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Sexual Reproduction in Flowering Plants

Flower is the reproductive organ of angiosperms. It consists of calyx, corolla, androecium and gynoecium.

Pollen Grains

„ Pollen grains are male gametophyte; spherical in shape.

Pre-Fertilization: Structures And Events

„ Hormonal and structural changes initiated lead to differentiation and development of floral primordium.

„ Inflorescences are formed which bear floral buds and then the flowers.

„ Androecium (male reproductive organ) and gynoecium (female reproductive organ) differentiate and develop.

Stamen

Stamen consists of 2 parts:

„ Anther – Terminal bilobed structure.

„ Filament – Long slender stalk. Proximal end of the filament is attached to the thalamus or the petal.

Structure Of Pollen Grain

Pollen grains are made of two-layered wall:

Exine

„ Made

of

known).

sporopollenin

(most

resistant

organic

matter

„ Germ pores- Apertures on exine where sporopollenin is absent; forms pollen tube.

Intine

„ Thin and continuous layer

„ Made of cellulose and pectin

Mature Pollen

Structure Of Anther

A mature pollen grain contains of 2 cells: „ Pollen grains are rich in nutrient.
A mature pollen grain contains of 2 cells:
„ Pollen grains are rich in nutrient.

„ Anther has 2 lobe (bilobed). Each lobe consists of 2 theca. Hence it is dithecous

Vegetative Cell: bigger; abundant food reserve; large irregular nucleus; responsible for the development of pollen grain

„ Anther is a tetragonal structure which consist of 4 micro sporangia located 2 in each lobe.

Generative Cell: small; involved in syngamy; dense cytoplasm and nucleus; pollen grains cause allergy and bronchial afflic- tions; leading to chronic respiratory disorders like asthma, bron- chitis. E.g. Parthenium (carrot grass)

„ Microsporangium develops into pollen sacs.

„ Pollen sacs run longitudinally and contain pollen grains.

Structure Of Microsporangium

A typical microsporangium appears circular in outline. It is surrounded by 4 walls.

„ Epidermis

„ Endothecium

„ Middle layers

„ Tapetum - nourishes the developing pollen grain.

layers „ Tapetum - nourishes the developing pollen grain. „ „ Pollen consumption claimed to increase

„

„ Pollen consumption claimed to increase performance of athletes and race horses.

Pollen tablets and syrup are used as food supplements

Protects and helps in dehiscence of anther.

In some cereals such as rice and wheat, pollen grains lose viability within 30 minutes of their release, and in some members of Rosaceae, Leguminoseae and Solanaceae.

Sporogenous Tissue

„ Compactly arranged homogenous cells which are present at the centre of each microsporangium when the anther is young

Microsporogenesis

„ Process of formation of microspores (tetrad) from pollen mother cell through meiosis.

„ When the anther matures and dehydrates, the microspore dissociate from each other and develop into pollen grains.

„ Thousands of pollen grains formed inside a microsporangium that are released with dehiscence of anther.

Pistil

„ Pistil consists of stigma, style and ovary.

-Stigma: Landing platform for pollen grains

-Style: Elongated slender part

-Ovary: Basal bulged part

„ Gynoecium consists of

- Single pistil: Monocarpellary

- More than 1 pistil: Multicarpellary

Megasporangium (Ovule)

„ Ovule - Small structure attached to placenta.

f Single ovule – Wheat, paddy

◊ Megasporangium (Ovule) „ Ovule - Small structure attached to placenta. f Single ovule – Wheat,

f Many ovules- Papaya, water melons

„ Funicle - Stalk by which ovule is attached to placenta

„ Hilum - Junction between ovule and funicle

„ Integuments - Protective envelopes of ovule

„ Micropyle - Small opening at the tip of ovule into where pollen tube enters

„ Chalaza - Basal part of ovule

„ Nucellus (2n) - Mass of cells enclosed within integuments. Have abundant food reserve.

Megasporogenesis

„ Process of formation of megaspores from megaspore mother cells.

„ Megaspore mother cells divide meiotically to form 4 megaspore (haploid). Out of 4, only 1 megaspore is functional and forms gametophyte and the rest degenerate.

Female Gametophyte (Embryo Sac)

„ Closeness of stigma and anther

„ Chasmogamous flowers- Flowers with exposed anthers and stigma

„ Cleistogamous flowers- Flowers which do not open at all

„ Cleistogamy is disadvantageous because there is no chance of variation.

„ Examples: Oxalis & Viola

Geitonogamy

„ Transfer of pollen grains from anther to stigma ofANOTHER flower of the same plant.

„ Genetically similar

„ Example: Cucurbits

Xenogamy

„ Transfer of pollen grains from anther to stigma of another flower of DIFFERENT plant.

„ The embryo sac develops from the functional megaspore (n).

„ Monosporic Development: Form single megaspore.

Formation of Embryo Sac

„ Nucleus of functional megaspore divides mitotically to form 2 nuclei which move to opposite poles, forming 2-nucleate embryo sac.

„ Two more mitotic nuclear division results in 4-nucleate and later 8- nucleate stages of embryo sac.

„ A typical angiosperm embryo sac, at maturity, is 8-nucleate and 7-celled.

