General Science Bullet – Common terminologies used in Botany – Capsule 3

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This is the third article in the series covering common terminologies. We will be elaborating on the parts of a plant in this article.

1. Root: They are underground structures that are typically derived from the radical of the embryo. Their primary functions include anchoring the plant and absorbing minerals and water. Roots are of three types: primary, secondary and adventitious. 

2. Stem: It is the main ascending part of the plant responsible for storage of nutrients, transport of fluids between roots and shoots, production of new living tissues, supporting the leaves by keeping them in place and ensuring optimum exposure to sunlight. Generally, stems are divided into nodes and internodes.

3. Leaf: It is a green flattened lateral structure attached to the stem and is responsible primarily for the process of photosynthesis and transpiration.

4. Node: It is part of the stem from where leaves or lateral branches emerge.

5. Bud: This is a compact and immature structure, often covered with protective scales that develop into a leaf, shoot or flower.

6. Inflorescence: It is the pattern or arrangement of flowers on the stem. The part of the stem that holds the entire inflorescence is called peduncle. Umbel, spike and cyme are few examples of the inflorescence arrangements.

7. Cotyledon: It is a part of the embryo within the seed of a plant. They are formed before the germination of the seed and often become the first leaves of the germinated plant (also known as seed leaf). Botanists use the number of cotyledons as a means of classification.

8. Dicot: It refers to plants that have two cotyledons. For example: Neem, Mango, and Sunflower.

9. Monocot: It refers to plants that have only one cotyledon. For example: Grasses, Sugarcane, Maize and Wheat.

10. Pollen: It is a powdery structure produced by plants that helps to produce male gamete for reproduction. It is produced in the anther of angiosperm plants and in the male cone of gymnosperm plants.

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