Question from my students: antipodal cell and food storage

Shinhan Shiu sshiu at
Fri Nov 14 15:54:15 EST 1997

Dear netter,

I am currently a graduate TA in an introductory botany course. My students asked me a
couple of questions which I was not sure about.

Does anybody know the function(s) of antipodal cell in the embryo sac of Angiosperms? It
can be a structure which is useless but not totally degenerated. I wonder if there is any
known function associated with those cells.

Also, the food reserve in most seeds is either stored in the cotyledon or endosperm (any
other place? examples?). My students asked me if there were any kind of selective
advantage or "evolutionary superiority" of either of those two. We had an active
discussion. I thought the question itself worked on the assumption that one was more
advantageous than the other. This is not necessarily true. It may just be that two
mechanisms work equally well. But, I might be wrong. Any insight?

I'd appreciate any kind of response.

Shinhan Shiu
Botany Department
University of Wisconsin-Madison
sshiu at

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