Adaptations in flowers for Pollination

Wind Pollination „ Pollen grains: light, non- sticky, winged „ Anther: well-exposed „ Stigma: large
Wind Pollination
„ Pollen grains: light, non- sticky, winged
„ Anther: well-exposed
„ Stigma: large and feathery
„ Flower: one ovule, arranged as inflorescence
„ Examples: Corn cob, grasses
Water Pollination

Bryophytes, Pteridophytes, Algae

Structure of Embryo Sac

„ Egg apparatus - Present at the micropylar end; consist of 2 synergids and 1 egg cell

„ Synergids have cellular thickenings at micropylar tip called filiform apparatus – guides the pollen tube into the synergid

„ Antipodal- 3 cells present at chalazal end

„ Large central cell- 2 Polar Nuclei

Pollination

The transfer of pollen grains from anther to stigma of a pistil is called pollination. Based on the source of pollen, pollination is of 3 types:

„ Pollen grains: protected from wetting by mucilaginous covering

„ E.g., Fresh water plants: Vallisneria, Hydrilla

Sea-grass- Zostera

„ Produce pollen grains in large number

„ Do not produce nectar

„ Female flower remains submerged in water

„ Pollen grains - long, ribbon-like

„ Carried passively by water currents to reach female flower

Autogamy

„ Geitonogamy

„

„ Xenogamy

Autogamy

Transfer of pollen grains from anther to stigma of the SAME flower.

Vallisneria

„ Female flower- Reach the water surface by long coiled stalk

„ Male flower or pollen grains- Released onto the water surface; carried by water currents; some eventually reach the stigma

Insect Pollination

Requirement:

„ Synchrony in pollen release and stigma receptivity.

„ Flowers: large, colorful, fragrant, rich in nectar

„ Pollen grains and stigma: sticky

◊ Endosperm „ Free nuclear type (common method) „ Cells of endosperm stores food materials
◊ Endosperm „ Free nuclear type (common method) „ Cells of endosperm stores food materials
◊ Endosperm „ Free nuclear type (common method) „ Cells of endosperm stores food materials
◊ Endosperm „ Free nuclear type (common method) „ Cells of endosperm stores food materials
◊ Endosperm „ Free nuclear type (common method) „ Cells of endosperm stores food materials
◊ Endosperm „ Free nuclear type (common method) „ Cells of endosperm stores food materials
◊ Endosperm „ Free nuclear type (common method) „ Cells of endosperm stores food materials
◊ Endosperm „ Free nuclear type (common method) „ Cells of endosperm stores food materials

Endosperm

„ Free nuclear type (common method)

„ Cells of endosperm stores food materials and are used for the nutrition of developing embryo

Embryo

„ Embryogeny – Early stages of embryo development

Zygote Pro-embryo Globular embryo Heart shaped embryo Mature embryo

„ Embryo consists of embryonal axis, cotyledons, plumule and radicle or root tip.

„ Embryos of monocotyledons possess only one cotyledon.

„ Coleorhiza: Undifferentiated sheath covering radical and root cap

„ Coleoptile: Protective sheath of plumule

Seed

„ Fertilised and mature ovule forms seed

Seed consists of seed coat, cotyledon and embryonal axis

Perisperm: Remnants of nucellus E.g. Black pepper and beet

Non-Albuminous/Non-Endospermic seeds- Endosperm is completely utilized before maturation of seeds. E.g.: pea

Albuminous/Endospermic seeds- A portion of endosperm remains in mature seeds. E.g.: castor

Certain rewards to pollinators:

Nectar and edible pollen grains as foods

Provide safe place for laying eggs

E.g. Amorphophallus & Yucca

Outbreeding Devices

Continued self-pollination results in inbreeding depression

Ways to avoid Self-pollination:

„ Pollen release & stigma receptivity – not synchronized

„ Stigma and anther – placed at different positions

„ Self-incompatibility

„ Production of unisexual flowers

f

f

Castor, maize (prevents autogamy)

Papaya (prevents autogamy & geitonogamy)

Pollen – Pistil Interaction

All events from deposition of pollen on stigma till the pollen tube enters the ovule. These are

„ Recognition of compatible pollen

„ Germination of pollen grains

„ Development of Male Gametophyte

Artificial Hybridization: can be achieved by two ways-

„ Emasculation : Removal of anther

„ Bagging : Flower covered by a bag made up of butter paper to prevent contamination of stigma with unwanted pollen.

„ When bagged flower attains receptivity, mature pollen grains are dusted on the stigma, the flowers are rebagged and fruits allowed to develop

Post- fertilization Events

All events that occur in a flower, after double fertilization are called post- fertilization events

Major events are:

„ Development of endosperm

„ Development of embryo

„ Maturation of ovule into seed

„ Maturation of ovary into fruit

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Dormancy: State of inactivity

Fruit

„ Fruit formation from unfertilized ovules: Parthenocarpic fruit: E.g., Banana

„ Fruit formed from the ovary : True fruit

„ Parthenocarpy can be induced by gibberellins & auxins

„ False fruit: Any part other than ovary- forms part of fruit. E.g.: Apple

Apomixis

„ Form of asexual reproduction that mimics sexual reproduction; seed formed without fertilization

„ Diploid cell is formed without meiosis and develops into embryo without fertilization.

„ Cells of nucellus (2n) surrounding embryo sac protrude into embryo sac and develop into embryos. Examples: Citrus and Mango.

Polyembryony

„ Occurrence of more than one embryo in a seed