Sexual Plant Reproduction

Sexual Plant Reproduction covers the dynamics and mechanisms of sexual processes in all plants, including seed and non-seed plants. Principal emphasis is placed on the experimental approaches using biochemical, molecular, biophysical and immunological methods.

The journal also publishes descriptive reports providing new insights on sexual reproduction based on submicroscopic and cytochemical methods. The journal presents original contributions, short communications, contemporary reviews and commentaries on subjects interesting to the community of sexual plant reproduction researchers.

In flowering plants, the anther produces male gametophytes; the sperm is produced in pollen grains that attach to the stigma on top of a carpel, in which the female gametophytes (inside ovules) are located. After the pollen tube grows through the carpel’s style, the sperm cell nuclei from the pollen grain migrate into the ovule to fertilize the egg cell and endosperm nuclei within the female gametophyte in a process termed double fertilization.

The resulting zygote develops into an embryo, while the triploid endosperm (one sperm cell plus two female cells) and female tissues of the ovule give rise to the surrounding tissues in the developing seed. The ovary, which produced the female gametophyte(s), then grows into a fruit, which surrounds the seed(s). Plants may either self-pollinate or cross-pollinate. Non-flowering plants like ferns, moss and liverworts use other means of Sexual Plant Reproduction.

Ferns characteristically produce large diploid sporophytes with rhizomes, roots and leaves; and on fertile leaves called sporangium, spores are produced. The spores are released and germinate to produce smaller gametophytes that are typically heart shaped, small and green in color. The gametophytes or thallus, produce both motile sperm in the antheridia and egg cells in separate archegonia. After rains or when dew deposits a film of water, the motile sperm are marked away from the antheridia that are normally produce on the top side of the thallus, and swim in the film of water to the antheridia and fertilize the egg.

To promote out crossing or cross fertilization the sperm are released before the egg is amenable of sperm, making it more likely that the sperm will fertilize the eggs of another thallus. A zygote is formed after fertilization that grows into a new sporophytic plant. The condition of having separate sporephyte and gametophyte plants is call alternation of generations. Other plants with similar reproductive profits comprise the Psilotum, Lycopodium, Selaginella and Equisetum.

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