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By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Describe the two stages of a plant’s lifecycle
  • Compare and contrast male and female gametophytes and explain how they form in angiosperms
  • Describe the reproductive structures of a plant
  • Describe the components of a complete flower
  • Describe the development of microsporangium and megasporangium in gymnosperms

Sexual reproduction takes place with slight variations in different groups of plants. Plants have two distinct stages in their lifecycle: the gametophyte stage and the sporophyte stage. The haploid gametophyte    produces the male and female gametes by mitosis in distinct multicellular structures. Fusion of the male and females gametes forms the diploid zygote, which develops into the sporophyte    . After reaching maturity, the diploid sporophyte produces spores by meiosis, which in turn divide by mitosis to produce the haploid gametophyte. The new gametophyte produces gametes, and the cycle continues. This is the alternation of generations, and is typical of plant reproduction ( [link] ).

 Illustration shows the life cycle of angiosperms, which includes a microgametophyte stage and a megagametophyte stage. The life cycle begins with the fusion of egg and sperm to form a zygote. The zygote undergoes mitosis, resulting in a male microsporophyte or a female megasporophyte. The microsporophyte has a cluster of cells called a microsporangium, and the megasporophyte has a cluster of cells called a megasporangium. Through meiosis, the microsporangium forms microspores, and the megasporangium forms megaspores. Both microspores and megaspores undergo mitosis, forming the microgametophyte and megagametophyte, respectively. Within the microgametophyte, the fusion of egg and sperm completes the cycle.
The alternation of generations in angiosperms is depicted in this diagram. (credit: modification of work by Peter Coxhead)

The life cycle of higher plants is dominated by the sporophyte stage, with the gametophyte borne on the sporophyte. In ferns, the gametophyte is free-living and very distinct in structure from the diploid sporophyte. In bryophytes, such as mosses, the haploid gametophyte is more developed than the sporophyte.

During the vegetative phase of growth, plants increase in size and produce a shoot system and a root system. As they enter the reproductive phase, some of the branches start to bear flowers. Many flowers are borne singly, whereas some are borne in clusters. The flower is borne on a stalk known as a receptacle. Flower shape, color, and size are unique to each species, and are often used by taxonomists to classify plants.

Sexual reproduction in angiosperms

The lifecycle of angiosperms follows the alternation of generations explained previously. The haploid gametophyte alternates with the diploid sporophyte during the sexual reproduction process of angiosperms. Flowers contain the plant’s reproductive structures.

Flower structure

A typical flower has four main parts—or whorls—known as the calyx, corolla, androecium, and gynoecium ( [link] ). The outermost whorl of the flower has green, leafy structures known as sepals. The sepals, collectively called the calyx, help to protect the unopened bud. The second whorl is comprised of petals—usually, brightly colored—collectively called the corolla. The number of sepals and petals varies depending on whether the plant is a monocot or dicot. In monocots, petals usually number three or multiples of three; in dicots, the number of petals is four or five, or multiples of four and five. Together, the calyx and corolla are known as the perianth    . The third whorl contains the male reproductive structures and is known as the androecium. The androecium    has stamens with anthers that contain the microsporangia. The innermost group of structures in the flower is the gynoecium    , or the female reproductive component(s). The carpel is the individual unit of the gynoecium and has a stigma, style, and ovary. A flower may have one or multiple carpels.

Questions & Answers

the structure of paramecium
Charity Reply
what is endocytosis
Stephen Reply
what is the meaning of adrenocorticotropic
Abigail Reply
adrenocorticotropic is stimulating or acting on the adrenal cortex.
ok thanks
What is science of biology
Thando Reply
The study 📓 of leaving things
how does a parasite benefit from its mode of living?
Abuk Reply
why are the images n diagrams unable to be seen?
where are the illustrations
a parasite gets protection, food, shelter
what is Alimentary canal?
Princess Reply
what is commenialism
jamex Reply
Do you mean commensalism?,it is a feeding relationship that has to do with two different species feeding, that is one is benefiting and the other is unaffected.
commensalism is a feeding relationship that has to do with different species feeding, one is gaining and the other is unaffected.
what is the work of phloem tissue
Rose Reply
What is osmoregulation?
osmoregulation is the maintenance of internal body through the aid of water
mention four characteristics of enzymes
mention four characteristics of enzymes
The phloem tissue is responsible for the distribution of manufactured food in the shoot.
Enzymes speed up the rate of chemical reactions,they are catalytic protein.
to transport the manufactured food
A skeleton is any film structure that gives mechanical support to the body and provides protection to the softer parts of the body.
Patrick Reply
A skeleton is a frame or bony part of a body that aid in the movement of different parts of the body.
What is a skeleton?
Chipo Reply
is a bone without meat
is a frame work of d body that provide support nd rigidity 4 d body
is a structure of the body without the organs and the skin
what is an electron microscope?
Chr Reply
is a microscope that is used to study small organisms in the cell.
is a microscope which uses electricity to magnify
what is commenialism
what is an antigen?
an antigen is any thing that reduces the action of a gene
what is biochemist
Lenard Reply
biochemistry:-is the study of chemical reaction with living organisms
what are the scientific method
Precious Reply
scientific method is the step by step approach use for solving problems
describe the functioning of the Golgi body in animal cells
Naiga Reply
used to package minerals in the cell
what features does red blood have that allows it to effectively move through the blood and transport oxygen? list at least four features and explain how they help RBC's carry out their functions.
Alice Reply
has nucleus, haemoglobin

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Source:  OpenStax, Biology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 29, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11448/1.10
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