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Pericycles cells are a part of the tissue inside plants that offer support and nutrients. In this lesson, you will learn the terms for these tissues and cells as well as the function they play in helping plants to thrive.

Vascular Plants

Vascular plants are a large division of plants that include many of the plants we see every day. In order to be vascular, the plant must have tissues that allow water and minerals to be shuttled and conducted throughout the plant. In plants, we see a bundle of vascular cells that form a cylinder. This vascular cylinder can be found in the main structures of the plant and in the stem and roots as well. The cylinder consists of xylem, phloem, and pericycle cells.

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What Are Pericycle Cells?

Pericycle cells consists of two types of cells parenchyma or sclerenchyma cells. Parenchyma cells are actually vascular, but the kind that form the pericycle cells are referred to as non-vascular parenchyma cells. They are responsible for storage of nutrients and short distance transport of nutrients. Sclerenchyma cells are non-vascular cells, which means they cannot move water and nutrients. Instead, they are responsible for providing support and protection.Pericycle cells in the stem of a plant essentially work to protect and maintain the structure of the plant.

They surround the vascular tissue of the xylem and phloem and are considered part of the vascular system. The xylem is responsible for transporting water throughout the plant, and the phloem carries nutrients throughout the plant.Pericycle cells of the root are similar, but they do more than just provide protection and structure.

They also help create new roots that will be regulated by the pericycle cells. Lateral roots can be created and branched off allowing the plant more space to grow and thrive. It’s similar in structure to the pericycle cells in stems. We see a vascular bundle that creates a sort of cylindrical shape. Surrounding that is the pericycle cells.

What Is Their Function?

The main function of the pericycle cells of vascular plants is to provide support, structure, and protection for the plant. The pericycle cells surround the xylem and phloem in the stem and help to hold the plant upright, allowing it to grow. In roots, the pericycle cells help to propagate and regulate the growth of lateral roots.

These lateral roots extend out from the main roots taking in more nutrients and water.

Lesson Summary

Vascular plants are classified as those with vascular tissue, that is a tissue that allows water and nutrients to move around the plant. This is done through specialized cells called the xylem and phloem. The vascular tissues form a bundle through the roots and stem. Inside this vascular bundle are the pericycle cells. Two types of pericycle cells are parenchyma cells and sclerenchyma cells. These pericycle cells are important to the structure of the plant as well as protection of the vascular tissue.

If the vascular tissue is damaged, the plant will not be able to function properly and will die. The pericycle cells protect the vascular tissue and are considered part of the vascular system via the parenchyma and sclerenchyma cells. In the roots, the pericycle cells have another job, and that is helping to propagate and regulate lateral root growth. This extends the plant making it bigger and stronger.

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