Autumn.wmf (12088 bytes) Concepts of Biology (BIOL116) - Dr. S.G. Saupe; Biology Department, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University, Collegeville, MN 56321;;


Required Reading: Purves, Chapter 38; and pages 489 - 490, 501 -503, 515 -518, and 521 - 528

Goal of the Unit:  The goal of this unit is to provide an introduction to the reproductive biology of the flowering plants.

Objectives:  Upon completion of this unit you should be able to:

  1. compare and contrast asexual and sexual reproduction
  2. provide examples of asexual reproduction in plants
  3. identify at least one advantage and one disadvantage of asexual reproduction
  4. describe the basic sexual life cycle
  5. describe the generalized life cycle of plants.  Use the terms sporophyte, gametophyte, spore, meiosis, gamete, fertilization, haploid, diploid, anther, ovule, seed, fruit, spore mother cell, pollen grain, embryo sac, micropyle, pollen tube, microspore, megaspore, sperm, egg.
  6. explain what it means that plants exhibit alternation of generations.
  7. identify whether a particular plant and/or plant tissue is haploid or diploid.  For example, is an oak tree a sporophyte or gametophyte?  pollen grain?  fern plant? moss plant?
  8. identify and describe the function of the parts of the flower including: receptacle, pedicel, petals, sepals, calyx, corolla, stamens, anther, filament, carpel, stigma, style, ovary
  9. describe the structure of a pollen grain and relate it to the plant life cycle
  10. explain what it means that there is no such thing as a "typical flower"
  11. describe the development of male and female gametophytes in the flowering plants.
  12. explain what is meant by double fertilization and indicate why it is important.
  13. compare and contrast pollination vs. fertilization
  14. describe some of the specific methods by which plants accomplish pollination. Identify some of the specific floral modifications plant have for particular vectors (i.e, wind, water, bees).
  15. explain why plant embryo development is discontinuous.
  16. describe the structure and function of a seed and a fruit. Indicate how these terms relate to ovule and ovary.
  17. identify the function of a fruit
  18. identify the parts of the seed/embryo.  
  19. explain the difference between a fruit and vegetable
  20. answer the questions at the end of the chapter in your text

Important Terms/Concepts:   Can you use the following terms/concepts in a conversation? 

  • alternation of generations
  • androecium
  • anther
  • asexual
  • callus
  • carpels
  • coleoptile
  • cotyledons
  • double fertilization
  • egg
  • endosperm
  • epicotyl
  • fertilization
  • fruit
  • funiculus
  • gametes
  • gametophyte
  • gynoecium
  • hilum
  • hypocotyl
  • integuments
  • megagametophyte
  • megaspore
  • meiosis
  • microgametophyte
  • micropyle
  • microspore
  • ovary
  • ovule
  • petals
  • pistil
  • plumule
  • polar nuclei
  • pollen
  • pollen tube
  • pollination
  • radicle
  • receptacle
  • seed
  • seed coat
  • sepals
  • sex reproduction
  • sperm
  • sporophyte
  • stamens
  • stigma
  • style
  • synergids
  • tissue culture
  • vegetable
  • zygote

Some additional questions and study tips:

1. For each of the following, circle the one that doesn't belong to the group. Then, explain the relationship between the remaining members by giving a title to the group: (a) anther, egg, ovule, placenta, stigma; (b) leaf, ovary, petal, root, sperm; (c) coleoptile, endosperm, epicotyl, hypocotyl, radicle; (d) corn, peanut, pumpkin, spinach, tomato.

2. Some plants produce viviparous seeds/embryos. This means that the embryos never undergo a dormancy process and continue to develop right on the parent plant. Which of the following do you think is most likely to have viviparous embryos: (a) oak trees that live in CSB/SJU woods or (b) a mangrove tree that lives along the coast line of equatorial oceans.

3. Sketch and label a typical flower. Indicate the function of each part.  From where did flowers originate?  

4. Sketch out the typical life cycle of a flowering plant. Include the following in your diagram: sporophyte, microspore, megaspore, gamete, sperm, egg, fertilization, meiosis, gametophyte, male gametophyte, female gametophyte, microspore mother cell, megaspore mother cell, zygote, embryo, haploid, diploid. Do you know in which part of the plant the various stages occur?

5. Can you make a concept map to the entire chapter? Or how about, just flower structure?  or life cycle?

6. Make an audio cassette tape defining all of the key terms given at the end of the chapter. Then, use each term in a sentence. Or just write out the definitions. Then repeat them to a friend.

Fruits vs. Veggies

  1. Can you define vegetable?
  2. fruit?
  3. Circle the vegetables in the following list:
  • avocado
  • broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • celery
  • cucumber
  • eggplant
  • green bean
  • green pepper
  • peas
  • potato
  • pumpkin
  • tomato
  • zucchini

Bonus Question (1 point) - submit answer to me no later than Study Day
On a trip to the supermarket or garden store, did you ever notice that you can buy seeds for Seedless Watermelons? If the watermelons that grow from these seeds are truly seedless (which they are!), then where do the seeds for growing seedless watermelons come from?

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Last updated: February 18, 2004        � Copyright by SG Saupe