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Differentiation, Dedifferentiation and Redifferentiation in Plant Growth

Last Updated : 07 Sep, 2022
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Plant growth is dependent on three major factors that are differentiation, differentiation, and differentiation. The kingdom Plantae is home to a variety of unique living things, including plants. They exhibit a variety of distinguishing animal traits. They are independent due to their unique cell structure and organelles. Additionally, plants grow taller and bigger with time, just like people and animals do. They differ in how they grow and go through their life cycle, further details are discussed below. Growth is a crucial, natural, and irreversible element. Every plant grows since it is a living thing, however, unlike people, plants have particular growth characteristics. They develop over the course of their lives. Plant growth happens in a planned way. Development in plants is referred to as this methodical approach to growing. The constant, irreversible expansion of an organism’s size is referred to as growth. The presence of various metabolic processes together with this characteristic is seen in all species. The seeds of plants develop, grow into new seedlings, and then mature plants. Growing continues forever in plants. Plants grow in an open, indeterminate manner, and certain cells continually divide to contribute to the expansion of the cell or tissue’s size. Meristematic cells are characterized by their constant division. Since there is an increase in protoplasmic content, plant growth may be measured. Along with these additional changes, which can all be quantified, fresh or dry weight, length and size, and cell count all increase.

Phases of Plant Growth 

Phases of plant growth

Phases of Plant growth

Plant growth consists of three phases, which are as follows

Formative or Meristematic Phase

The meristematic zone, which is found at the tip of a plant’s root and consists of continually dividing, isodiametric (with no intervals between the cells) meristematic cells, is also characterized by cells with rich protoplasm and a prominent nucleus. These cells’ cellulose-based cell walls are thin, primary in nature, and of a primary nature. These cells are connected by white plasmodesmata.
This area of the plant’s cells continues to divide rapidly. Typically, a big nucleus makes up the plant’s meristematic area. the cells needed to promote a plant’s initial growth phase. All plants have them in their roots and branches.

Elongation Phase

The cells present next to meristematic cells are present in the elongation phase. These cells elongate due to enlargement of the vacuole present in the cell and hence that zone is called the zone of elongation. Cell enlargement and new cell wall formation take place in the cells present in the elongation phase. Modifications like larger vacuoles take place in the cells here.

Maturation Phase

The cells discovered after the elongation zone are in the maturation phase and reach their largest size. When they reach the maturity period, they stop dividing. Cells develop in large numbers throughout the zone of maturation to carry out specific tasks in plants.

Plant Differentiation 

Plant differentiation is the process by which the cells of the root, cambium, apical meristems, and shoot mature to carry out specific roles. Within the plant cell, a lot of structural modifications take place throughout this process. As an illustration, protoplasm is lost as the treachery components of a plant are developing.

In terms of biology, differentiation is the process through which a cell switches from one type of cell to another, typically to a more specialized type. As a multicellular creature develops from a simple Zygote to a complex system of tissues and cell types, it differentiates multiple times.

Differentiation Process in Plants

The differentiation and development processes of plants are distinct from those of other kingdoms since they belong to different kingdoms. Distinct from how it happens in animals, plants differentiate and develop in different ways. Cells of the root system, shoot apical meristem, and the cambium matures through a process known as plant differentiation, which prepares them to carry out particular tasks. The process through which a cell transforms from one cell type to another is known as cellular differentiation. The primary result of this change is the formation of a certain type of cell. Different structural alterations to the cell wall and protoplasm occur during the differentiation processes. For instance, the cell would shed its protoplasm to develop a tracheary element. In addition, they form a lignocellulosic cell wall that is extremely resilient, elastic, and robust to transport minerals and water under difficult circumstances. The process through which the various cell types diverge from their precursor cells is another way to describe it. These essential cells, which come in a variety of forms in plants, are all in charge of the organs’ fundamental operations. One type of cell can change into another under the right circumstances, depending on its functions. There are two different types of differentiation processes:

Dedifferentiation Process

The dedifferentiation process occurs when cells go through a process where they lose the ability to divide and then under specific circumstances get it back. For instance, meristems are created when parenchymal cells have finished developing. Similar to this, tumor cells are created when the body’s normal cells dedifferentiate.

  • Differentiation is the process by which the cells generated from the cambium, root, and shoot apical meristems differentiate and mature to carry out particular activities.
  • Cells go through some significant structural changes during differentiation, and they also produce lignocellulosic secondary cell walls, which are robust, elastic, and capable of transporting water over great distances.
  • Dedifferentiation is the process through which differentiated live cells that have lost the ability to divide might do so again under specific circumstances.
  • Dedifferentiation is the ability of differentiated cells in a specific area of the plant body to divide once again. It enables a section of the plant to generate new cells.
  • Therefore, before the significant physiological or structural change, differentiated cells typically go through dedifferentiation.
  • Functional cell types go back to their early stages of development during dedifferentiation. 
  • Dedifferentiated cells thus act as many types of meristematic tissue in plants, such as the interfascicular vascular cambium, cork cambium, and wound meristem.
  • Additionally, during the regeneration processes of lower life forms like worms and amphibians, dedifferentiation frequently takes place.

