origin of plants/seeds

Nancy Harrison nanharrison at delphi.com
Sun Jun 11 08:14:14 EST 1995

Hi, Laura and Ian!  Welcome to the newsgroup - I come from
Northern California, and I have studied plants here for about
20 years.  The seed ferns seem to be the ancestor of the seed
plants, but it was SO LONG AGO and we know so little that it is
all just guesswork!
   Seeds are very complicated structures (they look simple, but
they aren't.) If you, Ian, could some day find the first real
fossil seed, it would be a great discovery and you might win
the Nobel Prize!  The covering around the seed is really
interesting...if you have a microscope at school, soak a bean
seed for  a few hours or overnight, then peel off the coat and
look at it under the 'scope.  There are layers of tough cells
called brachyschlereids that form the coat and keep the seed
from drying out.   This was the big advancement made by the
seed plants...to keep from drying out, and yet let the embryo
remain dormant in the seed until conditions were just right for
germination.  Also, there is lots of food inside the seed for
the embryo to use when it starts to grow.
   Good luck with your project!  I am coming to your part of
the country in a couple of weeks to visit two grandchildren,
one in New Hampshire and one in New Jersey.  I love Boston!  -
N. Harrison, Santa Rosa, Calif.

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