Gallery: Tantalizing Images of Plant Sex

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Plant Sex

Credit: Anja Geitmann, University of Montreal
Plant reproduction and its human counterpart aren't all that different, a new study detailed in April 2013 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy…Read More »

of Sciences suggests. When a pollen grain, which stores plant sperm, lands on top of the stigma, a structure that sits atop the carpel where the female sex cells are stored, the pollen grows a long tube that pushes through the surrounding tissue. The pollen tube swells up like an inflating balloon, navigating a narrow channel to deliver sperm to the ovules, where it fertilizes an egg cell.

But when the tube encounters too much tightening force from the tissue, pollen tube bursts and releases sperm. Scientists captured the delicate act in these amazing microscope images.   Less «
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