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Seeds pp 1-33 | Cite as

Seeds

Germination, Structure, and Composition
  • J. Derek Bewley
  • Michael Black
Chapter

Abstract

The new plant formed by sexual reproduction starts as an embryo within the developing seed, which arises from the ovule. When mature, the seed is the means by which the new individual is dispersed, though frequently the ovary wall or even extrafloral organs remain in close association to form a more complex dispersal unit as in grasses and cereals. The seed, therefore, occupies a critical position in the life history of the higher plant. The success with which the new individual is established—the time, the place, and the vigor of the young seedling—is largely determined by the physiological and biochemical features of the seed. Of key importance to this success are the seed’s responses to the environment and the food reserves it contains, which are available to sustain the young plant in the early stages of growth before it becomes an independent, autotrophic organism, able to use light energy. People also depend on these activities for almost all of their utilization of plants. Cultivation of most crop species depends on seed germination, though, of course, there are exceptions when propagation is carried out vegetatively. Moreover, seeds such as those of cereals and legumes are themselves major food sources whose importance lies in the storage reserves of protein, starch, and oil laid down during development and maturation.

Keywords

Seed Coat Storage Protein Phytic Acid Protein Body Castor Bean 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Useful Literature References

Sections 1.1 and 1.2: Some Advanced Literature on Seeds and Germination

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Section 1.3

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Section 1.4

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Section 1.5

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Derek Bewley
    • 1
  • Michael Black
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada
  2. 2.Division of Life Sciences, King’s CollegeUniversity of LondonLondonEngland

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