Roots - 1 As we have discussed and observed in the laboratory, plants have two general systems that grow along an axis. The above ground portion of most plants comprises the shoot system (with leaves and stems); root systems constitute the below ground portion of most plants. Because they are unseen, many people don't think about the root systems of plants, unless the roots have grown so much that one's sidewalks get cracked and lifted, or one's septic system needs cleaning because roots have invaded the drain tiles. In this section we will discuss the structure and function of roots. You will recognize the tissues we have previously discussed and see how they are organized in roots, and how tissues are specialized for optimal root functions. Root Functions • Anchor • Absorb (and conduct) H 2 0 and minerals • Store food reserve materials • Produce certain hormones (the gibberellins and cytokinins) in the root meristem that are translocated through the plant to control growth and
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