Unit E: Plant Biology Introduction to Plants Identify the characteristics

Unit E: Plant Biology
Introduction to Plants
1. Identify the characteristics of the plant kingdom.
Multicellular eukaryotes; cell walls made of cellulose; develop from multicellular
embryos; the green pigments, chlorophyll a and b, carry out photosynthesis.
2. To live successfully on land, what substances must plants obtain from their
Sunlight, water and minerals, and oxygen and carbon dioxide.
3. From which group of protists did the first plants evolve? How are plants similar to
these protists?
Multicellular green algae; similar in size, color, appearance, reproductive cycles, cell
walls and photosynthetic pigments.
4. Compare the gametophyte and sporophyte stages of the plant life cycle. Which is
haploid? Which is diploid?
Gametophyte: haploid, produces eggs and sperm by mitosis, formed from spores;
Sporophyte: diploid, produces spores by meiosis, formed during fertilization with fusion
of egg and sperm
5. Compare the roles of mitosis and meiosis in a plant life cycle. Which of these
processes is related to sexual reproduction? To asexual reproduction?
Mitosis: sexual reproduction; occurs in the haploid gametophytes to produce the haploid
gametes. Meiosis: asexual reproduction; produces haploid spores in the sporophyte,
which grow into the gametophyte.
Structure and Function
How do the cells of plants differ from those of animals? How are they different from those of
fungi? You may whish to use labeled diagrams or a compare-and-contrast table to present your
results. Refer to Chapters 7 and 21 for help in answering these questions.
1. How is water essential in the life cycle of a bryophyte?
Bryophytes produce sperm that must swim through water to reach the eggs of others.
2. List the three groups of bryophytes. In what type of habitat do they live?
Mosses, liverworts and hornworts; in moist, shaded areas.
3. What is the relationship between the gametophyte and the sporophyte in mosses and
other bryophytes?
The gametophyte is the dominant, recognizable stage and is the form that carries out most
of the plant’s photosynthesis. The sporophyte depends on the gametophyte for water and
4. What is an archegonium? An antheridium? How are these structures important in
the life cycle of a moss?
An archegonium is the reproductive structure that produces egg cells; an antheridium is
the reproductive structure that produces sperm. These gametes fuse to form a diploid
zygote, the beginning of the sporophyte stage.
5. What characteristic of bryophytes is responsible for their small size? Explain.
Bryophytes are limited in size because they lack vascular tissue and therefore can draw
only a few centimeters of water up from the ground by osmosis.
Descriptive Writing
You are writing a pocket field guide about plants and are working on the bryophytes chapter.
Develop several paragraphs to help your readers distinguish among the mosses, hornworts and
liverworts. Hint: Do additional library or internet research to find examples of bryophytes in
your locality.
Seedless Vascular Plants
1. What are the two types of vascular tissue? Describe the function of each.
Xylem carries water from the roots to the rest of the plant. Phloem transports solutions of
nutrients and the products of photosynthesis.
2. What are the three phyla of seedless vascular plants? Give an example of each.
Lycophyta: club mosses; Arthrophtya: horsetails; and Pterophyta: ferns
3. What is the dominant stage of the fern life cycle? What is the relationship of the
fern gametophyte and sporophyte?
The diploid sporophyte; the gametophyte grows independently of the sporophyte. The
young sporophyte grows from the gametophyte.
4. The size of plants increased dramatically with the evolution of vascular tissue. How
might these two events be related?
Plants without vascular tissue can draw up water by osmosis only a few centimeters
above the ground. Vascular tissue moves fluids efficiently throughout a plant, even
against gravity. The rigidity of vascular tissue also helps support a tall plant.
5. Explain why xylem and phloem together can be considered to be a transport system.
Xylem moves water from roots to leaves and phloem moves nutrients from leaves to
roots. Together they move materials throughout a plant, forming a transport system.
Making a Visual Essay
Find out more about club mosses, horsetails and ferns. Research information such as
description, method of development, ecology and scientific name. Use this information along
with photographs or drawings of these plants to create a two-page photo essay about seedless
vascular plants.
