Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Vascular dermal tissue vs. human integument

The dermal tissue of a vascular plant and the integument of the human body are similar in function for the following reasons:

1) Both the dermal tissue and the integument are a barrier, protecting the organs contained within the plant/body (Alters & Alters, 2008).

2) Both the dermal tissue and the integument have a means to combat ultraviolet radiation’s possible damage (Alters & Alters, 2008).

a) The dermal tissue of a vascular plant produces “hairs” called trichomes that reflect light (Alters & Alters, 2008).

i) Trichomes cover the dermal tissue much like vellus hair (fine white hairs) covers the human integument (Alters & Alters, 2008).

b) The integument produces melanin, a chemical which absorbs UV rays (Alters & Alters, 2008).

3) Epidermal cells have a waxy layer called the “cuticle” that protects the plant from water loss, the human equivalent would be the sebum (oil) secreted by the sebaceous gland in the hair follicles, although human skin is essentially what keeps the bodily fluids contained (Alters & Alters, 2008).

4) Stomata are the “pores” of vascular plants. They release water in a process called “transpiration (Bishop).”

The dermal tissue of vascular plants and the integument of the human body differ in function in the following ways:

1) Firstly, sebum is mainly for clearing the hair follicle (Rudh, 2011), while the cuticle of dermal tissue serves the aforementioned purpose of retaining water (Bishop).

2) Vellus hair catches bacteria to reduce the chance of infection (Milady's standard cosmetology, 2008), while trichomes, as I mentioned, reflect light and are also, sometimes, a protection from predators.

3) Human pores release waste products through sweat (Milady's standard cosmetology, 2008), stomata only release water .

4) Human integument is a sensory surface where dermal tissue does not as there is no vascular plant-equivalent to a nervous system (Alters & Alters, 2008).

5) Human integument is elastic, therefore, it expands and contracts according to movement, whereas dermal tissue is rigid (Alters & Alters, 2008).

6) Human integument has the ability to regulate temperature and produce vitamin D, which indirectly aids bone development, while vascular plants temperature and food source rely wholly on the sun (Alters & Alters, 2008).

Alters, B., & Alters, S. (2008).Biology: understanding life. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Bishop, T. (n.d.). Virtual lab: plant transpiration. Retrieved from

(2008). Milady's standard cosmetology textbook . New York, NY: Milad'ys Publishing Corporation.

Rudh, A. (2011, January 3).Sebaceous glands- location, functions and pictures. Retrieved from

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