Seeds are the reproductive structure of plants. They contain a miniature undeveloped plant embryo with stored food and a protective coat. They are the means by which angiosperms disseminate their offspring and are also the primary method of reproduction for gymnosperms, like conifers.
To sprout, seeds must overcome physical or chemical dormancy. Physical dormancy can be broken by soaking or scarifying the seed. Chemical dormancy can be broken by a combination of moist chilling and cold stratification.
They are a source of food
Seeds are loaded with heart-, bone- and muscle-building protein and healthy fats, as well as a whole host of vital vitamins and minerals. They are also a great source of dietary fibre, which is crucial for digestive health, reducing the risk of colon cancer and Type-2 diabetes, and promoting normal bowel movements.
Seeds are a primary source of food for animals, humans, and other organisms. They are also used to propagate crops, such as cereals, legumes, forest trees, and turfgrasses. They can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some seeds are round, like conkers, while others are spherical or disc-shaped. They can be dispersed by wind, water, or insects. Some have wings to help them float, and some have hooks or barbs to entice animal dispersers to carry them away. Seeds can also be stored for later use. They can remain dormant for long periods of time, until they are exposed to the right conditions.
They are used in plant breeding
Plant breeders use seeds to produce plants that meet society’s needs. They cross two plants to produce offspring that share the best traits of the parent plants, thereby ensuring that they will thrive under a range of environmental conditions. This process is called seed breeding, and it has played a critical role in human civilization.
Seeds are diverse in size, shape, and color. Some seeds, such as those of the coco de mer, float and can be dispersed great distances. Others, such as the dust-like seeds of orchids, are carried in the wind or attached to animals (birds, reptiles, and mammals) in their fur.
Within the seed, there is usually stored food in the form of starch or other nutrients. This food is derived from the embryo or miniature undeveloped plant and the pollen grains through double fertilization. Seeds also contain a protective seed coat. Seeds come in a variety of shapes and sizes, such as reniform (shaped like a kidney) and lenticular, which are flattened and striped with parallel lines.
They are important for plant evolution and adaptation
Seeds are important for plant evolution and adaptation because they can grow into a new plant. They contain genetic information from both parents, but not a full clone (that would be a plant that is exactly like its parent). Instead, a seed can become a plant with a different shape, color, or ability to survive in a specific environment.
During evolution, plants that use seeds have gained a significant advantage over plants without seeds. Without seeds, plants must find water-dependent methods to transport their gametes from one place to another. This limits their distribution over a wide range of environments. Seed plants, which have separate male and female gametes, use a more efficient reproductive system and can grow in a wide range of environments.
Seeds are also able to stay dormant for long periods of time until they receive the proper conditions for germination. These conditions are often not obvious and include having sufficient water, a warm environment, and a suitable supply of nutrients. Scientists are studying the genes that regulate seed development at the New York Botanical Garden to understand how these genes evolved over time.
They are used for landscaping
Seeds can be used for landscaping purposes in many ways. For example, seeds can be grown in containers and hung on fences or other structures to create an attractive garden feature. They can also be planted in a landscape for erosion control. Seeds are available in various types, such as pure varieties and blends.
It is important to know how much water and light a plant needs in order to grow properly. This can be determined by conducting a soil test, which can be done through your local Extension office or a private lab. The results of the test will tell you how much fertilizer and other amendments your soil needs.
Many small farmers are working to counterbalance the seed giants and produce open source varieties. They also want to be able to freely share their seeds with other farmers and researchers. This is why OSSI asks breeders to pledge not to restrict others’ use of their plants.