UPSC Biology Reproduction In Plants Plant Reproduction

Plant Reproduction

Category : UPSC

Plant Reproduction



Flowering plants

Flowering plants, the angiosperms, were the last of the seed plant groups to evolve, appearing over 100 million years ago during the middle of the Age of Dinosaurs (late Jurassic). All flowering plants produce flowers and if they are sexually reproductive, they produce a diploid zygote and triploid endosperm.





Flowers are collections of reproductive and sterile tissue arranged in a tight whorled array having very short internodes. Sterile parts of flowers are the sepals and petals. When these are similar in size and shape, they are termed tepals. Reproductive parts of the flower are the stamen (male, collectively termed the androecium) and carpel (often the carpel is referred to as the pistil, the female parts collectively termed the gynoecium).



Pollen grains (from the greek palynos for dust or pollen) contain the male gametophyte (micro gametophyte) phase of the plant. Pollen grains are produced by meiosis of microspore mother cells that are located along the inner edge of the anther sacs (microsporangia). The outer part of the pollen is the exime, which is composed of a complex polysaccharide, sporopollenin. Inside the pollen are two (or, at most, three) cells that comprise the male gametophyte. The tube cell (also referred to as the tube nucleus) develops into the pollen tube. The germ cell divides by mitosis to produce two sperm cells. Division of the germ cell can occur before or after pollination.



The transfer of pollen from the anther to the female stigma is termed pollination. This is accomplished by a variety of methods. Entomophily is the transfer of pollen by an insect. Anemophily is the transfer of pollen by wind. Other pollinators include birds, bats, water, and humans. Some flowers (for example garden peas) develop in such a way as to pollinate themselves. Others have mechanisms to ensure pollination with another flower. Flower color is thought to indicate the nature of pollinator: red petals are thought to attract birds, yellow for bees, and white for moths. Wind pollinated flowers have reduced petals, such as oaks and grasses.



The gynoecium consists of the stigma, style, and ovary containing one or more ovules. These three structures are often termed a pistil or carpel. In many plants, the pistils will fuse for all or part of their length.


The Stigma and Style

The stigma functions as a receptive surface on which pollen lands and germinates its pollen tube. Corn silk is part stigma, part style. The style serves to move the stigma some distance from the ovary. This distance is species specific.


The Ovary

The ovary contains one or more ovules, which in turn contain one female gametophyte, also referred to in angiosperm as the embryo sac. Some plants, such as cherry, have only a single ovary which produces two ovules. Only one ovule will develop into a seed.


Double Fertilization

The process of pollination being accomplished, the pollen tube grows through the stigma and style toward the ovules in the ovary. The germ cell in the pollen grain divides and releases two sperm cells which move down the pollen tube.


Once the tip of the tube reaches the micropyle end of the embryo sac, the tube grows through into the embryo sac through one of the synergies which flank the egg. One sperm cell fuses with the egg, producing the zygote which will later develope into the next-generation sporophyte.


The second sperm fuses with the two polar bodies located in the center of the sac, producing the nutritive triploid endosperm tissue that will provide - energy for the embryo’s growth and development.



The ovary wall, after fertilization has occurred, develops into a fruit. Fruits may be fleshy, hard, multiple or single. Note:- View the Seeds of Life site for illustrations and information about fruits and seeds. Seeds germinate, and the embryo grows into the next generation sporophyte.

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NCERT Summary - Plant Reproduction

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