A seed is a mature ovule that contains an embryo or miniature undeveloped plant and food reserves, enclosed within a protective skin. Seeds are the primary means by which flowering plants and some grasses disperse their offspring.
Seeds are an important source of food for humans and animals, and they are used in plant breeding. To test seed dispersal, try dropping seeds in front of a fan and watching how far they travel.
Seeds are the reproductive organs of plants
Seeds are the reproductive organs of plants and carry the food that helps the new plant begin to grow. They are a key step in plant evolution. They are also the source of many foods for humans and animals.
Embryos inside seeds are fertilized by sperm cells transferred from pollen grains. The fertilized embryo is surrounded by a reserve of stored food (endosperm) and protected by a hard covering called a seed coat. Seeds are the characteristic reproductive body of angiosperms and gymnosperms, except for ferns, liverworts, and mosses, which do not produce them.
Seeds vary in size, dispersal method, germination requirements, photo response and other factors. They may be ellipsoid, globose, subglobose, reniform or sectoroid in shape and may have a number of appendages. These include wings, a scar on the seed surface that is called the hilum, and ridges and spines such as those found in yew seeds. Seeds also have a variety of textures and colours.
They are an important source of food
Seeds are an important food source, especially for animals and humans. They contain the embryo surrounded by a reserve of food (endosperm or cotyledons). They are also a major source of energy.
Seed plants now dominate biological niches in terrestrial ecosystems. They provide foods, fuels, fibers, and medicines. They also help to stabilize the environment and reduce erosion. They are also a key component of a sustainable agricultural system.
Many seeds contain natural toxins, which help them survive in harsh environments. For example, cinchona seeds contain alkaloids that can treat malaria. They are also the source of many medicinal treatments, including castor oil and laetrile. Seeds are also used as weights for balances and as beads in necklaces and rosaries. Some seeds have fleshy appendages to entice animal dispersers; others have hooks, barbs, or sticky hairs that attach to fur or feathers; and still others have wings for wind dispersal. They are also the source of nonfood oils, such as linseed and cotton seed oil.
They are an important part of plant breeding
Seeds are an important part of plant breeding because they can be used to produce new plants that will provide the food and other natural resources people need. They also play an important role in natural ecosystems by dispersing plants to new areas. The seeds of a plant can be eaten by animals, which then carry the seed to another area and reproduce again.
A seed is a miniature undeveloped plant with a food reserve protected by a shell (tegument) and an embryo that develops into the new plant when conditions are favorable. The embryo is surrounded by cells that form an outer layer called the testa. Seeds come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, but all are surrounded by an outer shell or hull.
Many farmers struggle with the high cost of basic seed and pre-basic seed, which are required to grow quality crops. These costs are often exacerbated by climate change and environmental pressures that are influencing global agriculture. To address these challenges, a demand-centered approach to seed systems development is needed.
They are a source of medicine
Seeds are a crucial source of medicine and have been used since ancient times. They are the foundation of many diets and provide essential nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, such as iron and magnesium. They also provide wood for furniture and fuel, paper, textile fibers, and dyes. They also serve as ornamental species, beautifying gardens and public spaces, and inspiring painters and poets.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a system of herbal medicine that relies on seeds for its medicinal properties. However, the similarity of the seeds of many medicinal plants makes it difficult to identify them by organoleptic methods. This study uses DNA barcoding to identify seed TCMs, and 177 ITS2 sequences and 15 psbA-trnH sequences were acquired from 51 kinds of seed medicinal plants prescribed in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia. The sequences were analyzed using maximum-likelihood tree building and showed that multi-origin seed TCMs could be distinguished from each other.
The ripe seeds of the plant Tirgonella foenumgraecum Linn., commonly known as fenugreek, are used as a medicinal herb to treat general debility and chronic rheumatism. Powdered ripe seeds are also administered to treat cholera and dyspepsia.