Using the proper seed is essential in growing plants. If the seeds are improperly chosen, the plant will not grow properly and may not survive. The article will discuss the differences between non-albuminous seeds and albuminous seeds and will also cover problems that occur with variety names in the seed market.
During the early part of the evolution of angiosperms, seeds were small, often in the form of small bushes, and most were carried by animals. However, as the floras expanded during the Eocene and early Oligocene, the size of seeds diversified. They became larger, favoured by competition for light.
Angiosperm seed development involves the production of a new sporophyte, the formation of an endosperm and perisperm, and the development of a radicle. A radicle is an elongated stalk that is attached to the seed. It develops into a root system and rises above the soil.
The integument structure is complex, and varies considerably between species. It typically has a lobed or curved surface. This structure may have been modified to enable wind dispersal.
During the early Mesozoic Era, gymnosperms were the dominant seed plants. Their name translates to “naked seeds” due to their lack of an ovary or fruit coating. It is believed that gymnosperms originated from an extinct group called Progymnospermphyta, which lived about 360 million years ago.
Among the gymnosperms, the largest group is the conifers. They include pines, spruce, and fir. These plants are used for lumber. Their production is valued at five or ten times their weight for credit.
The next largest group is the cycads. Cycads have a symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria. They also have a fern-like vegetative morphology. Cycad species have flat triangular leaves. They are usually found in the tropics.
Typically, bryophytes are land plants that lack vascular tissues, but they also can be found growing on rock surfaces and decomposing organisms. They are often found in damp, humid environments. Their ability to grow and colonize rock surfaces allows them to recycle nutrients and help prevent erosion.
Bryophytes can be classified into three phyla. These phyla are the liverworts, mosses, and hornworts. The liverworts are divided into two subgroups. Hornworts, mosses, and other liverworts lack vascular tissues. They acquire nutrients from absorption or by decomposing.
The bryophytes are generally small and elongated, with leaf-like parts. They have an enclosed reproductive system, which includes a sperm producing system and a female sterility system. They have “rhizoids,” rather than true roots, which help them grow.
Generally, spermatophytes are seed-bearing plants that are classified into two major groups: angiosperms and gymnosperms. These two groups are subdivided into several phyla.
The sporophytes of seed plants are organized in bipolar fashion. The root pole of the embryo initiates growth in two directions. This growth is perpetuated by acropetal auxin flow and basipetal auxin flow. This pattern is further maintained by a bipolar body plan.
The sporophytes of seed-bearing plants are composed of two major groups: ferns and pterophytes. Ferns are fern plants that are thought to have appeared more than 500 million years ago. They are the closest relatives of modern day mosses.
Non-albuminous vs albuminous seeds
Among the many different types of seeds, it is important to know the difference between albuminous and non-albuminous seeds. A non-albuminous seed is one that does not have endosperm. The endosperm is a food-laden tissue that provides essential nutrients for a growing embryo. A seed that is albuminous carries endosperm with it through the waning stages of development.
The endosperm is the triumvirate of a free nuclear, cellular and helobial endosperm. While all gymnosperms are albuminous, the seeds of some dicots such as the corn and rice are non-albuminous. The best way to judge a seed’s albuminity is by its germination and dispersal properties. A seed that is dispersed successfully will ensure successful seed germination under the most optimal conditions.
Problems with variety names in the seed market
Besides the usual suspects like Monsanto, Cargill and Syngenta, there are several other players in the seed game including the private sector and a few NGOs. The government has its hands in the seed industry too, but it is the private sector which is a bigger fish in the aquatics.
The old standby of the seed industry is the family business. In fact, it is estimated that 80% of the seed companies in Japan are family businesses. Family businesses tend to operate in close networks, making them good for acquiring knowledge about the competition.
The biggest challenge for these companies is deciding how to best engage with the global seed industry. The best way to do this is to adopt a more sustainable business model.