Ovule – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Botanical Glossary

I. What is an ovule?

An ovule is a structure found in the ovaries of flowering plants that contains the female reproductive cells. It is the structure that ultimately develops into a seed after fertilization. Each ovule has the potential to become a seed, which can then grow into a new plant.

II. What are the parts of an ovule?

An ovule consists of several parts, including the integuments, the micropyle, the nucellus, the embryo sac, and the female gametophyte. The integuments are protective layers that surround the ovule, while the micropyle is a small opening through which pollen can enter. The nucellus is the central part of the ovule that contains the female reproductive cells. The embryo sac is the structure within the ovule where fertilization takes place, and the female gametophyte is the structure that produces the female reproductive cells.

III. How does fertilization occur in an ovule?

Fertilization in an ovule occurs when pollen from a male plant lands on the stigma of a female plant and grows a pollen tube down to the ovule. The male gametes then travel down the pollen tube and fertilize the female gametes within the embryo sac. This process results in the formation of a zygote, which eventually develops into a seed.

IV. What is the role of the ovule in plant reproduction?

The ovule plays a crucial role in plant reproduction by housing the female reproductive cells and providing the environment for fertilization to occur. Once fertilization takes place, the ovule develops into a seed, which contains the genetic material needed for a new plant to grow. Without ovules, plants would not be able to reproduce and continue their species.

V. What are the different types of ovules?

There are several different types of ovules found in plants, including anatropous, orthotropous, campylotropous, and hemitropous ovules. Anatropous ovules have an inverted orientation, with the micropyle and funiculus at the same end. Orthotropous ovules have a straight orientation, with the micropyle and funiculus at opposite ends. Campylotropous ovules have a curved orientation, with the micropyle and funiculus at the same end. Hemitropous ovules have a partially inverted orientation, with the micropyle and funiculus at the same end but at an angle.

VI. How are ovules important in agriculture and horticulture?

Ovules play a crucial role in agriculture and horticulture by allowing plants to reproduce and produce seeds. Farmers and gardeners rely on ovules to grow crops and flowers, as seeds are essential for planting new crops and growing new plants. By understanding the structure and function of ovules, agriculturalists can improve crop yields and develop new plant varieties through selective breeding and genetic modification. Overall, ovules are essential for the sustainability of agriculture and horticulture industries.