About This Chapter
Plant Reproduction and Growth
Like any other life form, plants reproduce, but they accomplish this necessary feat with a style that is all their own. The life cycle of plants follows an alternation of generations, which involves switching back and forth between a haploid and diploid phase. In this way, plants pass through a sporophyte, or asexual, phase and a gametophyte, or sexual phase. Thus, plants can have multiple generations within a single life cycle!
There are structural and chromosomal differences that distinguish generations. Like us, plants still make use of sperm cells, eggs, zygotes and embryos. Don't worry; we'll make sure you know what goes where and how it works.
Different types of plants also vary in how they alternate generations. They may have a dominant phase in terms of duration and structure. From ferns to angiosperms to gymnosperms, our lessons will provide specific examples for each variation that takes place between the sporophyte and gametophyte phases. You'll get to examine plant reproduction with flowers, with seeds and without seeds. Vegetative propagation, the asexual type of plant reproduction that can be accomplished via multiple methods, will also get a lesson all to itself.
Plants may look stationary, but don't let that fool you. They just have a different way of moving than we do. We'll cover geotropism, phototropism and thigmotropsim to show you how plants can respond to environmental stimuli, such as gravity, light and touch. Sometimes, it's all about timing. Learn about annual, biennial and perennial plants and their photoperiodic response to changing periods of light and dark. Plants really do have their own style of reproduction and growth, and our lessons will show you how they use that to their advantage.
1. Alternation of Generations: The Gametophyte and Sporophyte
Even though many plants seem simple, they often have very complex life cycles. We will look at how plants alternate between different life stages as well as the terms used to describe these unique points in their life cycle.
2. A Moss Life Cycle: Dominant Gametophyte
Mosses are unique because they spend most of their lives with only one set of genetic material rather than the normal two sets. We will look at this cycle and how the alternation of generations takes place in these non-vascular plants.
3. A Fern Life Cycle: Plant Reproduction Without Flowers or Seeds
Ferns are able to reproduce without using seeds. We will look at how ferns reproduce as well as the pattern of alternating between diploid and haploid life stages.
4. A Gymnosperm Life Cycle: Reproduction of Plants with 'Naked Seeds'
Some plants, such as pine trees, are able to reproduce with unprotected seeds. We will look at the major structures involved in this form of alternation of generations in gymnosperms.
5. An Angiosperm Life Cycle: Flowering Plant Reproduction
When you think of how plants reproduce, you probably think of flowers. We will look at how flowering plants use specialized reproductive structures to complete an alternation of generations life cycle.
6. Asexual Plant Reproduction: Vegetative Propagation and Bulbs
Not all plants make attractive flowers in order to reproduce. Some plants will not make seeds and pollen either. These plants have other ways to create new offspring. We will look at a few key methods of vegetative propagation.
7. Tropisms: Phototropic, Geotropic and Thigmotropic Plant Growth
Animals aren't the only things that can respond to the environment. While plants may seem inanimate at times, they, too, can respond to the environment in order to better survive.
8. Photoperiodicity: Short-day, Long-day and Day-Neutral Plants
Ever wonder why some plants will bloom in the spring but others in the summer? The length of daylight can influence when a flower will bloom. We will look at how the amount of sunlight regulates when plants produce flowers.
9. Seasonal Growth Cycles: Perennial, Annual and Biennial Plants
We continue to grow and change throughout our entire lives, living through many seasons and years. Plants have different patterns of growth and development regarding seasons, which we will look at in this lesson.
10. Plant Hormones: Chemical Control of Growth and Reproduction
We most often think of hormones as things that control our actions and development. However, even plants have these chemicals to help regulate growth and reproduction.
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- Process of DNA Replication
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- Basics of Metabolic Biochemistry
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- Physiology II: The Nervous, Immune, and Endocrine Systems
- Animal Reproduction and Development
- Biology of Genetics
- Principles of Ecology
- Speciation & Evolution
- The Origin and History of Life On Earth
- Phylogeny and the Classification of Organisms
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