A seed is a small plant part that contains food for growth and reproduction. They are also an important source of food for animals.
They are a product of sexual reproduction, containing DNA from a pollen grain (male parent) and an ovule (female parent). Many plants use seeds to disperse and evolve in new environments.
They store food
During seed germination, plant nourishment is stored in the endosperm, cotyledons and perisperm. The nutrient-rich contents of these tissues are used by the embryo to sustain itself and grow.
Seeds also contain a seed coat that protects them from physical, mechanical and temperature-related damage. The cellular structure of the endosperm and cotyledons also prevents damage from microorganisms.
During storage, seeds should be kept cool, dry, and dark. Temperature is a major factor in determining the shelf life of most seeds.
They are a form of reproduction
The term seed refers to the undeveloped embryo and food reserve enclosed within a protective outer covering, such as the testa of angiosperms (flowering plants) and the cones of gymnosperms (conifers). A toughened layer of integuments forms the seed coat around the ovule and endosperm nourishes the developing embryo.
During reproduction, pollen grains travel to the ovule via a tube. The ovule fuses with sperm cells in the pollen tube to form a zygote. A diploid zygote develops into the embryo, which eventually forms the seed.
Plants that produce seeds are known as spermatophytes or seed plants, and they are one of the largest and most diverse groups in plant evolution. They appeared in the fossil record about 300 million years ago, and they are now one of the most important components of the world’s ecosystems. They reproduce in a number of ways, including sexually and nonsexually. They may disperse their seeds by wind, insects, or animals.
They are a source of food for animals
Seeds are the reproductive structures of flowering plants that can disperse and survive for some time. They include an embryo or a miniature undeveloped plant and food reserves enclosed within a protective seed coat.
Animals can consume seeds as a source of nutrient-rich foods, such as carbohydrates and fats. Carbohydrates provide energy for animal tissues and help increase milk production in mammary glands.
Most seeds consist of three parts: the embryo, endosperm and a seed coat that protects the seed from physical, mechanical, temperature-related and water damage. The endosperm carries a variety of nutrients, including starch and oil.
The seed coat is also used to prevent microorganisms from destroying the seed. When seed temperatures are high, they lose a lot of oxygen, making it harder for them to germinate (Germian 2010). Cold temperatures allow seeds to gain oxygen and energy.
They are a source of oil
A seed is a mature ovule that contains an embryo or miniature undeveloped plant and food reserves, all enclosed within a protective coat.
A variety of seeds – from canola and soy to sunflower, corn and safflower – are often used in cooking and pre-packaged foods. They’ve also soared in popularity at the expense of animal fats, like lard and butter.
Despite their soaring popularity, many nutritionists and health advocates have questioned whether seed oils are healthy and safe. They argue that high levels of fatty acids, especially polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), found in these oils can promote inflammation.
Some people also say that these oils are highly processed and contain hexane, which is not good for us. But, it’s important to note that hexane is a solvent that modern producers use to improve oil extraction. Most of it is removed by the time the oil reaches the grocery store.