Structure of gram seed:
Gram seed might be taken as an illustration for study of the structure of a dicot seed.
The gram seeds are brown in color. They are pointed at one end and round at another end. These are enclosed in a small fruit termed as the pod. The gram pod is two or three-seeded. The seeds are joined to the wall of the pod by a stalk termed as the funiculus. Whenever the mature seed is separated, the funiculus leaves a scar on the seed termed as the hilum. Just beneath the hilum lies the micropyle in the form of a small pore. Water is absorbed via the micropyle during the germination of seed. When the soaked seed is squeezed, water is seen to ooze out of the micropyle. The seed is enclosed by the tough seed coat. The seed coat comprises of two layers, external brownish testa and the papery white membranous tegmen. The function of seed coat is defensive. It protects the seed from desiccation, mechanical damage and extremes of temperature. It too protects the seed from the attack of fungi, bacteria, and insects.
Figure: Structure of dicot seed
On eliminating the seed coat, two massive and fleshy cotyledons are seen. The two cotyledons are joined laterally to the embryonal axis. The embryonal axis projects away from the cotyledons on either side. The lower pointed end of the axis is the radicle that symbolizes the rudimentary or embryonic root. The other end is feathery. It is termed as the plumule. It symbolizes the initial apical bud of the future plant and grows into the shoot. The plumule is seen only after dividing the two cotyledons. The part of the axis among radicle and the point of attachment of the cotyledons to the axis are termed as the hypocotyl and the part between the cotyledons and plumule is the epicotyl. The axis all along with the cotyledon comprises the embryo.
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