Plants & Human Affairs
Cherries.wmf (7140 bytes) Plants & Human Affairs (BIOL106)  -  Stephen G. Saupe, Ph.D.; Biology Department, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University, Collegeville, MN 56321;;

Plant Reproduction Study Guide

Required Reading: Capon book - Chapter 9 and pp 201-209, online notes

Goal of the UnitThe goal of this unit is to provide an introduction 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. Explain what it means that they exhibit alternation of generations.  Use the terms sporophyte, gametophyte, spore, meiosis, gamete, fertilization, haploid, diploid
  6. identify whether a particular plant and/or plant tissue is haploid or diploid
  7. identify and describe the function of the parts of the flower including: receptacle, pedicel, petals, sepals, stamens, anther, filament, carpel, stigma, style, ovary, pistil
  8. explain what it means that there is no such thing as a "typical" flower
  9. describe the development of male and female gametophytes in the flowering plants.
  10. explain what is meant by double fertilization and indicate why it is important.
  11. describe some of the specific methods by which plants accomplish pollination. Identify some of the specific floral modifications plant have for particular vectors.
  12. explain what is meant by a seed and fruit. Indicate how these terms relate to ovule and ovary.
  13. identify the function of fruits.
  14. explain the difference between a fruit and vegetable

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

  • alternation of generations
  • androecium
  • anther
  • asexual
  • cotyledons
  • double fertilization
  • egg
  • endosperm
  • epicotyl
  • fertilization
  • fruit
  • gametes
  • gametophyte
  • gynoecium
  • hypocotyl
  • mega or female gametophyte
  • megaspore
  • meiosis
  • micro- or male gametophyte
  • micropyle
  • microspore
  • ovary
  • ovule
  • petals
  • pistil
  • polar (fusion) nuclei
  • pollen
  • pollen tube
  • pollination
  • radicle
  • receptacle
  • seed
  • seed coat
  • sepals
  • sexual reproduction
  • sperm
  • sporophyte
  • stamens
  • stigma
  • style
  • 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; (b) a mangrove tree that lives along the coast line of equatorial oceans; (e) corn.  Hint:  think about the stability of the habitats.

3. Sketch and label a typical flower. Indicate the function of each part (receptacle, sepals, petals, stamens, anther, filament, pistil, stigma, style, ovary, ovule, nectary. (a good question)

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? (another good question).  Check out Gink & Go.

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

6.  Compare and contrast self-pollination and cross-pollination. 

7.  What is a fruit?  Compare and contrast simple, aggregate and multiple fruits.

8.  Identify some of the ways in which plants disperse their fruits/seeds.

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Last updated:  11/19/2008 / � Copyright  by SG Saupe