Definition: What are Mesophyll Cells?

Essentially, mesophyll cells space highly distinguished cells that comprise the mesophyll layer uncovered in tree leaves. In the pipeline of dicotyledonous plants, this great is composed of two species of cells, namely, the spongy and also palisade cells. These cells likewise house chloroplasts hence making the mesophyll the website of photosynthesis.

Some the the main qualities include:


Located between the upper and also lower epidermisMake increase the mass of the inner tissue that leavesVary in shapeForm a type of floor tissue



* the word mesophyll comes from two Greek words; mesos, which means middle and also phyllo definition leaf.

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* conversely, the mesophyll tissue is created of 2 layers of cell (spongy and also palisade cells), the mesophyll organization in monocots is mostly composed the isodiametric cell (cells that show up spherical or polyhedral in shape).


Origin that Mesophyll Cells

Essentially, mesophyll cells make up the interior mesophyll tissue of a leaf. Here, these cells consist of the cortex mostly composed of parenchyma cells.

In vascular plants, the mesophyll layer, being a ground tissue, is the product that a team of cells well-known as soil meristematic cells which room themselves produced by cells of the apical meristem.

In plants, a team of cells situated in the meristem (meristematic tissue) act together stem cells uncovered in animals. Together such, they division to give rise to cell that identify to do various functions in plants.

When cell of the soil meristem divide and also differentiate, they might be identified into a variety of tissues consisting of the cortex, pith and also pith rays. In the leaves, they provide rise to the parenchyma cells of the mesophyll great (palisade and also spongy mesophyll cells) that are involved in photosynthesis.

This might be represented as follows:Location

In bespeak to clearly understand the location and arrangement that mesophyll cells, it"s crucial to look at the basic structure that a leaf.

A sheet is comprised of a variety of tissues that incorporate the epidermis, the mesophyll layer, and also the vascular tissue.

The epidermis created of epidermal cells is the outer many layer that covers the upper (adaxial) and also lower (abaxial) surface ar of the leaf. When the epidermis is a separate tissue native the various other two, the acts together a safety layer that regulates material that enter or leaving the cell.

The mesophyll (ground tissue) is located between the upper and lower epidermis. Here, and particularly in dicots, the mesophyll is written of two species of cell that include the palisade parenchyma cells located just below the epidermis and also the spongy parenchyma cell that are located listed below the palisade cells and above the lower epidermis.

The vascular tissue, ~ above the other hand, is located in the mesophyll layer wherein they are associated in the movement of material to the cells. The mesophyll layer, consisting of mesophyll cells, is because of this sandwiched between the upper and also lower epidermis with the vascular bundles (xylem and phloem) running between its cells.

While the two species of cells form the mesophyll layer, they differ in morphology and serve different functions.

Cross ar of a leaf by Kelvinsong - own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,


As currently mentioned, the mesophyll layer is written of two types of cells. 

These include:


Palisade Cells 


Palisade cells are component of the cell that jointly make up the mesophyll organization in plant leaves. This class (palisade layer) is located beneath the upper epidermis and is written of cell that space columnar/cylindrical in shape.

In enhancement to a nucleus, few of the other crucial organelles of palisade cells encompass a cell membrane, a huge vacuole, chloroplasts and a cabinet membrane amongst a few others. In between the cell (palisade cell are typically arranged in a vertical manner come each other beneath the epidermis) are slight separations that permit various products to flow.

The structure and also arrangement of palisade cells in the mesophyll organization plays a an important role in photosynthesis. Due to the fact that of their form (elongated and also cylindrical) palisade cell contain countless chloroplasts Palisade cell contain 70 percent of all chloroplasts. This is not just made feasible by the form of the cells, but likewise by the fact that compared to the other mesophyll cells, palisade cells space arranged in nearby proximity to each other.

In enhancement to this features, palisade cell are additionally well positioned to absorb much more light compelled for photosynthesis. As currently mentioned, palisade cell are located beneath the epidermis, i m sorry is chin a slim layer that cells. This permits palisade cell to absorb as much as is necessary for the process of photosynthesis.

