An ovule and a seed may look the same to some, but they actually have a lot of differences. Ovules are found in the female reproductive organs while seeds are found in the male reproductive organs. Seeds also contain an embryo that will turn into a plant, while ovules do not. Seeds can also germinate and grow into plants, whereas ovules cannot. Finally, seeds produce fruit that contains more seeds, whereas ovules do not. So although they may look similar, there are some big differences between an ovule and a seed!
What is An Ovule?
An ovule is a small, membranous structure that contains the reproductive cells of a plant. In most plants, the ovule is located in the ovary, which is the female reproductive organ.
- The ovule contains the mother cell, or megaspore, from which the female gametophyte develops. When the megaspore germinates, it gives rise to a multicellular structure known as the embryo sac.
- The embryo sac consists of several cells, including two sac nuclei, an egg cell, and three polar nuclei. The egg cell is fertilized by a sperm cell, and the resulting zygote develops into an embryo.
- The polar nuclei fuse to form a large central nucleus that serves as the food source for the developing embryo. Once fertilization has occurred, the ovule develops into a seed.
An ovule is therefore an important structure in the plant life cycle, as it allows for sexual reproduction and the formation of new individuals.
What is a Seed?
- A seed is a tiny embryonic plant enclosed in a protective outer covering. The formation of the seed is part of the process of reproduction in seed plants, the spermatophytes, including the gymnosperm and angiosperm plants. Seeds are not to be confused with spores, which are produced by many plants but are not equivalent to embryos.
- (A spore develops into a new individual without fertilization.) In a flowering plant, an exposed seed develops from a ripened ovule, after fertilization by pollen.
- The ovule is incubated in the ovary until the Seed is mature. Seed plants now dominate terrestrial ecosystems on Earth, comprising more than 90% of the world’s plant biomass.
Differences between An Ovule and a Seed
An Ovule and a Seed are two important reproductive structures in a plant. An ovule is an immature egg cell that is surrounded by one or two integuments, and protective layers of tissue.
- A seed is a mature ovule that contains an embryo and a nourishing endosperm. The main difference between an ovule and a seed is their stage of development; an ovule is an immature egg cell while a seed is a mature ovule.
- The process of fertilization involves the union of the male gametes with the female gametophyte, which gives rise to the zygote. After fertilization, the zygote develops into an embryo inside the seed.
- The endosperm is formed from the triple fusion nucleus and it serves as food for the developing embryo. When the embryo is fully developed, it breaks through the wall of the ovule and begins to grow into a new plant.
Thus, we can conclude that an ovule is an immature egg cell that develops into a seed after fertilization whereas a seed is a mature ovule that contains an embryo and endosperm.
So, what is the difference between an ovule and a seed? An ovule contains the potential to become a seed, while a seed has already begun that process. Ovules are generally found in the female reproductive system, while seeds can be found in both male and female plants. Seeds often have protective coverings which help them stay safe until they germinate, while ovules do not typically have any type of protection.