What is the fertilization of plants? Gymnosperms and angiosperms

Due to our nature, it is easy for us to imagine how animals reproduce, since their fertilization process is usually similar to ours. However, it takes a little longer to find those similarities with the plant world. How do they do that? What is the fertilization of plants?

The objective of this article is to explain what plant fertilization is. For this we will talk about the two large groups that exist: Angiosperms and gymnosperms. So do not hesitate to continue reading if you are interested in the subject and want to know more about the fertilization of plants.

The fertilization of plants

Fertilization of plants takes place after pollination.

Before explaining the fertilization of plants, we are first going to comment on what the concept of fertilization is. It is the process by which Two gametes, male and female, fuse during reproduction. In this way, a zygote is created that contains a genome, a product of the parents.

In the plant world, Pollination takes place first. The male reproductive leaves generate pollen grains that are carried by insects or by the wind to the stigmas. That’s where they germinate. When we talk about plants, we do not usually refer to gametes, but to spores. Each pollen grain usually contains two male reproductive cells, or gametes. However, there are different methods used by plants, since not all species are the same, in fact they differ quite a bit when it comes to reproduction.

There are different types of plants according to their genus or genera

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How to tell if a plant is male or female

As you well know, plants can be differentiated in many ways. There are a large number of groups, classes and types of vegetables and each species belongs to several. However, there are two large groups that differ in the way they reproduce. So that, There are vegetables with flowers and those without flowers. The former are known as angiosperms and are the most abundant plants on this planet. In addition, of these two types of vegetables are the most recent. On the other hand, plants without flowers are part of the group of gymnosperms. These were the first to appear on Earth, even before the dinosaurs.

Among the angiosperms are various plants such as shrubs, trees, azaleas, dimorphothecae, etc. Regarding the gymnosperms, these are composed mainly of the conifers. Some examples for this group would be cedars, yews, pines. Cycads also belong to gymnosperm plants. But don’t worry, we will talk more in detail about both types of plants, their structures and how fertilization takes place.


One of the two fertilizing groups of plants are the gymnosperms

Let’s start with gymnosperms. Although it is true that these plants are known for not having flowers, they do, but not the typical ones that we imagine. Its flowers do not have sepals or petals, but the female ones form a type of woody and greenish cone that ends up becoming false fruits, like pine cones.

Plants belonging to this group have both male and female flowers. The latter has a scale, two ovules and a bract that form the female cone by grouping just around a floral axis. Each ovule contains an embryo sac with two archegonia inside it. which, in turn, have two female gametes or oospheres each. Let’s clarify these concepts:

  • Archegonia: It is the female reproductive organ. mushrooms, seaweed y bryophytes, such as mosses and some vascular plants such as ferns. It is complemented by the male organ called the antheridium.
  • Oospheres: It is the female gamete of plants. They come from the so-called megaspore through a process called megagametogenesis. At a basic level we can say that this consists of the mitotic divisions. During double fertilization, the oospheres fuse with the generative nuclei from the pollen grain and thus give rise to the embryo.

As for the male flowers, these form male cones around a floral axis. They have a scale and also two microsporangia or pollen sacs in which they end up forming the mother cells that in turn give rise to the famous pollen grains. Inside them there are a total of two male gametes, also called antherozoids. They also contain two air sacs that aid dispersal until they reach the female flower. In this case I think it will also be good to explain some concepts:

  • Microsporangia: They are structures that produce and also contain spores. These are basically microscopic bodies whose purpose is to disperse and survive for a long time.
  • Antherozoids: It is basically the male gamete, which would be equivalent to our sperm.

Fertilization of gymnosperm plants

Knowing a little about the structures of the male and female flowers of gymnosperms, we are now going to comment on how this fertilization works. It should be noted that the pollen grain can take up to a year to germinate, once the female flower has been reached. When this happens, the pollen tube opens very slowly through the so-called nucellus of the ovule. When it reaches the female gametophyte, its next task is to traverse the neck of the archegonium and then enter the oosphere. where you download all your content. It is at this time that the fertilization of gymnosperm plants takes place.

What is the fertilization of plants? Gymnosperms and angiosperms

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