Chapter 15 – Plant Growth and Development

Have you ever thought about where and how the structures like roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits and seeds arise and that too in an orderly sequence? You are, by now, aware of the terms seed, seedling plantlet, mature plant.

You have also seen that trees continue to increase in height or girth over a period of time. However, the leaves, flowers and fruits of the same tree not only have limited dimensions but also appear and fall periodically and some time repeatedly.

All plant organs are made up of a variety of tissues; is there any relationship between the structure of a cell, a tissue, an organ and the function they perform? Can the structure and the function of these be altered? All cells of a plant are descendents of the zygote.

The question is, then, why and how do they have different structural and functional attributes? Development is the sum of two processes: growth and differentiation. To begin with, it is essential and sufficient to know that the development of a mature plant from a zygote (fertilised egg) follow a precise and highly ordered succession of events.

During this process a complex body organisation is formed that produces roots, leaves, branches, flowers, fruits, and seeds, and eventually they die. In this chapter, you shall also study some of the factors which govern and control these developmental processes. These factors are both intrinsic (internal) and extrinsic (external) to the plant.

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