The structure/morphology of palisade cells is also beneficial for chloroplasts, and also thus come photosynthesis is a variety of ways.

These include:


Chloroplast movement - Light conditions have been shown to induce the movement of chloroplast in a cell. In problems where the amount of light easily accessible is short (low irradiate conditions) chloroplasts move to and accumulate follow me the cell wall surface so the they space perpendicular come the occurrence rays. 

When the lot of irradiate is as well high, they have actually been shown to move to regions of the cell so that they space not overly exposed. The volume of chloroplastic to move (moved by details structural proteins) within the cabinet is made possible by the truth that the elongated shape of palisade cells provide sufficient room because that them to relocate and readjust their place with changes in irradiate intensity.


Large vacuole - back the shape of palisade cells permits them to move when need be, the large vacuole situated at the main part that the cabinet restricts chloroplasts to the area follow me the cabinet membrane. This ensures that light easily reaches the chloroplasts because that photosynthesis to take place.

Spongy Mesophyll Cells

Cells of the spongy mesophyll tissue are located below the palisade tissue and over the lower epidermis. Compared to the cells of the palisade layer, those that the spongy layer space spherical in shape or might be irregularly shame (isodiametric) in part plants. These cells are additionally loosely packed which leaves a lot of spaces between the cells.


When viewed under the microscope, there are between 4 and also 6 great of spongy mesophyll cells that lie listed below the palisade cells. Prefer palisade cells, spongy mesophyll cells also contain such organelles as a nucleus, a vacuole, a cabinet membrane and also chloroplasts amongst a few others.

The variety of chloroplasts in these cells, however, is less contrasted to the number of chloroplasts discovered in palisade cells. Apart from the normal organelles in these cells, few of the spongy cells in pipeline have also been presented to contain crystal inclusions in your vacuoles.

Whether in palisade or spongy cells, mesophyll cells that contain decision inclusion (e.g. Druse crystals) space shorter/smaller contrasted to the various other cells in this region of the leaf.


* The thickness of the spongy parenchyma is between 1.5 and also 2 times that of palisade tissue.


Depending top top the form of plant, there are three variations of the spongy parenchyma:


Typical spongy parenchyma cellsPalisade-like spongy cellsAerenchymatous spongy cells


Although spongy mesophyll cells execute not save as numerous chloroplasts together those discovered in palisade cells, the nature that their arrangement plays crucial role in photosynthesis. This is because being loose packed boosts gas exchange during photosynthesis.

The fine range structure of a leaf featuring the significant tissues through Zephyris - very own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Function: mechanism in Photosynthesis

Palisade Cells


Palisade cells room a type of parenchyma cells the contain most of the chloroplasts in plant leaves. Given that castle are located beneath the upper epidermis, palisade cells are well positioned to absorb light required for photosynthesis. 

In addition, their ar ensures that carbon dioxide forced for photosynthesis does not have to travel a lengthy distance to with the chloroplast. 

As well, gift located listed below the upper epidermis, which allows light, water, and gases to reach the cell easily, there space narrow spaces in between the cells that ensure a big surface area of contact in between the entire cell and also air.


* The slim cell wall surface of palisade cells also enables gases to diffuse with with ease.


Because the the conditions noted by palisade cells, chloroplasts, located within this cells, room able come easily access the important material required for photosynthesis to take place. 

Here, the photosynthesis pigment well-known as chlorophyll in chloroplasts absorbs offered wavelengths of irradiate which in turn carry out the power required because that the photosynthesis reaction wherein carbon dioxide and water are supplied to produce a sugar molecule and oxygen.

Spongy Cells


Like palisade cells, spongy cells additionally contain part chloroplasts. Therefore, some level of photosynthesis additionally takes ar in these cells. Unlike palisade cells, however, spongy cells are located deeper in the leaf below the top epidermis and the palisade tissue.

With regards to photosynthesis, this is a disadvantage given that irradiate does not penetrate to this region easily. Together a result, spongy cells do not receive sufficient sunlight required for photosynthesis to take place ideally.