Redifferentiation Process

In this phase, the cells split into new cells that can no longer divide but are mature enough to carry out particular tasks. In other words, after being dedifferentiated, a mature plant cell loses its capacity to divide. This condition is known as redifferentiation. The capacity for cell division and subsequent differentiation is lost when new cells are generated from dedifferentiated tissues that serve as meristems. They eventually develop to conduct certain plant body functions.

  • Redifferentiation is the reversal of differentiated cells’ ability to divide. It enables functionally specialized cells in the plant body to be made up of differentiated cells.
  • Usually, differentiated cells that have been treated with dedifferentiation to prepare the plant body for physiological or structural change return to their Redifferentiated state and carry out the intended function.
  • For instance, after cell division, the dedifferentiated vascular cambium redifferentiates into the secondary xylem and phloem.
  • The cells of the secondary xylem and secondary phloem, on the other hand, are unable to undergo additional cell division, and once they have reached adulthood, they perform a variety of tasks, such as conducting food and water while maintaining the structural integrity of the plant.


The following are the differences between dedifferentiation and redifferentiation:




Definition “Dedifferentiation” is the process through which differentiated adult cells regain pluripotency. The term “Redifferentiation” describes the process through which a collection of previously differentiated cells assume their initial specialized form.
Function  Dedifferentiated tissue, such as the wound meristem, cork cambium, and interfascicular vascular cambium, functions as meristematic tissue. The tissue that is functionally specialized is Redifferentiated tissue. So, this is just another way that dedifferentiation and redifferentiation differ from one another.
Outcome New cells that act as meristems for subsequent differentiation are produced by dedifferentiation. Specific functions carried out by Redifferentiated cells result in the formation of secondary structures.
Importance The process of dedifferentiation enables the plant body to make new cells in a specific region. To carry out a task unique to a certain area of the plant, Redifferentiation is crucial.
Examples Dedifferentiation is exemplified by the development of the interfascicular cambium and cork cambium from fully differentiated parenchyma cells. Redifferentiation is demonstrated by the secondary specialization of the vascular cambium into the xylem and phloem.

Development Processes in Plants

Plant development includes all of the biological changes an organism goes through as it completes its life cycle. When it comes to seeds, germination and senescence signify, respectively, the start and conclusion of the life cycle. Changes happen as part of the development process over the course of an organism’s life cycle. The process in plants that starts with seed germination comes to an end with senescence. Several steps in this procedure include:

  • Cell division
  • Elongation of cell
  • Differentiation cell
  • Maturation

In meristematic tissues, cell division takes place, which may lead to cell elongation or growth. These cells differentiate into mature cells through the process of senescence, or aging, and eventually pass away. This is how plants develop from seed to mature plants. The ability of plants to adapt to their surroundings and show various structural types at various stages of their lives is referred to as plasticity. For instance, the term “heterophily” refers to a circumstance where the morphologies of juvenile plants’ leaves differ from those of older plants. Plants including cotton, coriander, and others contain this. The processes of differentiation, growth, and development are all interconnected. Without cell growth and differentiation, a plant cannot develop. The result of growth and differentiation is development. Both innate and external factors control it. This process in plants is regulated by a variety of elements, some of which may be extrinsic such as light, temperature, nutrients, water, oxygen, etc., or intrinsic such as genetic and chemical components.

FAQs on Differentiation, Dedifferentiation, and Redifferentiation

Question 1: What are the major factors impact Plant Growth?


The following are significant elements influencing plant growth:

  • Temperature: As the temperature rises, growth quickens.
  • Water: Plant growth depends on water. With enough water, they grow. They even react when there is not enough water.
  • Soil Nutrients: For healthy growth, plants require an adequate supply of nutrients. Nutrient quality and quantity have an impact on plant growth.
  • Light: Numerous physiological activities that take place in a plant are influenced by light intensity, duration, and quality.
  • Plant Growth Regulators: Plants are given different growth regulators, such as auxin, cytokinin, gibberellins, etc., to control their growth.

Question 2: Define the Process of Differentiation.


Differentiation is defined as the process by which particular role are carried by particular cells of  mature roots and shoots i.e., cambium and apical meristem cells. Ample number of changes happens in a plant during this process. For the growth of the plant differentiation is very important phase.

Question 3: What is meant by Redifferentiation?


When the plant losses its ability to divide at its maturity that phase of growth is called as redifferentiation. After passing through the dedifferentiation phase the plant is reverted into redifferentiation phase. Here the plant is efficient enough to perform all the particular functions. 

Question 4: What are the phases of plant growth?


Formative Phase: First phase of plant growth is cell division which occurs through mitosis. In this the pre existing cells gets divided and leads to the formation of many new cells which are required for plant growth.

Enlargement of the Cell: As the name itself clear its definition its the stage where plants grow and size of all tissues and organs also changes in this phase. Moreover protoplasm production, water absorption, the development of vacuoles, and the insertion of cell walls gets thicken.

Maturation of the Cell: This is the stage where cells expand and take a permanent shape and plants loses the ability of redifferentiation as it reaches maturity. 

Question 5: What is meant by Dedifferentiation?


Cells go through a phase where they lose the capacity to divide and then, under certain conditions, gain it. This process is known as dedifferentiation. When parenchymal cells have finished developing, for instance, meristems are produced. The body’s normal cells dedifferentiate in a manner similar to this, producing tumor cells.

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