Hey, guys welcome back, Today we are gonna discuss a very interesting yet not so simple gardening question. I know most of you may have asked this to yourself – What do Seeds Contain? This question is simple, yet the answer is not so easy.
In simple words, we can say that a seed contains a softcore called an embryo, a starchy covering, and a hard outer shell.
Simple Isn’t It? Nah… Not that easy. Ok, let’s discuss the details about a seed first, then we’ll know that inside it?
Check out my previous post: Vegetables that Start With A to Z- Beginners Guide
What Do Seeds Contain?
Starting with the basics, A seed can be a Monocot, i.e., a Single seed structure like wheat or Rice grain, or a Dicot, i.e., a seed with 2 shell structure like most of the pulses, peas, and beans.
A typical seed whether a Monocot or Dicot contains 3 essential Parts.
- Nutrient Source (Endosperm)
- Hard Protective Shell (Seed Coat)
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It is the core of any seed. This embryo contains the genetic material to form the new Plant Structure. This is not clearly observable in monocot seeds, but you can see tiny leaf-like structures between the two flaps of any dicot seeds.
This tiny leaf-like structure is actually the Embryonic core formation. This will develop into the root and shoot structure in favorable conditions.
Sometimes even the leaf-like structure is also not seen, you can only find a notch and bump in the middle of the two flaps of dicot seeds. This is mostly observed in ungerminated or underdeveloped seeds.
If the seed is a mature dicot then you can see the leaf developing just after two days of germination. In monocot seeds, you have to wait for several days before the root and shoot to come out of the seed covering.
An embryo is the most essential part of any seed. If this core is damaged then you cannot get the new plant.
The Nutrient Source or Endosperm
This is the second layer of any seed. It mostly contains carbohydrates, Proteins, minerals, vitamins, and essential moisture. Altogether this layer creates the entire structure of the seed. Almost the entire starchy structure inside any seed is the nutrient source for the tiny Embryo. This is the largest and most space occupying structure of any seed.
If you break any monocot seed like rice or wheat grain, then the entire visible white part is the nutrient source. In Dicot this is quite easy to observe. Actually, both the flaps of any dicot are the nutrient source itself.
This nutrient source has 2 main functions.
- Protect the Embryo until it germinates. The moisture prevents the embryo from drying.
- Feeds the germinated Plant or Embryo until it develops proper root and chlorophyll.
We know that plants are autotrophs. It means they can prepare their own food by the process of photosynthesis. Chlorophyll is an essential constituent for photosynthesis. But chlorophyll is not present in the developing embryo inside a seed. So the nutrient source feeds the embryo and even the tiny seedling until it develops chloroplasts and creates chlorophyll.
The nutrient source is actually the reserved food supply for the baby plant until it gets ready to prepare its own food.
The Shell or The Sead Coat
Every seed whether a monocot or dicot must have a protective outer covering called a shell. A Shell or seed coat is a relatively hard protective covering that prevents any physical damage to the seed vitals.
It is made up of semi-permeable permanent tissues. The main functions of the shell are
- It protects from insects, bad weather, and physical movement. The shell ensures that in adverse conditions, the nutrient source and the Embryo remains safe and intact.
- It reduces the rate of evaporation and prevents the seed from drying.
- The shell or coat only allows essential minerals and water to enter the seed. It helps the seed to germinate and develops before the roots come out of the shell.
Overall the shell is the only guardian of the seed until a new mature plant develops out of it.
The husk of rice or wheat is the external covering that provides additional support to the thin shell of these monocots. In Dicots, the shell is more observable and can be easily separated. Do you love peanuts? Yes, then do you know? the red shell over each nut is the seed shell.
Altogether the seed coat, the Endosperm, and the Embryo form the seed structure. These three essential parts of a seed are interdependent. Every single seed whether big or small, thin or thick, regular or irregular must contain these specific layers.
Sometimes you can observe the difference between these 3 layers and sometimes it is not so easy. But for natural sustenance, a seed must have at least the basic form of these essential structures.
So what do you think- What do Seeds Contain? Just these three physical parts or more than that. In the Biological world, it is the birthplace of an entire plant or tree. From a bigger perspective, a single seed has the potential to grow a whole forest. So it is not just a tiny seed, It is a hope for life.
Good Day, Keep Reading and keep Gardening!