Pollination, Fertilization and Seed Development

  • Rashmi Shakya
  • Satish C Bhatla


Life cycle of plants is fundamentally different from that of animals. It is characterized by the presence of two distinct multicellular generations, referred as sporophytic (diploid) and gametophytic (haploid) generation which alternate with each other during the life cycle. Male and female reproductive organs in plants are stamens (androecium) and carpels (gynoecium), respectively. Both the reproductive structures produce haploid spores as a result of meiosis, namely, microspores (male) and megaspores (female). These spores undergo repeated mitotic divisions to produce male and female gametophytes, called as microgametophyte and megagametophyte, respectively. Development of male gametophyte takes place inside the anther, whereas female gametophyte develops inside the ovule. Upon maturity male and female gametophytes divide mitotically to produce male and female gametes, i.e., sperm and egg, which fuse to form zygote that develops to give rise to sporophytic plant (Fig. 26.1).


Anther Double fertilization Pistil Sexual incompatibility Seed development 

Suggested Further Readings

  1. Angelovici R, Galili G, Fernie AR, Fait A (2010) Seed desiccation: a bridge between maturation and germination. Trends Plant Sci 15(4):211–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Hafidh S, Fíla J, Honys D (2016) Male gametophyte development and function in angiosperms: a general concept. Plant Reprod 29(1–2):31–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Rea AC, Nasrallah JB (2004) Self-incompatibility systems: barriers to self-fertilization in flowering plants. Int J Dev Biol 52(5–6):627–636Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rashmi Shakya
    • 1
  • Satish C Bhatla
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of DelhiNew DelhiIndia

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