M.I. WALKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY M.I. WALKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lily root tip. Light micrograph (LM) of the root tip of a lily (genus Lilium). The large black stained ovals within most of the cells are nuclei, where the genetic material of the plant is stored. At the tip of the root (left) is the apical meristem, where growth will take place. The cells of the meristem are totally undifferentiated and are therefore similar to stem cells in animals. Meristem cells can become epidermis, xylem and phloem, and pith. The roots of a plant generally lie below the soil and anchor the plant. They also take up nutrients from the soil.
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