Difference between Apoplast and Symplast

Difference between Apoplast and Symplast

Difference between Apoplast and Symplast


The non-protoplasmic areas of a plant are referred to as the apoplast. The cell walls, as well as intracellular compartments, are included. Water is transported to the xylem via the apoplast of the root cortex, where it is absorbed by root hair cells.

The apoplastic route is the name given to this mechanism. At no point does the apoplastic route breach a cytoplasmic membrane. This signifies that the water is moving due to passive diffusion.

As a result, the apoplastic route has the least barrier to water transport. Water passage through the apoplast may be hampered by lignosuberin Casparian strips seen in the walls of endodermic cells. The water only travels through the symplastic route after that.

Nonprotoplasmic components including cell walls as well as intracellular compartments make up the apoplast.


The protoplasmic constituents of the plant are referred to as symplast. Cell junctions known as plasmodesmata join with protoplasms of the cells. Water is transported from the root hair cell to the xylem of the root via the symplast of the root cortex.

The symplastic route is the name given to this path. The symplastic route should penetrate cell membranes because water fills the cytoplasm of cells through the plasma membrane. Water moves via the symplastic route via osmosis because cell membranes are semi-permeable.

The water that passes through the symplast, on the other hand, does not enter the cell’s vacuole. The symplastic route is also known as the transmembrane pathway since it penetrates the cell membrane. The cytoplasmic streaming aids the transport of water through the symplastic pathway. Protoplast makes up the symplast.

The active absorption through the symplastic route transports the mineral nutrients. Water enters the cell’s vacuole through the tonoplast inside the vacuolar symplastic pathway.

The water then travels to other cells’ neighboring vacuoles. The vacuolar symplastic route creates a significant barrier to water transport.

Similarities Between Apoplast And Symplast

Water travels through root hair cells towards the xylem via two routes: apoplast and symplast.

The root cortex contains both apoplast and symplast.

Water and nutrients are carried to the xylem via both apoplast and symplast.

Main Difference Between Apoplast And Symplast

Osmosis allows the root hairs cell to absorb water through the soil. Through the root cortex, this water is transferred to the root’s xylem. Osmosis is another method for transporting water.

The two channels by which water moves through root hair cells to the xylem of the root are apoplast and symplast. Water passes through cell walls and intracellular spaces of such root cortex through the apoplastic pathway. Water flows through protoplasts of the root cortex via the symplastic pathway.

The major distinction between apoplast as well as symplast would be that apoplast is a completely permeable pathway with passive diffusion, whereas symplast is just a selectively permeable pathway with osmosis.

Plants employ two channels to carry water through root hair cells towards the xylem of the root: apoplast and symplast. The non-living components of a plant, such as cell walls and intracellular spaces, are referred to as apoplast. The living components for such plants, such as protoplasms, are referred to as symplast. Water travels by passive diffusion along the apoplastic route.

The symplastic route, on the other hand, uses osmosis to transport water across cell membranes. The mechanism of water transport differs significantly between apoplast and symplast. A plant’s nonliving elements make up the apoplast. The symplast is made up of a plant’s live elements.

Passive diffusion is used to transport the water. Osmosis is used to transport the water.

Water flow is less resistant in the apoplast.

The symplast exhibits some resistance to water flow. Water moves quickly through the apoplast. Water moves more slowly through the symplast. The passage of water through the apoplastic route is unaffected by the metabolic rate of cells there in the root cortex.

Water transport via the symplastic channel is heavily influenced by the metabolic status of the cells as in the root cortex. The apoplastic pathway transports the majority of the water throughout the root’s secondary development. Water travels through the symplastic pathway beyond the cortex.



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