Chapter 38 Angiosperm Reproduction and Biotechnology
Overview: To Seed or Not to Seed
Sexual reproduction is not the sole means by which flowering plants reproduce.
Many species can also reproduce asexually, creating offspring that are genetically
identical to them.
The propagation of flowering plants by sexual and asexual reproduction forms the basis
For 10,000 years, plant breeders have altered the traits of a few hundred angiosperm
species by artificial selection, transforming them into today’s crops.
Concept 38.1 Pollination enables gametes to come together within a flower
Sporophyte and gametophyte generations alternate in the life cycles of plants.
The life cycles of angiosperms and other plants are characterized by an alternation of
generations, in which haploid (n) and diploid (2n) generations take turns producing each
The diploid plant, the sporophyte, produces haploid spores by meiosis.
These spores divide by mitosis, giving rise to multicellular male and female haploid
The gametophytes produce gametes—sperm and eggs.
Fertilization results in diploid zygotes, which divide by mitosis to form new
In angiosperms, the sporophyte is the dominant generation, the conspicuous plant we see.
Over the course of seed plant evolution, gametophytes became reduced in size and
dependent on their sporophyte parents.
Angiosperm gametophytes are the most reduced of all plants, consisting of only a
In angiosperms, the sporophyte produces a unique reproductive structure, the flower.
Male and female gametophytes develop within the anthers and ovules, respectively,
of a sporophyte flower.
Pollination by wind, water, or animals brings a male gametophyte (pollen grain) to a
female gametophyte contained in an ovule embedded in the ovary of a flower.
Union of gametes (fertilization) takes place within the ovary.
Ovules develop into seeds, while the ovary itself develops into the fruit around the seed.
Flowers are specialized shoots bearing the reproductive organs of the angiosperm
Flowers, the reproductive shoots of the angiosperm sporophyte, are typically composed
of four whorls of highly modified leaves called floral organs, which are separated by very