Cut a transverse section of young stem of a plant from your school garden and observe it under the microscope. How would you ascertain whether it is a monocot stem or dicot stem? Give reasons.
The dicot stem is characterised by the presence of conjoint, collateral, and open vascular bundles, with a strip of cambium between the xylem and phloem. The vascular bundles are arranged in the form of a ring, around the centrally-located pith. The ground tissue is differentiated into the collenchyma, parenchyma, endodermis, pericycle, and pith. Medullary rays are present between the vascular bundles.
The monocot stem is characterised by conjoint, collateral, and closed vascular bundles, scattered in the ground tissue containing the parenchyma. Each vascular bundle is surrounded by sclerenchymatous bundle-sheath cells. Phloem parenchyma is absent and water-containing cavities are present.