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Seeds

Biology Of Seeds, Dissemination Of Seeds, Seeds As Food, Other Uses Of SeedsUses of seeds

Seeds are the products of the sexual reproduction of plants, and for this reason the genetic information of seeds is influenced by both of the parents. Sexual reproduction is important for two reasons. The first involves the prevention of the loss of potentially important genetic information, a process that occurs when non-sexual means of propagation are prevalent. The other benefit of sexual reproduction is associated with the provision of new genetic combinations upon which natural selection acts, so that species continue to evolve populations that are favorably adapted to a dynamically changing environment.

Plants have evolved various mechanisms for the dissemination of their seeds, so that new plants can be established at some distance from their parent. The dispersal of seeds is important in expanding the range of plant species, especially if species are to take advantage of habitat opportunities that may be created by disturbances and other ecological processes.

The seeds of some plant species are important to humans, as sources of food, while other seeds are important as raw materials for the manufacture of industrial chemicals, and other products.

The seeds of some species of plants are extremely important for human welfare. In some cases, this is because the seeds (or the fruits that contain them) are used as a source of food, but there are some other important uses of seeds as well.

Seeds Biology Of Seeds, Dissemination Of Seeds, Seeds As Food, Other Uses Of SeedsUses of seeds Seeds are the products of the sexual reproduction of plants, and for this reason the genetic

Seeds

Other Uses Of Seeds

The seeds of some plants have other uses, including serving as resources for the manufacturing of industrial chemicals, such as grain alcohol (ethanol), derived from a fermentation of the seeds of corn, wheat, or some other plants. The seeds of some plants are used as attractive decorations, as is the case of the Job’s tears (Coix lachryma-jobi), a grass that produces large, white, shiny seeds that are used to make attractive necklaces and other decorations, often dyed in various attractive colors.

Resources

Books

Judd, Walter S., Christopher Campbell, Elizabeth A. Kellogg, Michael J. Donoghue, and Peter Stevens. Plant Systematics: A Phylogenetic Approach. 2nd ed. with CD-ROM. Suderland, MD: Sinauer, 2002.

Klein, R.M. The Green World: An Introduction to Plants and People. New York: Harper & Row, 1987.

Periodicals

White, J.A., et al. “Expressed Sequence Tags From Developing Seeds. The Metabolic Pathway From Carbohydrates to Seed Oil.” Plant Physiology 124 (December 2000): 1582-1594.

KEY TERMS

—Plants in which male and female flowers occur on separate plants.

—Here, this referring to the spreading of propagules outward from their point of origin, as when seeds disperse away from their parent plant, using wind or an animal vector.

Germination

—The beginning of growth of a seed.

—Referring to cases in which individual plants are bisexual, having both staminate and pistillate floral parts.

Perfect flowers

—Referring to cases in which individual flowers are bisexual, having both staminate and pistillate organs.

Pollination

—The transfer of pollen from its point of origin (that is, the anther of the stamen) to the receptive surface of the pistil (i.e., the stigma) of the same species.

Scarification

—The mechanical or chemical abrasion of a hard seedcoat in order to stimulate or allow germination to occur.

—The population of viable seeds that occurs in the surface organic layer and soil of an ecosystem, especially in forests.

—A process of ecological change, involving the progressive replacement of earlier communities with others over time, and generally beginning with the disturbance of a previous type of ecosystem.

Seeds Other Uses Of Seeds The seeds of some plants have other uses, including serving as resources for the manufacturing of industrial chemicals, such as grain alcohol ( ethanol ), derived ]]>