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The Seed: Structure

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Abstract

The seed functions as the reproductive unit of the Spermatophyta (seed plants), and links the successive generations. Other important seed functions concern dispersal and survival under cold, dry or other inclement conditions. There is an immense diversity in the internal and external structure of seeds. These differences are, to an appreciable extent, related to dispersal and germination strategies, and may involve the size and position of endosperm and embryo, structure, texture, and color of seed-coat, and the shape and dimensions of the seed as a whole. The minute seeds of orchids may weigh as little as 0,000002 g each. The seeds of the legume Mora oleifera are possibly the heaviest, and the weight of each exceeds 1,000 g, whereas a one-seeded fruit of the palm Lodoicea maldivica weighs more than 20,000 g. The seed consists of three components: embryo, endosperm (sometimes perisperm), and seed-coat. Both endosperm and embryo are the products of double fertilization, whereas the seed-coat develops from the maternal, ovular tissues. The seed habit is a significant advancement in the evolution of higher plants. Seed plants show several evolutionary advantages over spore-producing plants. Fertilization takes place within the protective tissues of the mother plant, and during its development the embryo is nourished by the mother plant. Besides, the embryo is covered by the protective seed-coat and often provided with storage material. These factors made the seed plants so successful that they became the dominant component in the terrestrial environments of the earth.

Keywords

  • Mature Seed
  • Seed Type
  • Fruit Wall
  • Seed Appendage
  • Ovular Tissue

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Boesewinkel, F.D., Bouman, F. (1984). The Seed: Structure. In: Johri, B.M. (eds) Embryology of Angiosperms. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-69302-1_12

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