Seed Plants
1. Identify the main characteristics of seed plants.
The ability to reproduce without water, the formation of cones or flowers, the transfer of
sperm by pollination and the protection of embryos in seeds.
2. What are the different groups of gymnosperms?
Gnetophytes, cycads, ginkgoes and conifers.
3. What major change in Earth’s climate favored the evolution of seed plants?
Earth’s climate became much drier.
4. Pollination is a process that occurs only in seed plants. What process in seedless
plants is analogous to pollination?
In seedless plants, the swimming of the male gametes to the female gametes is analogous
to pollination in seed plants.
Comparing and Contrasting
Compare reproduction in non-seed plants and seed plants. Then, explain how the evolution of
the seed was critical to the success of gymnosperms and angiosperms.
1. What reproductive structures are unique to angiosperms? Briefly describe the
function of each.
Flowers and fruits; flowers attract pollinators; fruits protect the seed and aid in its
2. What are monocots and dicots?
Monocots have one seed leaf or cotyledon, in the plant embryo; dicots have two.
3. How do annuals, biennials and perennials differ?
Annuals complete a life cycle within one growing season. Biennials complete their life
cycle in two years. Perennials live for more than two years, usually many years.
4. Compare the growth forms of plants with woody stems and those with herbaceous
Plants with woody stems are trees, shrubs or vines. Plants with herbaceous stems include
flowers such as zinnias and petunias.
5. Which are more likely to be dispersed by animals – the seeds of an angiosperm or
the spores of a fern? Explain your reasoning.
The seeds of angiosperms, because the seeds are enclosed in fruit, which animals eat.
Creating a Display
Prepare a display comparing two specific plants, one monocot and one dicot. On this display,
show photographs or drawings of the plants and write a brief summary of the basic differences
between these two types of angiosperms.
Specialized Tissues in Plants
1. What are the three main organs of seed plants? Describe the structure of each.
Roots: tissue to transport and anchor; stems: tissue for transport and to support leaves
and branches; leaves: flat surfaces for light absorption
2. List the three tissue systems of plants. Describe how each tissue is distributed in
stems, tissues and leaves.
Dermal tissue: outermost layer of cells; vascular tissue: cells that transport water and
nutrients throughout the plant; ground tissue: all other cells making up the plant
3. What two cell types make up xylem? Phloem?
Tracheids and vessel elements; sieve tube elements and companion cells.
4. What is the function of meristematic tissue in a plant?
Produces new cells by mitosis
5. In a stem that needs to support heavy leaves, what type of ground tissue might you
expect to find?
Sclerenchyma cells; they have thicker and harder cell walls that make ground tissue
6. Choose a group of cells making up vascular tissue in the root, the stem and the leaf.
Compare these cells, showing how they are alike and different.
The structure of cells making up vascular tissue in roots, stems and leaves is similar.
However, the arrangement of the cells differs in each. Figure 23-1 shows this
Comparing and Contrasting
You probably have some knowledge of the human circulatory system. Based on this knowledge,
write a paragraph comparing and contrasting the vascular system of a plant to the human
circulatory system. Hint: Show how the systems are alike and different.
1. Compare a taproot and a fibrous root.
Taproots: central primary root, grow deep; fibrous roots: shallow, many thin roots.
2. How are tissues distributed in a plant root?
Roots have an outside layer of epidermal cells and a central cylinder of vascular tissue;
between these lies ground tissue.
3. Describe the two main functions of roots.
Anchor a plant in the ground and absorb water and dissolved nutrients from the soil.
4. How is osmosis involved in the absorption of water and nutrients?
Active transport through the root epidermis results in a high concentration of mineral ions
in the root cells that causes water molecules to move into the root by osmosis.
5. Analyze how a root is part of a plant’s transport system. Which parts of a root may
be thought of as a subsystem?
A root is the starting point for the movement of water through the vascular system.
Subsystems: epidermis, cortex, endodermis, vascular cylinder
6. Why is it important that the root endodermis permit only a one-way passage of
The one-way passage of materials creates the root pressure that moves water up into the
stem and leaves.
