Glossary

Angiosperm: flowering plant that produces seeds within a protective fruit.

Cambium: meristematic tissue found within the roots and stems of perennial plants.

Chloroplast: cell organelle responsible for photosynthesis. Coniferophyte: early (Carboniferous) seed-bearing plant, such as Cordaites.

Cuticle: waxy coating that reduces water loss. Dichotomously branched: axes divided into two equal parts. A primitive form of branching common in early vascular plants, e.g., Rhynia.

Diploid cell: vegetative cell of the sporophyte generation (chromosome number 2n).

Double fertilization: takes place in the developing seed and results in the formation of a seed with a food source (endosperm).

Gametes: haploid sex cells that fuse during reproduction to form a diploid zygote which develops into the sporophyte. Gametophyte generation: haploid, vegetative, gamete-producing stage in the life history of a plant. Gametes fuse and grow into sporophytes.

Gymnosperm: vascular seed plant with exposed (naked) seeds that are usually borne within cones.

Haploid cell: cell of the gametophyte generation (chromosome number n).

Lignin: complex polymer in plant cell walls that confers rigidity and provides support in terrestrial plants, particularly in woody species.

Lycopod: club moss (a lycophyte).

Meiosis: reduction division that converts diploid cells to haploid cells.

Meristem: plant tissues that remain embryonic for as long as the plant lives. Its products differentiate into the tissues of the stem and root.

Monopodial branching: dichotomous branching where one axis is dominant.

Non-vascular: plants without a vascular system. Organelle: membranous subcellular structure specialized for a particular function.

Phloem: vascular tissues that transport organic nutrients throughout plants.

Pollen: immature male gametophyte that is transferred through pollination to the female gametophyte. Rhizoid: fine, hair-like extensions, usually from rhizomes that act as absorptive organs.

Rhizome: horizontal stem at, or just below, ground level that supports vertical axes.

Sporangium (plural sporangia): structure in which the spores develop.

Spore: haploid cell produced by the sporophyte that germinates to produce the gametophyte generation. Sporophyte generation: diploid, vegetative, spore-producing stage in the life history of a plant.

Stoma (plural stomata): small pores that allow gas exchange between the environment and plant interior. Thallus: haploid, vegetative, gametophyte body. Trilete: spores that have been produced by meiotic cell division. Vascular tissue system: system that transports water and organic nutrients throughout the plant.

Xylem: vascular tissues that transport water from roots to rest of the plant.

Zygote: diploid cell resulting from fusion of gametes during sexual reproduction.

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