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Difference Between Coleoptile And Coleorhiza

Difference Between Coleoptile And Coleorhiza

The terms "coleoptile" and "coleorhiza" refer to plant structures, specifically those that are present in the monocotyledonous plants' seeds. In the germination of monocots, the coleoptile and Coleorhiza are both crucial structures that support the successful emergence and establishment of the seedlings.

Table of Contents:

  • What is Coleoptile?
  • What is Coleorhiza?
  • Coleoptile Vs Coleorhiza
  • Practice Problems On Coleoptile And Coleorhiza
  • Frequently Asked Questions

What is Coleoptile?

A coleoptile is a protective sheath or coating found in grass and other monocot seedlings. It is a tubular structure that encircles and shields the developing stalk or plumule during germination. The delicate shoot is protected by the coleoptile, which is commonly present in grass species and pushes through the soil to the surface. It is typically long and slender and grows towards light because of positive phototropism. During the initial phases of growth, the coleoptile also contributes to the intake of nutrients.

What is Coleorhiza?

The Coleorhiza is a protective sheath or covering found surrounding the radicle, which is the embryonic root of a developing monocotyledonous seed. Similar to the coleoptile, the Coleorhiza aids in radicle germination by shielding it as it emerges from the seed. It serves to secure the seedling in the soil and is often shorter and thicker than the coleoptile. Additionally, the Coleorhiza aids in the young plant's first growth by helping it to collect water and nutrients from the soil.

Coleoptile Vs Coleorhiza





Surrounds the emerging shoot

Surrounds the embryonic root

Plant Group

Found in monocotyledonous seeds

Found in monocotyledonous seeds



Shorter and thicker


Protects and guides shoot growth

Protects and anchors the seedling


Exhibits positive phototropism

Not involved in phototropism

Nutrient Uptake

Plays a role in nutrient uptake

Assists in water and nutrient absorption

Position in Seed

Located above the radicle

Located below the plumule

Practice Problems On Coleoptile And Coleorhiza

Q1. The coleoptile is a covering that covers and safeguards the:

A. Embryonic root
B. Cotyledons
C. Embryonic shoot
D. Seed coat

Ans: C. Embryonic shoot

During germination, a tubular structure called the coleoptile envelops and shields the developing shoot or plumule. The delicate shoot is protected by it as it pushes through the ground and upwards to the surface.

Q2. Which of the following plant categories is most likely to have a coleoptile?

A. Ferns
B. Dicotyledonous plants
C. Monocotyledonous plants
D. Gymnosperms

Ans: C. Monocotyledonous plants

Coleoptiles are frequently present in monocotyledonous plants, which include many cereal crops and grasses. A frequent feature of monocots, the coleoptile promotes the growth and protection of the developing shoot.

Q3. Which of the following is the function of the coleorhiza?

A. Anchor the seedling in the soil
B. Protect the embryo during seed formation
C. Facilitate photosynthesis in the seedling
D. Absorb water and nutrients from the soil

Ans: A. Anchor the seedling in the soil

The coleorhiza is a protective sheath that surrounds a germinating monocotyledonous seed's radicle or embryonic root. Its primary function is to stabilise and sustain the seedling during its early growth phases by anchoring it to the earth.

Q4. Which of the following is incorrect about the coleoptile?

A. It helps in nutrient uptake.
B. It exhibits positive phototropism.
C. It surrounds the embryonic root.
D. It is tubular in shape.

Ans: C. It surrounds the embryonic root.

The coleoptile surrounds the embryonic shoot (plumule), not the embryonic root (radicle). Hence the answer is wrong. The coleoptile protects the shoot as it penetrates the ground.

Q5. From the following, the coleoptile develops:

A. Plumule
B. Seed coat
C. Cotyledons
D. Radicle

Ans: A. Plumule

The plumule, a plant's embryonic shoot, gives rise to the coleoptile. The plumule lengthens and develops inside the coleoptile, which serves as a protective covering, during seed germination.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is cotyledon?
A cotyledon is an embryonic leaf that can be noticed inside a plant's seed. It is a component of the embryo and acts as the main organ for storing nutrients. Depending on the type of plant, cotyledons can be either monocotyledons or dicotyledons. Dicots have two cotyledons, whereas monocots normally have one.

Q2. Are Coleoptile and Coleorhiza important topics for the NEET Exam?
The NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) may include a wide range of biology topics, including plant anatomy and morphology, despite its primary focus on medical and dental sciences. Understanding the coleoptile and coleorhiza's roles and significance, particularly in the context of plant physiology and growth, might be helpful for NEET test preparation. Coleoptiles and coleorhiza are essential structures in the germination of monocots.

Q3. What is a radical?
The plant's developing root is known as a radicle. During germination, it is the first organ to emerge from the seed. In addition to anchoring the plant and absorbing water and nutrients, the radicle expands downward into the earth. The plant's main root system finally grows from the radicle.

Q4. What is the origin of coleoptiles?
The coleoptile develops from the plumule, a plant's embryonic shoot. The plumule lengthens and develops inside the coleoptile, which is a protective covering, during seed germination. The protective layer of the epicotyl, which is found between the cotyledons and the plumule, develops into the coleoptile.

Q5. What are the primary parts of a seed?
The primary parts of a seed are:

  • Seed Coat: The exterior protective layer that protects the seed is called the seed coat, made of the ovule's integuments.
  • Embryo: The immature plant in its infancy, consisting of the cotyledons (seed leaves), plumule (embryonic shoot), and radicle (embryonic root).
  • Endosperm: The nutrient-rich tissue that surrounds the embryo in some seeds. In the course of germination, it nurtures the growing embryo.

Together, these primary parts help the plant embryo survive and develop during germination and the first stages of growth.

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