Making a Diagram
Make two diagrams, one showing a root’s structure and growth, the other showing how roots
absorb water and nutrients. Label the diagrams and write brief descriptions of the processes
shown in each.
1. How do the functions of a stem relate to the roots and leaves of a plant?
Stems transport substances between roots and leaves.
2. Describe how the arrangement of vascular bundles differs between monocot and
dicot stems.
Monocots: scattered throughout stem; dicots: arranged in a cylinder
3. Define primary and secondary growth. Which involves divisions of the apical
Primary growth occurs only at the ends of plants. Secondary growth is a pattern in which
stems increase in width. Primary growth involves the apical meristem.
4. How do heartwood and sapwood differ?
Heartwood contains old, nonfunctioning xylem. Sapwood contains active xylem.
5. Analyze how a stem is part of a plant’s transport system. Which parts of a stem may
be thought of as a subsystem?
The stem conducts water and nutrients; xylem and phloem form a subsystem.
6. Evaluate the significance of the structural adaptations of the white potato. How
does a tuber enable the plant to survive unfavorable conditions?
The plant uses the food stored in the tuber for survival until favorable conditions return
and the plant can make food again.
Descriptive Writing
Pretend that you are small enough to enter a plant through its root system. Describe what you
would see as you traveled into a plant and through one of its stems. Include illustrations to
enhance your description. Hint: Review the illustrations in this chapter for ideas.
Reproduction with Cones & Flowers
1. What are the reproductive structures of gymnosperms?
The reproductive structures of gymnosperms are pollen cones, pollen grains, seed cones,
ovules and pollen tubes.
2. Describe the flower and how it is involved in reproduction.
Flowers are reproductive organs that are composed of four kinds of specialized leaves:
sepals, petals, stamens and carpels. The stamens produce male gametophytes, and the
carpels produce female gametophytes.
3. Are angiosperms typically wind pollinated or animal pollinated? How does this
process occur?
Angiosperms are typically pollinated by animals. Insects, birds and bats carry pollen
from one flower to another as they gather nectar.
4. What is endosperm? Where does it form in a flowering plant?
A food-rich tissue that nourishes a seedling as it grows; inside the embryo sac.
5. Many flowers have bright patterns of coloration that directly surround the
reproductive structures. How might this type of coloration by advantageous to the
Bright patterns of coloration might attract insects and other animals to the reproductive
structures of the flower and increase the chances of pollination.
Information and Heredity
Review the life cycle of the green alga Chlamydomonas on Section 20-4. Make a compare-andcontrast table comparing alternation of generations in seed plants and Chlamydomonas. Include
which stage (haploid or diploid) of each organism’s life cycle is dominant and when meiois
Seed Development & Germination
1. Describe what happens as fertilized angiosperm seeds mature.
Nutrients flow into the flower tissue and support the development of the embryo within
the seed. Parts of the ovule toughen to form a seed coat, and the ovary wall thickens and
joins with other flower parts to form a fruit that encloses and protects the seed.
2. Compare the typical structure of seeds that are dispersed by animals to those
dispersed by wind and water.
Seeds dispersed by animals typically have a tough coat and are contained in fleshy fruits.
Seeds dispersed by wind and water typically are lightweight and may be encased in winglike structures.
3. Why is it adaptive for some seeds to remain dormant before they germinate?
It allows for long-distance dispersal and for germination under ideal conditions.
4. The seeds of a bishop pine germinate only after they have undergone a forest fire.
Evaluate the significance of this structural adaptation.
It enables the species to recover after a fire and ensures that seedlings grow in a favorable
5. Describe which adaptations of a seed would enable it to germinate in a vacant lot
where a building once stood.
Dispersal by wind and possibly animals.
Writing a Book
Imagine that you are writing a children’s book on seeds and that you are working on the chapter
on dispersal. Write from one to three paragraphs on seed dispersal by wind. Hint: Try to
include details that you would have found appealing when you were about 8 years old.