What Is the Function of Meristematic Tissue?

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The primary function of meristematic tissue is to perform mitosis. Meristematic tissues have small, thin walled cells that lack a central vacuole and have no specialized features.

The meristematic tissue can be found in three different areas: apical meristems, which are located at the growing points of both roots and stems; secondary meristems, or lateral buds, which are located at the nodes of stems where branching takes place; and within mature stems and roots, but only for some plant species. The meristematic tissue gives rise to permanent tissue including protective tissue, parenchyma tissue, sclerenchya tissue, collenchyma tissue, xylem tissue and phloem tissue.

Meristematic tissue is made up of small cells that have thin walls and large nuclei. The cells have no vacuoles and intercellular spaces. Mitosis, the primary function of meristematic tissue, is the nuclear division of cells. Mitosis produces two identical daughter cells during the phases of prophase, prometaphase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase. Prophase begins when the chromatin in the nucleus starts to condense and become visible, and the nucleolus then disappears. In the prometaphase, the nuclear membrane fully dissolves and proteins attach to the centromeres, which creates the kinetochores, and the chromosomes begin moving. In the metaphase, the spindle fibers align all of the chromosomes along the middle of the cell's nucleus, and in the anaphase, the new nucleus will get one copy of each of the chromosomes. In the telophase, the new membranes form around the daughter nuclei and the chromatids arrive at the opposite ends of the cell.