When a plant grows the cell number increases in the growing points or apical and lateral meristems of the stems and roots (see p93). The process of mitosis involves the division of one cell to produce two new ones.
The genetic information in the nucleus is reproduced exactly in the new cells to maintain the plant's characteristics. Each chromosome in the parent cell produces a duplicate of itself, thus producing sufficient material for the two new daughter cells (see Figure 6.3). A delicate, spindle-shaped structure ensures the separation of chromosomes, one complete set into each of the new cells. A dividing cell wall forms across the old cell to complete the division.
Tissues of the stem
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