Difference Between Apical Bud and Axillary Bud

The main difference between apical bud and axillary bud is that apical bud is the dominant embryonic shoot located in the apex whereas axillary bud is an embryonic shoot located in the axil of the leaf, which is dormant. Furthermore, apical bud allows the plant to grow taller but, axillary buds allow branching, giving a bushy growth.

Apical bud and axillary bud are the two types of embryonic shoot in the stem of dicot plants. Apical bud is called the terminal bud while axillary bud is called the lateral bud. Both monocot and dicot plants contain an apical bud at the topmost part of the shoot made up of apical meristem. Only dicots consist of axillary buds, which remain dormant under the influence of the apical bud.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is the Apical Bud
     – Definition, Structure, Function
2. What is an Axillary Bud
     – Definition, Structure, Function
3. What are the Similarities Between Apical and Axillary Bud
     – Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Apical and Axillary Bud
     – Comparison of Key Difference

Key Terms

Apical Bud, Apical Dominance, Auxin, Axillary Bud, Embryonic Shoot, Lateral Bud, Terminal Bud

Difference Between Apical Bud and Axillary Bud - Comparison Summary

What is the Apical Bud

The apical bud refers to the primary growing point at the top of the plant. It is also called the terminal bud. Also, it is the main growing area of a plant. The special tissue found in the apical bud is the apical meristem. It divides by mitosis to produce new cells in order to increase the height of the plant. 

Difference Between Apical Bud and Axillary Bud

Figure 1: Apical Bud and Axillary Bud

Apical bud produces a plant hormone called auxin, which inhibits the growth of the axillary bud in a process called apical dominance.

What is an Axillary Bud

Axillary bud is an embryonic shoot located in the axil of a leaf. It is also called the lateral bud. Each axillary bud has the potential to form a shoot that may be vegetative (branch) or reproductive (flowers). Axillary buds exogenously arise from the outer layer of the cortex. Generally, axillary buds remain dormant under the influence of the apical bud of the plant. Axillary buds develop if the plant has a weak apical dominance or the apical bud is removed. Then, the formation of branches are induced and the plant develops a bushy appearance. 

Main Difference - Apical Bud and Axillary Bud

Figure 1: Axillary Bud

Similarities Between Apical Bud and Axillary Bud

  • Apical and axillary bud are the two types of embryonic shoot found in dicots.
  • Both allow the plant to grow.
  • Both consists of unspecialized cells, which divide by mitosis.

Difference Between Apical Bud and Axillary Bud

Definition

Apical Bud: Primary growing point located at the top of the plant

Axillary Bud: An embryonic shoot located in the axil of a leaf

Located

Apical Bud: At the apex

Axillary Bud: At the axil of a leaf

Called as

Apical Bud: Terminal bud

Axillary Bud: Lateral bud

Occur in

Apical Bud: Both monocots and dicots

Axillary Bud: Only in dicots

Made up of

Apical Bud: Apical meristem

Axillary Bud: Axillary meristem

Dominance

Apical Bud: Dominant

Axillary Bud: Remain dormant under the influence of auxin

Function

Apical Bud: Involved in the primary growth of the plant, increasing the height

Axillary Bud: Develops into branches or a cluster of lowers

Conclusion

Apical bud is the dominant bud found in the apex of the plant. Axillary bud is a lateral bud, which remains dormant under the influence of auxin produced by the apical meristem. It allows plants to develop branches. The main difference between apical bud and axillary bud is the location of each bud, their activity, and function.

Reference:

1. “Apical Bud.” Echinocactus Platyacantus, Available Here
2. “What Is an Axillary Bud? – Definition from MaximumYield.” What Is Stem Cutting? – Definition from MaximumYield, Available Here

Image Courtesy:

1. “Apical Cycle” By Doctor Smart – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Searsia angustifolia (Rhus angustifolia) axillary buds 5540″ By JonRichfield – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Lakna

Lakna, a graduate in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, is a Molecular Biologist and has a broad and keen interest in the discovery of nature related things

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