Plant Cotyledons - Knowledgebase Question

Calgary, AB
Question by bauerj
April 15, 2000
What would happen to a plant if its cotyledons got ripped or torn off before they were supposed to come off?

Answer from NGA
April 15, 2000


Cotyledons, or seed leaves, are food storage structures that continually shrink as the germinated seed grows a stem and "true" leaves. They are necessary to a developing seedling, providing energy to the plant until true leaves develop. When true leaves develop they take over, providing energy to the plant through a process called photosynthesis (the conversion of light into carbohydrates). So, if cotyledons were removed, there would be no stored food reserves and the seedling would die.

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