Organ system

An organ system is a biological system consisting of a group of organs that work together to perform one or more functions. Each organ has a specialized role in a plant or animal body, and is made up of distinct tissues.


Root and shoot systems in a eudicot

Plants have two major organ systems. Vascular plants have two distinct organ systems: a shoot system, and a root system. The shoot system consists stems, leaves, and the reproductive parts of the plant (flowers and fruits). The shoot system generally grows above ground, where it absorbs the light needed for photosynthesis. The root system, which supports the plants and absorbs water and minerals, is usually underground.[1]

Organ systemDescriptionComponent organs
Root systemanchors plants into place, absorbs water and minerals, and stores carbohydratesroots
Shoot systemstem for holding and orienting leaves to the sun as well as transporting materials between roots and leaves, leaves for photosynthesis, and flowers for reproduction stem, leaves, and flowers


Other animals have similar organ systems to humans although simpler animals may have fewer organs in an organ system or even fewer organ systems.


Nervous system in a human body

There are 11 distinct organ systems in human beings,[2] which form the basis of human anatomy and physiology. The 11 organ systems include the respiratory system, digestive and excretory system, circulatory system, urinary system, integumentary system, skeletal system, muscular system, endocrine system, lymphatic system, nervous system, and reproductive systems. There are other systems in the body that are not organ systems. For example, the Immune system protects the organism from infection, but it is not an organ system as it is not composed of organs. Some organs are in more than one system. For example, the nose is in both the respiratory system and also is a sensory organ in the nervous system. The testes and ovary are both part of the reproductive systems and endocrine systems.

Organ systemDescriptionComponent organs
Respiratory systembreathing: exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxidehuman nose, human mouth, paranasal sinuses, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, lungs and thoracic diaphragm.
Digestive system /excretory systemdigestion: breakdown and absorption of nutrients, excretion of solid wasteshuman teeth, tongue, salivary glands, esophagus, stomach, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, small intestine, large intestine, rectum and anus
Circulatory system /cardiovascular/vascularcirculate blood in order to transport nutrients, waste, hormones, O2, CO2, and aid in maintaining pH and temperatureblood, heart, arteries, veins, capillaries
Urinary system /Renal/urinary tractmaintain fluid and electrolyte balance, purify blood and excrete liquid waste (urine)kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra
Integumentary systemexterior protection of body and thermal regulationskin, hair, exocrine glands, fat, and nails
Skeletal systemstructural support and protection, production of blood cellsbones, cartilage, ligaments and tendons.
Muscular systemmovement of body, production of heatskeletal muscles, smooth muscles and cardiac muscle
Endocrine systemcommunication within the body using hormones made by endocrine glandshypothalamus, pituitary, pineal gland, thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal glands, ovaries, testes
Lymphatic systemreturn lymph to blood stream, aid immune responses, form white blood cellslymph, lymph nodes, lymph vessels, tonsils, spleen, thymus
Nervous systemsensing and processing information, controlling body activitiesbrain, spinal cord, nerves, sensory organs and the following sensory systems (nervous sub-systems): visual system, Olfactory system, taste (gustatory system), hearing (auditory system)
Reproductive systemsex organs involved in reproductionovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, vagina, mammary glands, penis, testes, vas deferens, seminal vesicles and prostate

See also


  1. Hillis, David M.; Sadava, David; Hill, Richard W.; Price, Mary V. (2014). "The plant body". Principles of Life (2nd ed.). Sunderland, Mass.: Sinauer Associates. pp. 521–536. ISBN 978-1464175121.
  2. Wakim, Suzanne; Grewal, Mandeep (August 8, 2020). "Human Organs and Organ Systems". Retrieved October 7, 2020.
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