(Submitted by CHS Junior, Dominic Nobiling)
Advanced Biology Microscope Lab

In this plant anatomy lab, we studied the major contributing pieces in monocot and dicot leaves, stems, and roots. Under the microscope, we could examine things such as the pith, cortex, upper and lower epidermises, and many more important parts. Also, the different lens powers of the microscope revealed the many characteristics   Labeling these parts  gave us a much better understanding of where their location is inside of the plant.  There are a few basic, distinct differences that set the monocot and dicot apart from one another. Monocots (usually consisting of grasses) main characteristic that contrasts from a dicot is that it has only a single seed, while the dicot contains two seeds. In the root, the dicotyledons xylem formed a cross-like shape, while in the monocotyledon, the xylem formed a circle. In the stem, the dicot has net venation, opposed to the parallel venation that is found in the monocots. Also in the stem, a major visual difference between the two is the arrangement of the vascular bundles. This is usually the easiest way to differentiate between the monocot and dicot. The monocot has scattered vascular bundles, which shows no consistent pattern in how they are formed; in comparison, the dicot has radially-arranged vascular bundles, which forms a relatively circular pattern. Finally, in the leaves, the major differentiating factor is the presence of the palisade parenchyma. The chloroplast within the palisade parenchyma absorbs light energy and carries out the majority of photosynthesis for the plant. While this structure exists in the dicot leaf, it is non-existent in the monocot. All of these aspects of the monocot and dicot are the primary ways to differentiate between them.
As you can see, there are many different pieces that helped us understand how the monocot and dicot differ. Using the microscope to examine the contrasting parts of the roots, stems, and leaves, and labeling the functions of them as well, made it clear that, while they might be very different in structure and appearance, they both contain important pieces that are vital to the operation of monocot and dicot plants.

Mr. Mack