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PLANT TISSUES AND CELLS

Sclerenchyma

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Organization of The Plant
Plant Tissue Systems
Simple Tissues
Parenchyma
Collenchyma
Sclerenchyma
Glossary

scelerenchyma.jpg
Sclereids (right) and Fiber (left)

Sclerenchyma tissue is composed of cells with rigid cell walls and they function to support the weight of a plant organ. The main function is as supporting tissues that withstands various strains resulting from stretching and bending which makes the plant elastics. There are two types of sclerenchyma cells which are fibers and sclereids. They comprises a collection of cell types with uniformly and strongly thickened secondary walls that are usually lignified when fully mature.

Click on the fibers and sclereids  below to view the picture

Fibers

Fibers can occur in aggregates forming a continuous cylinder around the stem, they may connect end to end to form multicellular strands acting like strengthening cables exactly like re-bar in concrete, or they sometimes appear as individual cells or small groups of cells with thick, pitted cell walls and tapered ends. Fibers are sometimes elastics and can be stretched to a degree, but they will snap back to their original lengths.

Sclereids

Sclereids sometimes occur as sheets (an example being the hard outer layer of some seed coats), but they usually occur in small clusters or as solitary cells. Sclereids have many striking shapes, from elaborately branched cells, to star-shaped cells, to the simple stone cells that give a gritty texture to pear fruits. Sclereids cell walls often are thicker than the walls of fibers. 

Additional Information :

Sclerenchyma

Sclereids

Fibers

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