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Saturday, January 21, 2006

How Plants Reproduce

Plants have two methods of reproduction, asexual reproduction and sexual reproduction.

Asexual reproduction is cloning. A piece of a plant may root or sprout and grow into a new plant which is genetically identical with the parent.
  • Sexual reproduction results in a new plant which contains genetic material from two parents, but which is not genetically identical with either one. These new plants may be able to adapt more successfully to environmental changes than their parents could.

To live and multiply on land, plants needed to evolve new structures and methods for reproduction. An important advance was the development of the flower, a structure which allowed widespread scattering of its pollen and yet provided a stable, nurturing environment in the ovary for developing seeds. Pollen could be carried from flower to flower by insects, the wind, or, sometimes, birds.

The seed was another important innovation, as significant for plants as the amniotic egg was for land animals. Seeds would form when the chromosomes of the parents were united in the ovary. A seed is a compact package made of a cell capable of growing into a plant, food to help the plant get started, and, in angiosperms, a seed coat that protected the seed from dehydration and damage in the environment. Properly protected seeds could survive until conditions favored their development. In the deserts today, some seeds may lie dormant for many years until the rains come and provide conditions in which the seeds may germinate and grow into plants. Some seeds also are contained in, or attached to, structures which help the seeds to be carried to other places that may be suitable for them.

Flowering Plants Reproduction

Questions on Plants Reproduction


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