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Seed Production in Gymnosperm

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Published on May 4, 2008

The adult sporophyte (e.g. pine tree) develops male and female cones on separate branches. Female cone develops two ovules on the upper surface of each cone scale; each ovule contains haploid megaspore. Male cones produce microspore by meiosis. The microspores develop into pollen grains. Each winged pollen grain is a four-cell male gametophyte. The female gametophyte grows producing two or more archegonia, each of which contains an egg. During pollination, a wind-born pollen grain falls near the opening in one of the ovule of the female cone. Each male gametophyte form a pollen tube that penetrate the tissue of the female gametophyte. When the pollen tube has grown into an archegonium, a sperm cell from the male gametophyte fertilizes the egg. The zygote develops into an embryo and a mature seed is produced. The female cone opens releasing the seeds. When condition is favourable the seed germinates to a new young sporophyte - a pinetree seedling.

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