Related topics: plants · e coli

When plant roots learned to follow gravity

Highly developed seed plants evolved deep root systems that are able to sense Earth's gravity. The how and when of this evolutionary step has, until now, remained unknown. Plant biologists at the Institute of Science and ...

Little helpers for the rainforest

Tropical rainforests store large quantities of carbon dioxide, produce oxygen and provide habitats for many animal and plant species. If these ecosystems, which are so important for the global climate and biodiversity, are ...

Plant nutrient detector breakthrough

Findings from La Trobe University-led research could lead to less fertiliser wastage, saving millions of dollars for Australian farmers.

Grazing animals drove domestication of grain crops

Many familiar grains today, like quinoa, amaranth, millets, hemp and buckwheat, have traits that indicate that they co-evolved for dispersion by large grazing mammals. During the Pleistocene, massive herds directed the ecology ...

The case of the poisoned songbirds

Researchers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Wildlife Investigations Laboratory present their results from a toxicological investigation into a mortality event involving songbirds in a new publication ...

Novel watermelon rootstock knocks out disease and pests

A new watermelon line, developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Clemson University scientists, gets to the root of the problem of a major disease and pest of watermelon crops in the southern United States.

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Seed

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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