In this module, you will learn:

  • parts of a seed
  • describe different stages of seed germination.
  • the conditions necessary for germination

Resources to help you:

  • Textbook: page 140 and 141
  • Notebook: page 36 and 37

Watch the video

See how a seed germinates


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Dissection of a seed


Parts of a seed

There are three main parts of a seed.

  1. Seed coat
  2. Cotyledon
  3. Embryo

  1. The seed coat is an layer outside the seed to protect the seed.
  2. The cotyledon provides food for the growing embryo.
  3. The embryo contains the radicle and plumule which will develop into the root and shoot of the young plant respectively.

Conditions for germination

In order for a seed to germinate, there are three conditions or requirements that must be met.

  1. water
  2. air
  3. suitable temperature

Note that a seed does not need sunlight to germinate. The seed gets its food from the cotyledons.

Planting a seed

Credit: @jag_cz via DepositPhotos

Germination of alfalfa seed to young seedling


The Stages of Germination

  1. The seed coat breaks open.
  2. The radicle starts growing downwards.
  3. The plumule starts to grow upwards.
  4. The radicle becomes the roots and starts to get nutrients and water from the soil.
  5. The plumule becomes young green leaves and starts photosynthesis to make its own food.

During germination, the embryo and the young seedling gets its food from the cotyledons of the seed.

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