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Biology Unit 1 Module 3

Module 3: Reproductive Biology

1. Asexual Reproduction and Vegetative Propagation

 Explain the term asexual reproduction
 Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of asexual reproduction
 Explain the principles and the importance of vegetative propagation are exemplified by
the use of cuttings and tissue culture
 Discuss the genetic consequences of asexual reproduction
2. Sexual Reproduction in the Flowering Plant
 Describe the structure of the anther and the formation of pollen grains
 Describe the structure of the ovule and the formation of the embryo sac
 Make Drawings of the anther and embryo sac from prepared slides
 Explain how cross-fertilisation is promoted
 Discuss the genetic consequences of sexual reproduction
 Explain the sequence of events form pollination to fertilization
 Explain the significance of double fertilization in the embryo sac
 Discuss the development of the seed and the fruit from the embryo sac and its contents,
the ovule and the ovary
3. Sexual Reproduction in Humans
 Describe the structure and function of the male and female reproductive systems
 Make drawings from prepared slides of the mammalian ovary and testis
 Explain gametogenesis
 Compare the structure of the ovum and the sperm
 Discuss how the structure of the ovum and the sperm suit their functions
 Explain how hormones regulate gametogenesis
 Discuss the importance of hormones in the control of the menstrual cycle
 Describe how and where fertilization and implantation normally occur
 Discuss how knowledge of human reproductive anatomy and physiology has been
applied to the development of contraceptive methods
 Explain the structure and functions of the placenta
 Discuss the functions of the amnion
 Discuss the possible effects of maternal behavior on foetal development

2017 May /June #3

a) An experiment is conducted to investigate the effects of tope of culture medium and sucrose
concentration on the pollen germination rate of a species of palm. Pollen grains are collected from
newly opened flowers of the same bunch on the same day. The grains are inoculated into two types
of medium: a liquid culture medium and a solid culture medium. The solid culture medium consists
of different concentrations of sucrose in agar. The liquid medium is similar to the solid medium with
respect to the sucrose concentrations but does not contain agar. The results of the investigation are
given in Table 3.

%Pollen Germination
Sucrose Concentration (g l ) Liquid Culture Medium Solid Culture Medium
0 51 27
20 52 39
40 73 87
60 50 57
80 41 66
100 0 41

i. On the grid provided in Figure 4, plot line graphs for the data given in Table 3. (4)
Figure 4. Effects of culture medium and sucrose concentration on pollen germination.
ii. Briefly describe the overall trend for the effect of different concentrations, in both culture
media, on the germination rate of the pollen. (2)
iii. Based on the results shown in Table 3, what can be deduced about the effect of the type of
culture medium on the maximum rate of pollen germination? (2)
b) Figure 5 is a drawing of a section through a human placenta in situ

i. Identify and describe the main function of EACH of the structures labelled I, II and III. (3)
ii. Comment on TWO roles of the structure labelled Y in the development of the foetus. (2)
iii. Outline TWO ways in which the placenta acts as a protective barrier for the developing foetus.

2017 May/June #6

a) Giving examples, discuss TWO advantages of vegetative propagation of plants. (5)

b) Discuss two genetic consequences of sexual reproduction. (4)
c) Describe the development of fruit and seed structures from floral structures after
fertilization. (6)

2016 May/June # 3

a) Figure 2 is a photomicrograph showing a cross section of a mature anther

Figure2.Photomicrograph of a mature anther

Make a plan drawing of the anther in Figure 2. Use annotated labels to identify TWO tissues. (6)
b) Figure 3 is a diagram of a section through the placenta with the umbilical vein.

i. Identify the structures labelled A,B and C and indicate whether EACH is of foetal or
maternal origin.Write your answers in the following table.(3)
Label Name of Structure Foetal or Maternal Origin
ii. Outline TWO functions of the placenta (2)
iii. Comment on the importance of the amnion during foetal development. In your
comment, give TWO effects of reduced levels of the amniotic fluid. (4)

2016 May/June #6
a) Spore production is one type of asexual reproduction seen in fungi.
i. Using an example with which you are familiar, given an account of the process involved
in this type of asexual reproduction. (5)
ii. Fungi can also produce offspring by sexual reproduction. Discuss the conditions under
which asexual reproduction is more advantageous than sexual reproduction. (3)
b) Gonadal hormones coordinate activities of the ovary and uterus in human females. Give a brief
description of the THREE main phases in the uterine cycle and for EACH phase comment on the
role of gonadal hormones. Include the names of the gonadal hormones. (7)
2015 May/June #3
a) Table 2 is an incomplete comparison of some features of a human ovum with some features of a
TABLE 2: Comparison of features of ovum and spermatozoon
Feature Ovum Spermatozoon
Size Can be seen with naked eye
about 0.1 mm to 0.2 mm in

Shape Elongated

Overall Structure Not divided into distinct

regions, surrounded by zona
pellucida and follicle cells.

Motility Cannot move by itself.