Although spongy cells room not fine suited for photosynthesis processes, their setup are best for gas exchange. As previously mentioned, spongy cells space loosely packed over the lower epidermis. This creates big spaces between the cells which is appropriate for gas exchange.

Small openings situated on the epidermis permit such gases together carbon dioxide to go into the leaf and also reach the mesophyll cells. Top top the other hand, photosynthetic procedures in the mesophyll result in the production of oxygen.

The loose packed cells (spongy cells) in this region of the cell permit these gases to be exchanged where oxygen is released while carbon dioxide is provided for photosynthesis.


* In spongy cells, photosynthesis wake up at high irradiate intensities.


Using an electron microscope, it"s feasible to no only plainly observe mesophyll cells, but also the design of the thylakoid membrane. However, because that the functions of observing mesophyll cells, a light microscope is sufficient.




Cassava corkMicroscope - compound microscopeAlcohol -30 percent, 50 percent, 70 percent, and 96 percentSafranin-OYoung leafPreservation fluid (consisting that 70 percent alcohol and also glycerin)




With assorted samples, a vibratome is provided for cut in order to acquire thin part that have the right to be viewed under the microscope. However, through some samples, such as really thin leaves, alternate approaches might be provided to reduced in order to attain the thinnest needed.

· For thin leaves, one of the methods argued involves making use of cassava corks come hold and also thus reduced the sample. Here, a young, slim cassava stem is very first cleaned and dried (under the sun or in the oven). A tiny leaf sample (1cm sq) is then reduced out and also inserted in between the sliced cassava cork so that the sample is held between the sliced cork - Here, it"s important to ensure the the cassava cork have the right to fit in the feet of the mini microtome.

· Insert the cassava cork (with the sample organized in in between the sliced part) right into the feet of the microtome and also using the blade, cut the cork in order to acquire several transversal slices - try to obtain really thin slices (almost transparent).

· Using a clean needle of the tip of a paint brush, closely collect the section - the fresh section might be attached come the blade.

· Using a graded series of alcohol, dehydrate the sections obtained - 30 percent, 50 percent, 70 percent and 96 percent alcohol each for about fifty percent a minute.

· Remove the sample from the alcohol and ensure that all the alcohol has actually drained off.

· Place the sample in a mixture the 70 percent alcohol and glycerin (this is a conservation liquid) - This mixture may likewise contain together stains as 1 percent Safranin-O.

· Place the slide on a clean glass slide and also cover utilizing a clean cover slip - In the occasion that the sample is dry, a few drops the the conservation liquid may be included to avoid dehydration.



When regarded under the microscope, well prepared slices will display preserved mesophyll cells. Here, the epidermis will appear thin and also darker when spongy cell will show up scattered below well arranged palisade cells.

Return to tree Biology overview

Return to Leaf structure under the Microscope 

See likewise info top top Meristem cell of plants and Transgenic Plants

Return to Plastids

Return come Chloroplasts

Return come learning about Guard Cells

Return to Organelles - Animal and Plant

Return to web page on Autotrophs

Return indigenous Mesophyll Cells page to home


David S. Shatelet, et al. (2013). The evolution of photosynthetic Anatomy in Viburnum (Adoxaceae). Chicago Journals. 


D. Metusala. (2017). An alternate simple method for preparing and also preserving cross-section that leaves and also roots in herbaceous plants: situation study in Orchidaceae. 


Eiji Gotoh, et al. (2017). Palisade cell shape afects the lightinduced chloroplastic movements and also leaf photosynthesis. Scientific Reports.

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J.V. Valve Greuning, P.J. Robbertse and N. Grobbelaar. (1984). The taxonomic worth of leaf anatomy in the genus Ficus.


Keith Roberts. (2008). Handbook of tree Science, Volume 1.


Nobuo Chonan. (1978). A comparative Anatomy of Mesophyll amongst the leaves of Gramineous Crops. Faculty of Agriculture, Ibaraki University.