Difference between Vessels and Tracheids: A Comparison Table


vessels vs tracheids

Vessels vs Tracheids
Similarities and Differences between Vessels and Tracheids

Vessels and tracheids are the components of xylem, the water and minerals conducting tissue in plants. Vessels and tracheids are jointly known as the tracheary elements of the xylem. Even though, both vessels and tracheids show functional similarities, they do possess some striking differences. The present post describes the similarities and differences between vessels and tracheids.

Similarities between Vessels and Tracheids

Ø  Both vessels and tracheids are the components of xylem.

Ø  Both are dead cells at maturity.

Ø  Both can transport water.

Ø  Both possess secondary lignified cell wall.

Ø  Both are present in primary and secondary xylem.

Difference between Vessels and Tracheids

Sl. No.VesselsTracheids
1Vessel is a syncyte, formed by the piling up of many cells.Tracheids are not syncyte, they are individual cells.
2Individual cells (vessel elements) are shorter than tracheids.Cells are longer than vessels.
3Advanced than tracheids.Primitive than vessels.
4Average length is 10 cm.Average length is 1 mm.
5Cells are broader than tracheids.Cells are narrower than vessels.
6Cell lumen is large.Cell lumen is small.
7Cells are circular in cross section.Cells are polygonal in cross section.
8Secondary cell wall is thinner than tracheids.Secondary cell wall is thicker than vessels.
9Vessel cells are with diagonal or transverse end walls.Cells with tapering end walls.
10Vessel elements are connected in an end to end fashion.Tracheids are connected laterally.
11End wall with perforation plate.End wall without perforation plate.
12Vessels usually confined to Angiosperms.Tracheids present in all vascular plants (Pteridophytes, Gymnosperms and Angiosperms).
13Lower surface to volume ration than tracheids.Higher surface to volume ratio than vessels.
14More efficient in water conduction than tracheids.Less efficient in water conduction than vessels.
15Main conductive elements in Angiosperms.Main conductive elements in Pteridophytes and Gymnosperms.
16No role in the prevention of air embolisms in plants. Provide high adhesion force and prevent air embolism in plants.


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