DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.
False colour scanning electron micrograph of the root cap of wheat, Triticum vulgare. The root cap produces a slimy mucous which lubricatres the passage of the root through the soil. The cells that produce the slime are continually sloughed off, a mechanism that enables the constant renewal of the protective layer for the tip. In this micrograph the cells at the root tip are firmly embedded in slime, while futher back loose cells are shed. The cells in the root cap divide rapidly, because of the need to contantly renew those lost at its surface. Roots anchor a plant in the soil & extract water for growth. Magnification X21 at 35mm size.
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