Ripening and Germination of Reproductive and Distributive Organs

  • Hans Mohr
  • Peter Schopfer


During their ontogeny plants form various reproductive and distributive organs which are generally called propagules or diaspores. Typical reproductive propagules are, for example, seeds (fruits), pollen and spores, and purely vegetative propagules are, for example, bulbules, tubers and turions (bulbules of aquatic plants). Propagules serve mainly to propagate and distribute plants. In many instances they also help the plant to survive in adverse environmental conditions. Because of these tasks propagules have some typical physiological characteristics in common: (1) They usually contain large amounts of storage materials; (2) they are able to change to a more or less dehydrated condition in which metabolism is reduced to a minimum (physiological rest period); and (3) they possess, in their dehydrated condition, a high resistance to unfavourable environmental conditions, e.g. heat, cold and drought. With the onset of favourable conditions the rest period is interrupted by germination; the propagule develops into a seedling. (In the case of pollen germination the seedling is reduced to the pollen tube.)


Fruit Development Dormant Seed Mother Plant Ripe Seed Ripening Phase 
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Further Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans Mohr
    • 1
  • Peter Schopfer
    • 1
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl für BotanikBiologisches Institut II der UniversitätFreiburgGermany

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