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Angiosperms: Life cycle, Classification, Economic Importance, Practice Problems and FAQs

Angiosperms: Life cycle, Classification, Economic Importance, Practice Problems and FAQs

Can you imagine a world without fruits and beautiful flowers? No, not possible indeed, because we all like flowers. Now you tell me which plant group produces flowers, fruits and seeds? Yes, angiosperms are fruit, seed and flower bearing plants. The word ‘Angiosperms’ has been derived from two words, ‘angion’ meaning vessel and ‘sperma’ meaning seeds. That means the seed is covered with fruits. 

Angiosperms are the plants in which the pollen grains and ovules are developed in specialised structures called flowers. This group of plants is the most dominant in the world. How is it possible? So let’s understand why they are dominant and why we all like them?. In this article we will take a deep dive into the details of angiosperms. 

Flower blooming
Flower blooming

List of contents

Life cycle of angiosperms

The diploid sporophyte is the dominant phase in the life cycle of angiosperms. Just like gymnosperms, angiosperms are also heterosporous as microspores and megaspores represent the male and female spores respectively. The microspores give rise to the male gametophyte (pollen grain) and megaspore give rise to the female gametophyte (embryo sac).

Female and male gametophytes produce the gametes of respective sexes. The gametes fuse together to form the zygote. The zygote gives rise to the embryo. The seed containing the embryo after germination forms the main sporophytic plant body. It possesses roots, stems and leaves. Thus angiosperms exhibit alternation of generation with a short haploid gametophytic phase and a long diploid sporophytic phase. It shows a diplontic life cycle.

Diplontic life cycle of angiosperms
Diplontic life cycle of angiosperms

Classification of angiosperms

Angiosperms are classified into two major groups based on the presence of seed leaves or cotyledons as follows:

  • Monocots
  • Dicots

Difference between monocots and dicots

Monocots

Dicots

Seeds possess a single cotyledon

Seeds which have two cotyledons

Leaves have parallel venation

Leaves have reticulate venation

Primary roots are short-lived 

Primary roots are long-lived 

They have a fibrous root system

They have a taproot system

The parts of the flower is a multiple of three or equal to three (trimerous)

Trimerous

Fig: Trimerous

The parts of flower is a multiple of four or five or equal to four or five (tetramerous or pentamerous)

Pentamerous

Fig: Pentamerous

Vascular bundles are closed

Vascular bundles are open type and possess cambium

Do not show secondary growth

Shows secondary growth

Examples include onion, garlic, rice etc.

Examples include pea, gram etc. 

monocot seed

Fig: Monocot seed

dicot seed

Fig: Dicot seed

Economic importance of angiosperms

Angiosperms are one of the most important plants in the world. 

Source of food

Examples include cereals (wheat, rice), pulses (peas, gram), fruits (apples, oranges) and vegetables (carrots, potatoes).

Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables

Source of fibre

Angiosperms are a major source of fibre products, timber etc. For example, Ficus and Castilla are utilised for their timber and latex. Jute and cotton plants are important sources of fibres. 

Fossil fuel formation

Fossil fuels are formed by the dead and decaying plants in deep layers of the Earth. 

Source of medicine

Angiosperms are the source of many medicines, pharmaceutical products and psychoactive drugs. For example, papaya has therapeutic effects to cure liver problems. The leaves of Calotropis procera are used for the treatment of rheumatism, mumps, burn injuries, body pain etc.

Calotropis
Calotropis

Decorative purposes

Angiosperms are also used for decoration purposes. For example, dahlia, daisy, poppy etc.

Poppy flowers
Poppy flowers

 

Economic importance of angiosperms
Economic importance of angiosperms   

Practice Problems

Q 1. Identify the correct option for a typical female gametophyte of a flowering plant:

(i) It is normally 8-nucleated and 7-celled at maturity.
(ii) It is free-nuclear during development.
(iii) It is situated inside the integument and outside the nucellus.
(iv) It has an egg apparatus with egg and synergids situated at the chalazal end.

a. i and ii
b. ii and iv
c. ii and iii
d. i and iv

Answer: A typical female gametophyte or the embryo sac in angiosperms, normally possesses an egg apparatus at the micropylar end. It has two polar nuclei at the centre and three antipodal cells at the chalazal end of the ovule. The megaspore mother cell or MMC undergoes meiotic division to produce four megaspores. Out of these three degenerates, only one remains and acts as a functional megaspore. This megaspore undergoes three mitotic divisions to form 8 nuclei, hence, it is considered as a free nuclear division. Out of the eight nuclei in the embryo sac, three move to the chalazal end. They form the antipodal cells. Three moves to the micropylar end and form the egg apparatus, while two nuclei occupy the central region. Hence option ‘a’ is correct.

