Seed anatomy, physiology, and dispersal

By alphabetical order:

  • albuminous
    albumineuse/endospermée (French), albuminada/endospermada (Spanish)
    That relates to, contains, or resembles albumen (an albuminous seed).
  • allochory
    allochorie (French), allocoria (Spanish)
    Dispersal of seeds induced by an external vector or agent (wind, water, animal or others).
  • anemochory
    anémochorie (French), anemocoria (Spanish)
    Dispersal of seeds induced by wind.
  • anthropochory/hemerochory
    anthropocorie/hémérochorie (French), antropocoria/hemerocoria (Spanish)
    Dispersal of seeds through humans.
  • aril
    arille (French), arilo (Spanish)
    An exterior covering or appendage of some seeds (as of the yew) that develops after fertilization as an outgrowth from the ovule stalk.
  • autochory
    autochorie (French), autocoria (Spanish)
    Dispersal of seeds by the plant without the help of an external vector.
  • ballochory
    ballochorie (French), ballocoria (Spanish)
    Dispersal of seeds through the explosive dehiscence of the fruit.
  • barochory
    barochorie (French), barocoria (Spanish)
    Dispersal of seeds induced by gravity.
  • coleoptile
    coléoptile (French), coleoptilo (Spanish)
    Pointed protective sheath covering the emerging shoot in monocotyledons such as grasses.
  • cotyledon
    cotylédon (French), cotiledón (Spanish)
    Embryonic leaf in seed-bearing plants, one or more of which are the first to appear from a germinating seed.
  • diplochory
    diplochorie (French), diplocoria (Spanish)
    Dispersal of seeds that takes place in more than one stage, generally by different methods.
  • dormancy
    dormance (French), dormancia (Spanish)
    Evolutionary adaptation that prevents seeds from germinating during unsuitable ecological conditions that would typically lead to a low probability of seedling survival. True dormancy is referred to as a state in which seeds are prevented from germinating even under environmental conditions normally favorable for germination.
  • elaiosome
    élaïosome (French), eleosoma (Spanish)
    Fleshy structure riches in lipids and proteins attached to the seeds of certain plant species.
  • embryo
    embryon (French), embrión (Spanish)
    In seed plants, part of a seed that is made up of precursor tissues for leaves, stem, roots, and one or more cotyledons.
  • endogenous dormancy
    dormance endogène (French), dormancia endógena (Spanish)
    Form of dormancy caused by conditions within the embryo itself, often broken down into three main subgroups: physiological dormancy (prevents embryo growth and seed germination until chemical changes occur), morphological dormancy (underdeveloped or undifferentiated embryo) and combined dormancy (seeds have both morphological and physiological dormancy).
  • endosperm
    endosperme (French), endospermo (Spanish)
    Food-storing tissue around the embryo inside a seed, produced after the double fertilization of most of the flowering plants.
  • epicotyl
    épicotyle (French), epicótilo (Spanish)
    Embryonic shoot located above the cotyledons from which the first leaves emerge.
  • exalbuminous
    exalbuminée (French), exalbuminada (Spanish)
    (of a seed embryo) Having no albumen.
  • exogenous dormancy
    dormance exogène (French), dormancia exógena (Spanish)
    Form of dormancy caused by conditions outside the embryo, often broken down into three subgroups: physical dormancy (caused by an impermeable seed coat), mechanical dormancy (when seed coats or other coverings are too hard to allow the embryo to expand during germination), and chemical dormancy (includes growth regulators, etc., that are present in the coverings around the embryo).
  • germination
    germination (French), germinación (Spanish)
    Growth of a plant contained within a seed, resulting in the formation of the seedling or emergence and development from the seed embryo of essential structures (complete root and shoot axis) indicative of the ability to produce a normal plant under favorable conditions.
  • hilum
    hile (French), hilio (Spanish)
    Scar or mark left on a seed coat by the former attachment to the ovary wall or to the funiculus (which in turn attaches to the ovary wall).
  • hydrochory
    hydrochorie (French), hidrocoria (Spanish)
    Dispersal of seeds through water.
  • hypocotyl
    hypocotyle (French), hipocótilo (Spanish)
    Stem of a germinating seedling, located below the cotyledons (seed leaves) and above the radicle (root).
  • intermediate seed
    Seeds that do not fit either orthodox or recalcitrant seed categories. Tend to age faster than orthodox seeds when stored at conventional freezer temperatures (-20°C), having only a 5-year lifespan on average. Longevity of seeds increases when dried between 45 and 65% RH.
  • myrmecochory
    myrmécochorie (French), mirmecocoria (Spanish)
    Dispersal of seeds by ants.
  • orthodox seed
    semence orthodoxe (French), semilla ortodoxa (Spanish)
    Seeds which can be dried to internal seed moisture of less than 12%, stored at freezing temperatures, and survive during ex situ conservation.
  • plumule
    plumule (French), plúmula (Spanish)
    Primary shoot or stem of a plant embryo that is typically located at the end of the hypocotyl.
  • pyriscence
    pyriscence (French), pyriscence (Spanish)
    Adaptation to an environment in which fires are regular and where maturation and release of seeds is triggered, in whole or in part, by fire or smoke.
  • quiescence
    quiescence (French), quiescencia (Spanish)
    Resting state of a seed in the absence of suitable germination conditions.
  • radicle
    radicule (French), radícula (Spanish)
    Embryonic root and first part of a seedling to emerge from the seed during the process of germination. Grows downward in the soil, with the shoot emerging from the plumule.
  • recalcitrant seed
    semence récalcitrante (French), semilla recalcitrante (Spanish)
    Seeds that do not survive the effects of drying or temperatures less than 20°C during ex situ conservation. Seeds from fruit trees such as avocado, mango, mangosteen and lychee fall in this category.
  • scarification
    scarification (French), escarificatión (Spanish)
    Process of weakening, opening, or otherwise altering the coat of a seed to encourage germination.
  • serotiny
    sérotinie (French), serótina (Spanish)
    Ecological adaptation exhibited by some seed plants, in which seed release occurs in response to an environmental trigger, rather than spontaneously at seed maturation.
  • stratification
    stratification (French), estratificatión (Spanish)
    Process of treating seeds to simulate natural conditions that the seeds must experience before germination can occur.
  • tegmen
    tégument (French), tegumento (Spanish)
    Inner integument of a seed.
  • testa
    testa (French), testa (Spanish)
    Outer, protective covering of a seed; commonly called seed coat.
  • vigor
    vigeur (French), vigor (Spanish)
    Seed properties which determine the potential for rapid, uniform emergence and development of normal seedlings under a wide range of field conditions.
  • zoochory
    zoochorie (French), zoocoria (Spanish)
    Dispersal of seeds, spores or fruits by animals.