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Double fertilization and triple fusion
S.G. Nawaschin and L.Guignard in 1898 and 1899, observed in Lilium and Fritillaria that both the male gametes released from a male gametophyte are involved in the fertilization. They fertilize two different components of the embryo sac. Since both the male gametes are involved in fertilization, the phenomenon is called double fertilization and is unique to angiosperms. One of the male gametes fuses with the egg nucleus (syngamy) to form Zygote. (Figure 1.19)
The second gamete migrates to the central cell where it fuses with the polar nuclei or their fusion product, the secondary nucleus and forms theprimary endosperm nucleus (PEN).
Since this involves the fusion of three nuclei, this phenomenon is called triple fusion. This act results in endosperm formation which forms the nutritive tissue for the embryo.
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