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In biology, tissue is a cellular organizational level intermediate between cells and a complete organ. A tissue is an ensemble of similar cells from the same origin that together carry out a specific function. Organs are then formed by the functional grouping together of multiple tissues.
The study of tissue is known as histology or, in connection with disease, histopathology. The classical tools for studying tissues are the paraffin block in which tissue is embedded and then sectioned, the histological stain, and the optical microscope. In the last couple of decades, developments in electron microscopy, immunofluorescence, and the use of frozen tissue sections have enhanced the detail that can be observed in tissues. With these tools, the classical appearances of tissues can be examined in health and disease, enabling considerable refinement of clinical diagnosis and prognosis.
Animal tissues can be grouped into four basic types: connective, muscle, nervous, and epithelial. Multiple tissue types compose organs and body structures. While all animals can generally be considered to contain the four tissue types, the manifestation of these tissues can differ depending on the type of organism. For example, the origin of the cells comprising a particular tissue type may differ developmentally for different classifications of animals.
The epithelium in all animals is derived from the ectoderm and endoderm with a small contribution from the mesoderm, forming the endothelium, a specialized type of epithelium that composes the vasculature. By contrast, a true epithelial tissue is present only in a single layer of cells held together via occluding junctions called tight junctions, to create a selectively permeable barrier. This tissue covers all organismal surfaces that come in contact with the external environment such as the skin, the airways, and the digestive tract. It serves functions of protection, secretion, and absorption, and is separated from other tissues below by a basal lamina.
Connective tissues are fibrous tissues. They are made up of cells separated by non-living material, which is called an extracellular matrix. Connective tissue gives shape to organs and holds them in place. Both blood and bone are examples of connective tissue. As the name implies, these support and bind other tissues. Unlike epithelial tissue, connective tissue typically has cells scattered throughout an extracellular matrix.
Muscle cells form the active contractile (see contractility) tissue of the body known as muscle tissue or muscular tissue. Muscle tissue functions to produce force and cause motion, either locomotion or movement within internal organs. Muscle tissue is separated into three distinct categories: visceral or smooth muscle, which is found in the inner linings of organ (anatomy); skeletal muscle, which is found attached to bone providing for gross movement; and cardiac muscle which is found in the heart, allowing it to contract and pump blood throughout an organism. They are the longest group of cells in the human body.
Cells comprising the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system are classified as neural tissue. In the central nervous system, neural tissue forms the brain and spinal cord and, in the peripheral nervous system forms the cranial nerves and spinal nerves, inclusive of the motor neurons.
The epithelial tissues are formed by cells that cover the organ surfaces such as the surface of the skin, the airways, the reproductive tract, and the inner lining of the digestive tract. The cells comprising an epithelial layer are linked via semi-permeable, tight junctions; hence, this tissue provides a barrier between the external environment and the organ it covers. In addition to this protective function, epithelial tissue may also be specialized to function in secretion and absorption. Epithelial tissue helps to protect organisms from microorganisms, injury, and fluid loss. Functions:
The different types of epithelial tissues are as follows:
Plant tissues can also be divided differently into two types:
Meristematic tissue consists of actively dividing cells, and leads to increase in length and thickness of the plant. The primary growth of a plant occurs only in certain, specific regions, such as in the tips of stems or roots. It is in these regions that meristematic tissue is present. Cells in these tissues are roughly spherical or polyhedral, to rectangular in shape, and have thin cell walls. New cells produced by meristem are initially those of meristem itself, but as the new cells grow and mature, their characteristics slowly change and they become differentiated as components of the region of occurrence of meristimatic tissues, they are classified as:
The cells of meristematic tissues are similar in structure and have thin and elastic primary cell wall made up of cellulose. They are compactly arranged without inter-cellular spaces between them. Each cell contains a dense cytoplasm and a prominent nucleus. Dense protoplasm of meristematic cells contains very few vacuoles. Normally the meristematic cells are oval, polygonal or rectangular in shape.
Meristemetic tissue cells have a large nucleus with small or no vacuoles, they have no inter cellular spaces.
The meristematic tissues that take up a specific role lose the ability to divide. This process of taking up a permanent shape, size and a function is called cellular differentiation. Cells of meristematic tissue differentiate to form different types of permanent tissue. There are 3 types of permanent tissues:
These tissues are called simple because they are composed of similar types of cells which have common origin and function. They are further classified into:
Parenchyma (para - 'beside'; chyma - 'in filling, loose, unpacked') is the bulk of a substance. In plants, it consists of relatively unspecialised cells with thin cell walls that are usually loosely packed so that large spaces between cells (intercellular spaces) are found in this tissue. This tissue provides support to plants and also stores food. In some situations, a parenchyma contains chlorophyll and performs photosynthesis, in which case it is called a chlorenchyma. In aquatic plants, large air cavities are present in parenchyma to give support to them to float on water. Such a parenchyma type is called aerenchyma.
