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Evolutionary development:
– Plants originated in aquatic environments
– Gradually migrated to land during evolution
– Absorbed water from surroundings in water or near it
– Minimal tissue differentiation in primitive plant development
– Specialized water absorbing tissue developed to anchor to the ground

– Rhizoids absorb water mainly by capillary action
– Water moves up between threads of rhizoids
– Some bryophytes can take up water inside rhizoids
– Rhizoids in some species not as developed as roots
– Absorption mechanism differs in various plant species

Land plants:
– Rhizoids in land plants are trichomes
– Anchor the plant to the ground
– Absent or unicellular in liverworts
– Multicellular in mosses
– Known as root hairs in vascular plants

– Some algae have extensive rhizoidal system
– Anchors alga to sandy substrate
– Allows absorption of nutrients
– Microscopic free-floating species lack rhizoids
– Rhizoids vary in structure and function among algae species

– Rhizoids in fungi are small branching hyphae
– Grow downwards from stolons
– Anchor the fungus to substrate
– Release digestive enzymes and absorb organic material
– Fungi are heterotrophs by absorption

See also:
– Fungi portal
– Rhizine, equivalent structure in lichens

– Fletcher RL (1987)
– Jones VA, Dolan L (July 2012)
– Demes KW, Littler MM, Littler DS (2010)
– Smith GM (1955)

Rhizoid (Wikipedia)

Rhizoids are protuberances that extend from the lower epidermal cells of bryophytes and algae. They are similar in structure and function to the root hairs of vascular land plants. Similar structures are formed by some fungi. Rhizoids may be unicellular or multicellular.

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