The upcoming discussion will update you about the difference between Development and Differentiation.
Difference # Development:
Following seed germination, formation of seedling, growth of a plant, flowering and fruiting several changes occur. The changes take place in an orderly fashion beginning with simple structure of the embryo in a seed to the highly complex organization of the mature plant. This is called development. Plant development comprises both growth and differentiation.
Over time and space, growth and differentiation lead to the formation of an organism having metabolic and structural complexity. Development encompasses the activities resulting from growth and differentiation. During plant development there is unfolding of orderly progression of transformations which result in a plant body having specific form and structure.
During development plant received several of the external stimuli which interact with the genetic information to cause changes in metabolic activity and structural organization. Clearly, growth refers to quantitative changes taking place during development and is generally accompanied by changes in form and shape.
Thus, in the life cycle of a plant, the fertilized egg changes from a single cell to a multicellular plant body comprising root, stem and leaves.
Difference # Differentiation:
Differentiation indicates the process which is concerned with the establishment of localized differences in biochemical metabolic activity and in structural organization resulting in new patterns of growth. In fact growth and differentiation are the two pivotal developmental processes in a plant body.
Generally the two processes take place simultaneously during development though in some conditions there may be growth without differentiation, e.g., in a mass of callus cells. Differentiation involves the way in which generally identical cells tend to give rise to different types of cells, tissues and organs in a mature plant.
In a meristematic tissue having same genetic information, some of the cells differentiate into xylem parenchyma, while others differentiate into tracheids, vessels and fibres, inxylem tissue. Thus, at a given time shoot apex gives rise to leaves and then flower is differentiated.
Biochemically speaking cells differentiating into different tissues possess distinctive proteins, enzymes and metabolic pathways. The role of different ions, growth substances, etc. in their differential behaviour may also be responsible. Additionally, temperature and light may also influence differentiation by regulation of protein synthesis.