Gram seed may be taken as an example for the study of the structure of a dicot seed.
The gram seeds are brown in colour. They are pointed at one end and round at the other end. These are contained in a small fruit called, the pod. The gram pod is two or three-seeded. The seeds are attached to the wall of the pod by a stalk called the funiculus. When the mature seed is detached, the funiculus leaves a scar on the seed called the hilum. Just blow the hilum lies the micropyle in the form of a small pore. Water is absorbed through the micropyle during the germination of seed. If the soaked seed is squeezed, water is seen to ooze out of the micropyle. The seed is covered by the tough seed coat. The seed coat consists of two layers, outer brownish testa and the papery white membranous tegmen.
The function of seed coat is protective. It protects the seed from desiccation, mechanical injury and extremes of temperature. It also protects the seed from the attack of bacteria, fungi and insects.
On removing the seed coat, two massive and fleshy cotyledons are seen. The two cotyledons are attached laterally to the embryonal axis. The embryonal axis projects beyond the cotyledons on either side. The lower pointed end of the axis is the radiclewhich represents the embryonic or rudimentary root. The other end is feathery. It is called the plumule. It represents the first apical bud of the future plant and develops into the shoot. The plumule is seen only after separating the two cotyledons. The portion of the axis between radicle and the point of attachment of the cotyledons to the axis is called the hypocotyl and the portion between the plumule and the cotyledons is the epicotyl. The axis along with the cotyledon constitute the embryo.
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