Root System: Importance of Adventitious Roots and Adventitious Root Modifications

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Adventitious Root Modifications (For Food Storage)

Table Showing Adventitious Root Modification for Food Storage
Table showing adventitious root modification for food storage.




Tuberous roots

Swollen roots do not have any specific shape, arise singly from the nodes of the horizontally growing stem or nodes of prostrate stem

Sweet potato

Fasciculated roots

Swollen roots developing in clusters (fascicles), either at the base of the stem or at regular intervals in the normal roots

Dahlia, Aspraragus

Nodulose roots

Such adventitious roots are swollen only at their apices

Curcuma amada (mango ginger)


Roots are swollen at regular intervals, giving a beaded appearance for food storage

Grasses, Sedges

Annulated roots

Root appears like closely arranged rings or root possess a series of ring like outgrowth on its body

Psychotria (Ipecac)

Image showing Adventitious root modifications for food stora …

Image Showing Adventitious Root Modifications for Food Stora …

Adventitious Root Modifications (For Strong Support)

Table Showing Adventitious Root Modification for Strong Support
Table showing adventitious root modification for strong support.




Prop roots

Arise from the horizontal aerial branches of trees with a large canopy, grow vertically downward and penetrate the soil and become thick and look like pillars supporting the expanded canopy

Ficus benghalensis (Banyan)

Stilt roots

Short, thick roots arise from the basal nodes of the stem, grow obliquely downward and penetrate the soil and provide additional support and help in absorption

Sugar cane, Pandanus (Screw pine)

Climbing roots

Arise from the nodes of weak-stemmed plants and hold on to the support and help the plant in climbing

Money plant, Piper betel

Clinging roots

These are meant for anchorage of the plant, penetrate the cracks/fissures of the support and hold on firmly to it (fix the epiphyte)


Image showing Adventitious root modifications for food synth …

Image Showing Adventitious Root Modification for Food Synthe …

Assimilatory roots (Modification for photosynthesis)

Roots which become green (with chlorophyll) and carry out photosynthesis. In Trapa, they are submerged and are highly branched. In Podostemon, such roots grow along the shallow water and are fixed at intervals by haptera; such roots are also found in Tinospora.

Epiphytic roots (for absorbing atmospheric moisture)

Found in epiphytic plants like Vanda, Dendrobium and certain other orchids. They hang freely in the air and absorb the atmospheric moisture with the help of velamen, a spongy tissue in them.

Pneumatophores or respiratory roots (for better gaseous exchange)

Vertically upward growing structure arises from the secondary roots which occur above the soil surface and are provided with minute pores known as pneumathodes through which atmospheric oxygen can be taken in to fulfil the oxygen requirements, e.g., Mangroves (marshy plants) Rhizophora.

Sucking roots or haustoria (for sucking nutrition from host)

Parasitic plants penetrate the stem/root of host and establish contact with the vascular tissues to derive nutrition. Example is Cuscuta.

Image showing Assimilatory roots, epiphytic roots, pneumatop …

Image Showing Different Types of Adventitious Roots

Floating roots (for buoyancy and respiration)

Arise from the nodes of certain aquatic plants, they store air, spongy, become inflated and provide buoyancy for floating they also help in gas exchange, e.g., Jussiaea.

Image showing Floating Roots of Jussiaea.

Image Showing Floating Roots of Jussiaea

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