Sexual Plant Reproduction

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 3–5 | Cite as

Double-fertilization, from myths to reality

  • Frédéric BergerEmail author

Flowering plants have evolved a complex fertilization mechanism involving two male and two female gametes. Double fertilization produces the embryo and the endosperm, which protects the embryo and regulates trophic interactions between the embryo and the mother. Since the discovery of double fertilization at the end of the ninetieth century by Guignard (1899) and Nawaschin (1898), this unique reproductive process has remained rather enigmatic. Direct cytological observations are difficult as the dynamic interactions between relatively small gametes takes place deep in the surrounding maternal tissues. Only in the mid-1960s, electron microscopists revealed that both male and female gametes are devoid of cell wall, allowing gamete interaction and fusion (Jensen 1965; Jensen and Fisher 1968). These cytological descriptions were repeated in various species and accompanied by a significant body of experimental data gathered from mainly two types of experimental approaches. The design of...


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, 1 research LinkNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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