Food Reserves No food reserves

Metabolic Activity Inactive, does not absorb or

release substances

i. Complete Table 2 by writing the missing information in the relevant spaces in the
ii. With reference to a specific function of the human ovum, discuss how its structure is
suited to the stated function.(3)
b) Figure 4 is a diagram of a cross section of a fertilized ovule of a flowering plant.
i. On figure 4, indicate, using an arrow labelled X, the structure which will develop a
radicle and plumule.(1)
ii. Identify the structure labelled Y and explain its role in the developing embryo.
 Identity of Y:
 Role: (2)
iii. An orange is described as a fleshy fruit. Name the part a flowering plant which develops
into a fleshy fruit after the ovule has been fertilized. Comment on the importance of the
fruit such as an orange in the life cycle of a flowering plant.(3)
2015 May/June #6
a) (i) Explain TWO mechanisms for the promotion of cross-fertilization in plants(4)
(ii) Evaluate the genetic consequences of self-fertilization and cross-fertilization in plants. (7)
b) Starting with contact of sperm cells with follicle cells of the oocyte, outline the process of
fertilization in the human reproductive system. (4)

2013 May/June #3

a) Figure 3 is a photomicrograph of a cross section of a seminiferous tubule and Figure 4 shows a

part of the tubule.
i. Make a detailed labelled drawing of the region highlighted by box X in Figure 4 B.

ii. Using Figure 3 or Figure 4 as a guide outline the key development stages of spermatozoa
within the seminiferous tubule. (3)
b) An experiment is conducted to investigate the effect of sucrose concentration on the
germination of pollen grains for a particular plant species. The results are show in Figure 5.
i. Briefly describe the results of this experiment shown in Figure 5.(2)
ii. Explain the significance of this response for the pollination process .(4)

2014 May/June #6

(a) (i) Explain why vegetative propagation is NOT considered a form of sexual reproduction.
Include in your explanation a brief definition of ‘vegetative propagation’. (3)
(ii) Comment on why vegetative propagation is especially beneficial to agriculturists and
horticulturists. Limit your commentary to FOUR main point.(4)
(b) (i) Give a concise explanation of how combined oral contraceptives work to prevent
pregnancy. (3)
(ii) A young, recently married couple seeks advice at a family planning clinic. The 23-year-old
female explains that her last normal menstrual cycle started two weeks ago and they both
confirm that they have not engaged in sexual intercourse since then. She would like to begin
using combined oral contraceptives immediately, as she has been advised that there are no
medical reasons which prevent her from using this form of contraception.
Suggest what advice should be given to the couple about the most appropriate way to use
combined oral contraceptives. Include in your account, justification of your advice in relation to
the physiological details provided by the couple and your knowledge of the menstrual cycle. (5)

2013 May/June #3
a) Table 4 is an incomplete table comparing the process of spermatogenesis with that of oogenesis.
Table 4: Comparison of the process of spermatogenesis and oogenesis
Feature Spermatogenesis Oogenesis
Number of meiotic daughter
cells which develop into
mature gametes
Duration of the process
(mitotic of stem cells and
spermatogonia/oogonia) in
the life span of the individual

i. Complete Table 4 with respect to the features listed for spermatogenesis and oogenesis
in humans. (3)
ii. Outline the roles of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) in
the regulation of spermatogenesis. (3)
b) Figure 3 is a representation of a photomicrograph of a stained section through a human ovary
showing developing ova.

Make a plan drawing of the ovary to include the stage of the developing ovum just prior to release from
the ovary. (6)

c) Figure 4 is a diagram of a section through a carpel of an angiosperm plant showing the process of
double fertilization.
Comment on the fate of the structure labelled X and the structure labelled Y, which includes the ovule
walls and the embryo sac and its contents. (3)

2013 May/June #6

(a) (i) Give a concise description of the key stages in the fertilization of a human secondary oocyte by a
spermatozoon. Begin your account with the acrosome reaction. (5)

(ii) Briefly comment on the significance of the process of fertilization. (2)

(b) (i) Describe TWO major functions of the placenta. (4)

(ii) Discuss TWO ways in which maternal behaviour can affect foetal development. (4)

2012 May/June #3

(a) Figure 4 is an incomplete diagrammatic representation of the stages in the development of an

embryo sac.
Figure 4. Stages in the development of an embryo sac

(i) Complete Figure 4 to show the missing stages in the boxes labelled A and B. (2)

(ii) Use an arrow labelled C to indicate on Figure 4 where meiosis occurs during the development of the
embryo sac. (1)

(iii)Use an arrow labelled D to indicate the location of the female gamete on Figure 4. (1)

(iv) Angiosperms and mammals both produce haploid gametes. Comment on TWO OTHER ways in which
sexual reproduction in angiosperms and mammals may be similar. (4)

(b) Figure 5 is a diagrammatic representation of a section of the placenta of a mammal.

(i) Identify the structures labelled A, B, C, D, and E in Figure 5.(5)
(ii) Comment on the MAIN function of the structure labelled E.(2)

2012 May/June #6

(a) (i) Distinguish between ‘binary fission’ and ‘budding’. (4)

(ii) Discuss ONE advantage and ONE disadvantage of asexual reproduction. (4 )

(b) (i) Outline the sequence of events that leads from germination of a pollen grain to double
fertilization in flowering plants. (5)

(ii) Briefly comment on the significance of double fertilization in the life cycle of a flowering
plant. (2)

2011 May/June #3
(a) Figure 2 is a schematic diagram of a human male reproductive system.
(i) Identify the structures labelled A, B and C in Figure 2.(3)
(ii) State the function of EACH of the structures labelled X and Y. (2)

(b) Figure 3 is a drawing of a mature human spermatozoon.

(i) Calculate the actual length of the spermatozoon. Show the steps in your calculation.(3)
(ii) With reference to Figure 3, describe TWO ways in which a mature spermatozoon differs
from an ovum.(2)
(i) In the box below, draw and label a plan diagram of the section shown in Figure 4 as
identified by the two lines in the lower part of the figure. Make your drawing two times
the actual size of the section highlighted.(4)
(ii) Name the next stage in the development of the highlighted section in Figure 4.(1)

2011 May/June #6
(a) (i) Define the term ‘vegetative propagation’.(2)

(ii) Discuss FOUR advantages and THREE disadvantages of using tissue culture as a method of vegetative
propagation. (7)

(b) (i)Distinguish between the terms ‘pollination’ and ‘fertilization’. (2)

(ii) Describe TWO reproductive strategies used by plants to promote cross-fertilization. (4)