Last updated: November 18, 2021

What Does Embryo Mean?

An embryo is a portion of a seed that grows into a plant. After the proper conditions for germination (e.g., light, moisture, temperature, oxygen) are met the tiny plant embryo germinates and sprouts into a mature seedling.

In botany, an embryo is a basic element that possesses enough potential for further growth and development.


Maximum Yield Explains Embryo

The development and the structure of a seed embryo differ by class of plant. In higher plants a mature embryo contains a precursor tissue for the root (radicle), stem (plumule), leaves, and one or two cotyledons. After the embryo germinates it grows out of the seed and is known as a plantlet or seedling. Although plants such as ferns and bryophytes fail to produce seeds like the higher plants, they do produce an embryo. In such plants the seed embryo is held to the interior of the archegonium on a paternal gametophyte from which the mature gamete was spawned. The “foot” of the growing embryo is in touch with the inner wall of the archegonium. The “foot” contains a bulbous volume of cells at the lower side of the plant embryo, which may obtain nutrients from its parental gametophyte.

An embryo ceases to be called an embryo the moment it expands beyond the enfolding archegonium.


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PropagationSeedsPlant Science

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