Q 2. The seed is considered as an ovule which is modified as a result of fertilisation. It is found in ____________. 

a. All vascular plants
b. Angiosperms only
c. Gymnosperms only
d. Phanerogams

Answer: Phanerogams include both angiosperms and gymnosperms. They produce special reproductive structures and generate seeds. Seeds enclose the future generation, that is the embryo. They are also called Spermatophyta. Hence option ‘d’ is correct.

Q 3. _____________ possess an integumented and indehiscent megasporangium.

a. bryophytes
b. gymnosperms and pteridophytes
c. gymnosperms and angiosperms
d. pteridophytes

Answer: An indehiscent integumented megasporangium in the form of ovule is normally found in gymnosperms and angiosperms. The ovule then forms the seed after fertilisation. Hence option ‘c’ is correct.

Q 4. Which of the following is correct about the haplo-diplontic life cycle?

a. Both the sporophytic phase and gametophytic phase believed to have equal life time
b. Both sporophytic and gametophytic phases are multicellular and have independent existence
c. Exhibited by only pteridophytes and bryophytes
d. Ectocarpus exhibits haplo-diplontic life cycle

Solution: In the haplo-diplontic life cycle both the sporophytic and gametophytic phase are multicellular and have independent existence. In this life cycle, the dominant phases differ. This kind of life cycle is normally exhibited by pteridophytes and bryophytes. Ectocarpus exhibits a haplo-diplontic life cycle. Hence option ‘d’ is correct.

Q 5. Identify the common features seen in gymnosperms and angiosperms ? 

a. Their gametophyte is dominant 
b. They produce flowers 
c. They rely on water for reproduction
d. They produce seeds

Answer: Both gymnosperms and angiosperms produce seeds. Gymnosperms normally produce naked seeds while the angiosperms possess seeds enclosed inside the fruit. The gametophytes of gymnosperms and angiosperms are reduced and dependent upon the sporophyte. Only angiosperms produce flowers in the plant kingdom. Reproduction in angiosperms and gymnosperms happens independent of water.

Q 6. Classification of angiosperms are based on the _____________.

a. mode of pollination
b. number of cotyledons 
c. mode of gametogenesis 
d. mode of fertilisation

Answer: Angiosperms are classified into dicots and monocots. This classification is done on the basis of the number of cotyledons in the seed. The cotyledons or seed leaves possess the stored food reserves of the seed. Dicots normally have two cotyledons or seed leaves in the seed and monocots have a single cotyledon.

FAQs

Q 1. Archegonia are missing in which plant group?
Answer:
Archegonia are considered as the female sex organs in bryophytes (first land plants), pteridophytes or vascular cryptogams and gymnosperms or non flowering plants. Archegonia are absent in flowering plants (angiosperms).

Q 2. When did angiosperms first appear on the Earth?
Answer:
They originated about 250 million years ago. The main evidence obtained is the angiosperm-like pollen fossil discovered in Switzerland in the year 2013, dates to the Anisian age of the middle Triassic (about 247.2 million to 242 million years ago). 

Q 3. Are all angiosperms able to produce fruit?
Answer:
Angiosperms form the majority of all plants on Earth. They produce seeds encased in ‘fruits’. It includes the fruits which we eat like oranges, apples etc. It also includes the fruits that we cannot eat directly like the fruits of maple seeds, acorns, wheat, rice, beans, etc.

Q 4. Why are angiosperms considered important in evolution?
Answer:
The two important structures of plants are the flowers and fruits. It represents an improved reproductive strategy which protects the embryo. It increases genetic variability and range too. Hence they are considered important in evolution. 

Related Topics

Bryophytes: General characteristics, Reproduction, Gemmae, Antheridium, Archegonium, Practice Problems and FAQs 

Pteridophytes: General Characteristics (Habitat, Size and Plant Body), Practice Problems and FAQs 

Gymnosperms: General characteristics, Plant body, Practice Problems and FAQs 

Angiosperms: Life cycle, Classification and Economic importance, Practice Problems and FAQs 







 

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