xylem

/zuy"leuhm, -lem/, n. Bot.
a compound tissue in vascular plants that helps provide support and that conducts water and nutrients upward from the roots, consisting of tracheids, vessels, parenchyma cells, and woody fibers.
[1870-75; < G, equiv. to Gk xýl(on) wood + -ema (see PHLOEM)]

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Part of a plant's vascular system that conveys water and dissolved minerals from the roots to the rest of the plant and furnishes mechanical support.

Xylem constitutes the major part of a mature woody stem or root and the wood of a tree, and consists of specialized water-conducting tissues made up mostly of several types of narrow, elongate, hollow cells. Xylem formation begins when the actively dividing cells of growing root and shoot tips give rise to primary xylem. Eventually the primary xylem is covered by secondary xylem produced by the cambium. The primary xylem cells die, forming a hard skeleton that supports the plant but loses its conducting function. Thus, only the outer part of the wood (secondary xylem) serves in water conduction.

Cross section of oak xylem

J.M. Langham

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▪ plant tissue
 in botany, part of the vascular system that conveys water and dissolved minerals from the roots to the rest of the plant and may also furnish mechanical support. Xylem consists of specialized water-conducting tissues made up mostly of narrow, elongated, hollow cells. These cells may be of several types, including tracheids (the basic cell type), vessel members, fibres, and parenchyma. Xylem constitutes the major part of a mature woody stem or root; the wood of a tree is composed of xylem. Xylem formation begins when the actively dividing cells of growing root and shoot tips (apical meristems) give rise to primary xylem. As the growing part of the plant builds past the xylem thus formed, the vascular cambium produces secondary xylem tissues that cover the primary xylem. When this happens the primary xylem cells become dead and empty, losing their conducting function and forming a hard skeleton that serves only to support the plant. Thus, in the trunk and older branches of a large tree only the outer part of the wood (secondary xylem) serves in water conduction, while the inner part (heartwood) is composed of dead but structurally strong primary xylem. See also parenchyma; tracheid; vessel.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Xylem — (8) im Querschnitt eines Blattes; (1) = Cuticula; (2) = obere Epidermis; (3) = Palisadengewebe; (4) = Schwammgewebe; (5) = untere Epidermis; (6) = Spalt der Spaltöffnung; (7) = Schließzellen; (8) = Xylem; (9) = Phloem; (10) = Blattader / Leit …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Xylem — er den væsentligste bestanddel af veddet i et træ. Xylem er vaskulært væv, som står for transporten af opløste stoffer og vand fra rødder til blade …   Danske encyklopædi

  • xylem — (n.) woody tissue in higher plants, 1875, from Ger. Xylem, coined from Gk. xylon wood, of unknown origin …   Etymology dictionary

  • Xylem — Xy lem, n. [Gr. xy lon wood.] (Bot.) That portion of a fibrovascular bundle which has developed, or will develop, into wood cells; distinguished from phlo[ e]m. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Xylēm — (griech.), s. Leitbündel, S. 390 …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Xylem — Xylēm (grch.), der holzige, wasserleitende Teil der Gefäßbündel und somit auch des Stamms …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Xylem — Xylem, Holzteil, Gefäßteil, dem Transport von Wasser und darin gelösten Ionen dienendes Leitgewebe in Cormophyten. Zu ihm gehören als Leitungselemente ⇒ Tracheiden bei Pteridophyten (Farnpflanzen) und Gymnospermen (Nacktsamer), Tracheiden und ⇒… …   Deutsch wörterbuch der biologie

  • xylem — ► NOUN Botany ▪ the vascular tissue in plants which conducts water and dissolved nutrients upwards from the root and also helps to form the woody element in the stem. ORIGIN from Greek xulon wood …   English terms dictionary

  • xylem — [zī′ləm, zī′lem] n. [Ger < Gr xylon, wood] the woody vascular tissue of a plant, characterized by the presence of vessels or tracheids or both, fibers, and parenchyma, that conducts water and mineral salts in the stems, roots, and leaves and… …   English World dictionary

  • Xylem — Multiple cross sections of a flowering plant stem showing primary and secondary xylem and phloem[1] Xylem is one of the two types of transport tissue in vascular plants. (Phloem is the other). The word xylem is derived from the Classical Greek… …   Wikipedia

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