Apical Meristem

Definition - What does Apical Meristem mean?

The apical meristem is the region of dividing cells located at the tips of a plant’s shoots and at the ends of the plant’s roots. Some Arctic plants have the apical meristems located in the middle or lower regions of the plant.

The apical meristem's main function is to encourage cell division and maintain the plant’s growth and regeneration process. Depending on the plant type, the apical meristem is made up of numerous layers. No matter how many layers, the outer layer of the apical meristem is called the tunica and the innermost layer is known as the corpus.

MaximumYield explains Apical Meristem

As the outer layer of the apical meristem, the tunica determines the margins of the leaf edges and the growth tips. The corpus of the apical meristem forms the leaf and stem characteristics.

Every single cell of a plant is formed from the apical meristem. The apical meristem is typically divided into two categories, the shoot apical meristem, and the root apical meristem.

The shoot apical meristem of the plant grows rapidly and eventually produces not only the stem, shoots, and leaves of the plant but also all parts of the flowers such as the ovaries, petals, stamens, and sepals.

The root apical meristem is made of two unique dimensions: the root cap, which protects the plant from possible pathogens, rocks, and debris as it grows through the soil, and the quiescent center of the root apical meristem, which serves to create feeder and secondary roots

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