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Flowering plants: 3. Sexual reproduction: (a) Fertilisation and (b) development of seeds & fruit

Doc Brown's Biology exam study revision notes: There are various sections to work through, after 1 they can be read and studied in any order. How does fertilisation take place in flowering plants?

Sub-index of notes on flowering plants


(3a) Fertilisation

fertilisation of flowering plant ovule ovary pollen tube grains male sex cell femal sex cell nucleusFertilisation involves the joining of the male and females plant cells.

After a pollen grain has landed on a ripe stigma the formation of a pollen tube is triggered (diagram on right).

The pollen tube grows down from the stigma through the style to the ovary.

The male nucleus is conveyed down the pollen tube to the ovary.

The male nucleus then joins with the female sex cell inside an ovule to complete the fertilisation process.

Therefore, genetically, when the two nuclei join together, the completed fertilisation is 2 gametes ==> zygote, a complete set of chromosomes.


(3b) Formation of seed and fruit

After fertilisation the ovule, inside the ovary, develops into the seed.

Every seed contains a dormant embryo plant (dormant means inactive).

The embryonic plant has a food store which it can utilise when conditions are right for it to grow - the process of germination.

The ovary develops into a fruit structure around the seed.

Plants produce many seeds because do not germinate and grow into healthy plants.


Keywords, phrases and learning objectives for this part on flowering plants

Be able to describe and interpret from a diagram the process of fertilisation in flowering plants.

The details should include the male nucleus fusing with an egg cell and the development of seeds or fruit in flowering plants.

Know that embryo remains dormant until conditions are right to germinate and the plant grows and develops to maturity.


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