Collenchyma is Greek word where "Collen" means gum and "enchyma" means infusion. It is a living tissue of primary body like Parenchyma. Cells are thin-walled but possess thickening of cellulose and pectin substances at the corners where number of cells join together. This tissue gives a tensile strength to the plant and the cells are compactly arranged and have very little inter-cellular spaces. It occurs chiefly in hypodermis of stems and leaves. It is absent in monocots and in roots.
Collenchymatous tissue acts as a supporting tissue in stems of young plants. It provides mechanical support, elasticity, and tensile strength to the plant body. It helps in manufacturing sugar and storing it as starch. It is present in the margin of leaves and resist tearing effect of the wind.
Sclerenchyma is Greek word where "Sclrenes" means hard and "enchyma" means infusion. This tissue consists of thick-walled, dead cells. These cells have hard and extremely thick secondary walls due to uniform distribution of lignin. Lignin deposition is so thick that the cell walls become strong, rigid and impermeable to water. Sclerenchymatous cells are closely packed without inter-cellular spaces between them. Thus, they appear as hexagonal net in transverse section. The cells are cemented with the help of lamella. The middle lamella is a wall that lies between adjacent cells. Sclerenchymatous cells mainly occur in hypodermis, pericycle, secondary xylem and phloem. They also occur in endocorp of almond and coconut. It is made of pectin, lignin, protein. The cells of sclerenchymatous cells can be classified as :
The main function of Sclerenchymatous tissues is to give support to the plant.
The entire surface of the plant consists of a single layer of cells called epidermis or surface tissue. The entire surface of the plant has this outer layer of epidermis. Hence it is also called surface tissue. Most of the epidermal cells are relatively flat. The outer and lateral walls of the cell are often thicker than the inner walls. The cells forms a continuous sheet without inter cellular spaces. It protects all parts of the plant.
The complex tissue consists of more than one type of cells which work together as a unit. Complex tissues help in the transportation of organic material, water and mineral up and down the plants. That is why it is also known as conducting and vascular tissue. The common types of complex permanent tissue are:
Xylem and phloem together form vascular bundles.
Xylem consists of:
Xylem is a very important plant tissue as it is part of the ‘plumbing’ of a plant. Think of bundles of pipes running along the main axis of stems and roots. It carries water and dissolved substances throughout and consists of a combination of parenchyma cells, fibers, vessels, tracheids and ray cells. Long tubes made up of individual cells are the vessels, while vessel members are open at each end. Internally, there may be bars of wall material extending across the open space. These cells are joined end to end to form long tubes. Vessel members and tracheids are dead at maturity. Tracheids have thick secondary cell walls and are tapered at the ends. They do not have end openings such as the vessels. The tracheids ends overlap with each other, with pairs of pits present. The pit pairs allow water to pass from cell to cell. While most conduction in the xylem is up and down, there is some side-to-side or lateral conduction via rays. Rays are horizontal rows of long-living parenchyma cells that arise out of the vascular cambium. In trees, and other woody plants, ray will radiate out from the center of stems and roots and in cross-section will look like the spokes of a wheel.
Phloem consists of:
Phloem is an equally important plant tissue as it also is part of the ‘plumbing’ of a plant. Primarily, phloem carries dissolved food substances throughout the plant. This conduction system is composed of sieve-tube member and companion cells, that are without secondary walls. The parent cells of the vascular cambium produce both xylem and phloem. This usually also includes fibers, parenchyma and ray cells. Sieve tubes are formed from sieve-tube members laid end to end. The end walls, unlike vessel members in xylem, do not have openings. The end walls, however, are full of small pores where cytoplasm extends from cell to cell. These porous connections are called sieve plates. In spite of the fact that their cytoplasm is actively involved in the conduction of food materials, sieve-tube members do not have nuclei at maturity. It is the companion cells that are nestled between sieve-tube members that function in some manner bringing about the conduction of food. Sieve-tube members that are alive contain a polymer called callose. Callose stays in solution as long at the cell contents are under pressure. As a repair mechanism, if an insect injures a cell and the pressure drops, the callose will precipitate. However, the callose and a phloem protein will be moved through the nearest sieve plate where they will form a plug. This prevents further leakage of sieve tube contents and the injury is not necessarily fatal to overall plant turgor pressure. Phloem transports food and materials in plants in upwards and downwards as required.