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Chapter 19

Reproductive Development

CHAPTER OUTLINE
Introduction
19.1 Induction of flowering
19.2 Flower development
19.3 Genetic and molecular analysis of flower development
19.4 Formation of gametes
19.5 Mutations affecting gametophyte development
19.6 Germination of pollen
19.7 Self-incompatibility
19.8 Fertilization
19.9 Seed formation
19.10 Deposition of stored reserves during seed development
19.11 Embryo maturation and desiccation
19.12 Germination

J. Derek Bewley
Frederick D. Hempel
Sheila McCormick
Patricia Zambryski

 

 

Throughout history, humans have celebrated the beauty and fertility of flowering plants. In addition to their aesthetic appeal, flowers contain the reproductive organs of the plant and are therefore essential for sexual propagation of plant life. Our dependence on flowering is illustrated by the dietary importance of fruits and seed crops. Advances in molecular biology and biochemistry are now revealing the cellular mechanisms that underlie the development and symmetry of flowers and the nutritive value of seeds.
      Figure 19.1 outlines the life cycle of a flowering plant, highlighting the reproductive organs that we will discuss at length in this chapter. After first describing how flowering is induced and how flower primordia are patterned, we will consider the production and union of male and female gametes. Finally, we will illustrate the formation of seeds, in which plant embryos are packaged and remain quiescent until induced to germinate. Throughout the chapter we will highlight recent developments in genetics, molecular biology, and biochemistry that are being utilized to unravel the details of reproductive mechanisms in plants.


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