Plant and Animal Tissues


  1. Identify parenchyma and sclerenchyma tissues in plants from the prepared slides.
  2. Identify striated (striped) muscle fibres and nerve cells in animals from the prepared slides.

The Theory

What are Tissues?

A group of cells having common origin, similar structure and performing a definite function is called a tissue.  Tissues are found in plants and animals.  Plants and animals are made up of many different kinds of tissues. For example, groups of bone cells form bone tissues and muscle cells form muscle tissue. Different types of tissues have distinctive architecture best suited for what they do.  We will see that plant tissues are different from animal tissues in many ways.

Plant Tissues

Plant tissues can be grouped into two basic types: meristematic and permanent tissues.


Animal Tissues

Animal tissues can be grouped into four basic types: epithelial, muscular, connective and nervous tissues.



Parenchyma and Sclerenchyma Tissues

Parenchyma Tissue

Parenchyma tissues are found in the soft parts of plant such the roots, stems, leaves and flowers. The cells in this tissue are loosely packed, as they contain large intercellular spaces between them. The cells consist of cytoplasm and nucleus that is surrounded by a cell wall. Each cell has a vacuole at the centre. The functions of parenchyma tissues are storage, photosynthesis, and also to help the plant float on water.

Sclerenchyma Tissue

Sclerenchyma tissue consists of thick-walled, dead cells. These cells are long, narrow and have hard and extremely thick secondary walls due to the uniform distribution of lignin. Lignin deposition is so thick that the cell walls become strong, rigid and impermeable to water. There are no inter-cellular spaces between sclerenchyma cells. Nucleus is absent in the cell. The function of this tissue is to give protection and support to the plant.

The Striated Muscle Fibre and Nerve Tissues

Striated Muscle Fibre

Striated muscles cells are long and cylindrical fibres. The fibres are enclosed within a membrane called sarcolemma. These fibres are multinucleated, which means they have many nuclei. Each cell cytoplasm consists of many myofibrils.  These are voluntary muscles.

Nerve Tissue

The nervous tissue consists of the nerve cells and neurons.  The large body of the nerve cell is called the cyton which contains the cell’s nucleus. The cell body branches out to form  dendrons.  Dendrons further branch out to form fibres called dendrites. There is also a single long fibre projecting from the cyton called axon. The neurons in the brain communicate with other nerve cells that reach throughout the body forming the body’s nervous system.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students understand the terms parenchyma tissue, sclerenchyma tissue, striped muscle fibres and nerve cells.
  2. Students learn about two types of animal tissue- muscle tissue and nerve tissues.
  3. Students learn about two types of plant tissues- parenchyma and sclerenchyma tissues.
  4. Students acquire skill to do the experiment after having observed the animation and simulation.

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