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Kick-starting seagrass for a climate-proof sea

Once upon a time, seagrass meadows of about 150 square kilometers covered the bottom of the Dutch Wadden Sea. Now, seagrasses have all but disappeared, just like in many other places in the world. But these unique saltwater ...

Summer slumber: How seeds go dormant to combat harsh conditions

Plants are highly versatile organisms that have developed remarkable strategies to adapt to different environments. One such strategy is seed dormancy, an adaptation that temporally prevents viable seeds from germinating ...

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A seed ( /ˈsiːd/ (help·info)), referred to as a kernel in some plants, is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant. The formation of the seed completes the process of reproduction in seed plants (started with the development of flowers and pollination), with the embryo developed from the zygote and the seed coat from the integuments of the ovule.

Seeds have been an important development in the reproduction and spread of flowering plants, relative to more primitive plants like mosses, ferns and liverworts, which do not have seeds and use other means to propagate themselves. This can be seen by the success of seed plants (both gymnosperms and angiosperms) in dominating biological niches on land, from forests to grasslands both in hot and cold climates.

The term seed also has a general meaning that predates the above — anything that can be sown i.e. "seed" potatoes, "seeds" of corn or sunflower "seeds". In the case of sunflower and corn "seeds", what is sown is the seed enclosed in a shell or hull, and the potato is a tuber.

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