Definition - What does Parenchyma mean?
In botany, parenchyma refers to undifferentiated and thin-walled plant cells. The role of these cells is directly determined by their location in the plant. In most cases, parenchyma cells are involved in damage repair, photosynthesis and storage. These cells are known for having larger central vacuoles that help equalize and maintain pressure while storing nutrients.
MaximumYield explains Parenchyma
In potatoes, for example, parenchyma cells divide to encourage the plant to grow. As the potato grows, the parenchyma cells ensure that the plant’s central vacuoles are filled with starch that can be used as a source of energy.
Parenchyma can be found in several plant organs, such as the pericycle, cortex and pith of the root, as well as the stem. In some plants, parenchyma also occupies the leaves under the form of mesophyll tissue. These cells can even be found in fruits, especially in the fleshier parts and in the seed endosperm.
Most parenchyma cells contain protoplast with either numerous or single vacuoles. The cell sap of parenchyma is enhanced by various types of fatty and nitrogenous substances, as well as carbohydrates. In onions and sugar beets, parenchyma also contains sugars, proteins and amides.