Viable seeds are the products of successful fertilization in flowering plants using sexual reproduction. In many plants, a seed will have two individual parents; and in others it will have only one (as in the case of self pollinated flowers).
The advantage of sexual reproduction is a mix of genetic material from both parents. This helps diversify the species and allows for minor advantages and variations to occur, such as different-colored flowers or disease resistance.
Sexual reproduction is a mixed bag of results. You can never be sure that the seed you plant will eventually have the same characteristics, be of the same or higher quality, or be of lesser quality than the parent.
Most plants can reproduce asexually by cuttings or divisions and create exact genetic copies of the parent. These plants are sure to grow with the same habits as the parent, but there is little room for variation or mutation.
Unlike cuttings, divisions or adventitious plantlets, seeds often have the ability to be stored for several years before germination, or to travel great distances, spreading the species to new locations.
A fruit is the ripened ovary of a plant that contains the seed. People and animals eat fruit and help disperse the seeds around the environment, which does not always occur with asexual reproduction.
- The Evolution of Sexual Reproduction
- Asexual Reproduction
- SEXUAL VERSUS VEGETATIVE PROPAGATION
- An Online Introduction to the Biology of Animals and Plants
sexual reproduction in plants, seed dispersal, cross pollination
About this Author
Brian Albert has been in the publishing industry since 1999. He is an expert in horticulture, with a focus on aquatics and tropical plants like orchids. He has successfully run an aquatic plant business for the last five years. Albert's writing experience includes the Greater Portland Aquarium Society newsletter and politics coverage for a variety of online journals.