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Contents

Characteristics of Plants

Terms

Introduction and Summary

Common Plant Characteristics

Alternation of Generations  -  The fluctuation between the diploid (sporophyte) and haploid (gametophyte) life stages that occurs in plants.
Antheridium  -  The male sex organ of terrestrial plants; where sperm cells are generated.
Archegonium  -  The female sex organ of terrestrial plants; where egg cells are produced.
Autotroph  -  An organism that synthesizes its own organic nutrients and does not rely on other organisms for food.
Diploid  -  Having two sets of chromosomes, one from each parent.
Epidermis  -  The outer layer of cells found on the body wall of an organism.
Gamete  -  A haploid sex cell (either an egg or sperm cell); male and female gametes join during fertilization to create a diploid zygote.
Gametophyte  -  A haploid plant or plant structure that produces haploid gametes through mitosis.
Haploid  -  Having only one set of chromosomes.
Jacket Cell  -  A component of the cell layer that covers the reproductive organs of plants and prevents them from drying out.
Photosynthesis  -  The process by which plants and other autotrophic organisms convert light energy into organic materials.
Root  -  The part of a plant beneath the soil; responsible for collecting water and minerals from the soil, storing nutrients, and securing the plant to the ground.
Shoot  -  The part of the plant above the soil, including all aerial structures such as stems, leaves, flowers, and fruits; gathers carbon dioxide and light energy for photosynthesis, provides surfaces for gas exchange, and contains the plant's reproductive organs.
Spore  -  Haploid cell from which a gametophyte is produced.
Sporophyte  -  A diploid plant or plant structure that produces haploid spores through meiosis.
Stoma  -  A very small epidermal pore, surrounded by two guard cells, through which gases diffuse in and out of a leaf.

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