Biology Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for biology researchers, academics, and students. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is my understand of how seed germination comes to be and what it entails correct?

Seed germination: As the seed matures it loses water and enters dormancy (a state in which it’s metabolic processes slow down dramatically) after which it is dispersed. Once the seeds have been dispersed and if they have landed in an area that meets the requirements (sufficient water, warmth, and oxygen), they may begin to grow into seedlings or they may remain dormant. If they have not landed in a suitable area they can remain dormant for hundreds or thousands of years and wait until they are transported to a suitable area to resume growth. Eventually once the seeds have landed in a suitable area, the seed resumes the process of growth when the seed is able to absorb, the process of resuming growth after being dormant is called germination. The water causes the seed to swell and breaks open the seed coat. The stored food in the endospore or cotyledons begins to break down, and nutrients are made available to the embryo. The food and the presence of oxygen allow cellular respiration to occur, which provides energy to the embryo for growth. The first part of the embryo to appear outside the seed is a structure called the radicle, which starts absorbing water and nutrients from its environment, eventually the radicle develops into the plant’s roots. The hypocotyl is the region of the stem nearest the seed. In many plants, it is the first part of the seedling to appear above the soil. In some dicots, as the hypocotyl grows it pulls the cotyledons and the embryonic leaves out of the soil. Photosynthesis begins as soon as the seedling’s cells that contain chloroplasts are above the ground and exposed to light. In monocots, the cotyledon usually stays in the ground when the stem emerges from the soil.

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You're not accounting for anything other than "the happy path" here. For instance, not all seeds care about warmth or oxygen, and not very many can last for hundreds or thousands of years, and those that do often require more than transportation to another area to germinate. Otherwise, it sounds fairly accurate.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.