meristem.

Permanent Tissues

Formed by the division of the meristematic tissue cells that have lost their ability to multiply.

Types of Permanent Tissue

  • Protective tissues
  • Supporting tissues
  • Conducting tissues

Protective tissue:

CHARACTERISTICS1. Epidermis or surface tissue.
2. Cells with thick walls.
LOCATIONFound on the surface of the roots, stems and leaves.
FUNCTION1. Protects the underlying cells.
2. Provides protection against mechanical injury or invasion by parasitic fungi.

Supporting tissue:

CHARACTERISTICSProvides support to the plant.

Conducting tissue: Read here

Supporting tissue

  • Parenchyma
  • Collenchyma
  • Sclerenchyma


CHARACTERISTICSConsist of relatively non-specialised large, thin-walled living cells.
LOCATIONMainly present in the soft parts of the plant such as the central pith-containing region and outer cortical region of roots and stems.
FUNCTIONProvides temporary support and maintains the shape of the plant body.


CHARACTERISTICSCells are living and elongated with cell walls irregularly thickened at the corners.
LOCATIONLocated in the non-woody plants, leaf stalks, below the epidermis of the stems and veins of leaves.
FUNCTIONProvides mechanical support and elasticity to the young dicotyledonous plants.


CHARACTERISTICS1. Consists of elongated, narrow and fibre-like cells.
2. Cells are dead, pointed at both the ends and thickened because of the deposition of lignin.
LOCATIONLocated in the stems around the vascular bundle, in the veins of leaves and in the hard covering of the seeds and nuts.
FUNCTIONProvides strength and hardness to the parts of the plant.

Animal Tissues

  • Epithelial tissue
  • Connective tissue
  • Muscle tissue
  • Nervous/neural tissue

Epithelial tissue ~ Read here

Connective tissue ~ Read here

Muscle tissue

CHARACTERISTICSConsists of elongated, narrow, muscle cells called muscle fibres.
LOCATIONMostly attached to the bones.
FUNCTIONHelps in contraction and relaxation, which facilitates movement of the body.

Types of Muscle tissue

  • Striated/skeletal/striped/voluntary muscles
  • Nonstriated/smooth/non-striped/involuntary muscles
  • Cardiac/heart muscles

Voluntary muscles:

CHARACTERISTICSMuscle fibres are long, cylindrical
LOCATIONFound attached to the bones.
FUNCTIONHelp in voluntary muscle movement and locomotion.

Involuntary muscles:

CHARACTERISTICSMuscle fibres are smooth and without striations.
LOCATIONFound in ureters, digestive tract, urinary bladder, iris of the eye, bronchi of the lungs and
other internal organs.
FUNCTIONCarry out the movements which cannot be carried out by our conscious will, such as movement of food in the alimentary canal, blinking of eyes, breathing etc.

Cardiac/heart muscles:

CHARACTERISTICSMuscle cells are short, cylindrical and have a single, centrally placed nucleus.
LOCATIONFound only in the walls of the heart.
FUNCTIONRhythmic contraction and relaxation of cardiac muscles help to pump and distribute the blood to various parts of the body.

Nervous/neural tissue

CHARACTERISTICS1. Made up of elongated cells called neurons.
2. Each neuron consists of three parts—a cell body, an axon and dendrites.
LOCATIONComponent of the nervous system and encompasses the brain, spinal cord and nerves.
FUNCTIONNerve cells mediate the transmission of messages from the brain to different parts of the body
and vice versa.

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