What is the function of the plumule?


Quick Answer

The plumule eventually grows into the leafy portion of a plant. Within the plant embryo, three parts emerge: the radicle, the hypocotyl and the plumule. The radicle becomes the root, the hypocotyl becomes the stem and the plumule turns into the foliage, according to Botanical Online.

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Full Answer

After an ovule undergoes fertilization, a seed develops, growing a protective layer known as the testa around the developing embryo. This embryo contains the three parts listed above. Within a short time after fertilization, the plumule becomes visible with at least two leaves that have a growing point held between them.

While the formation of a solid root system is important, the development of the plumule is also instrumental in the plant's eventual thriving or failure. If the plumule develops in a normal way, the shoot emerges from the seed and works its way up through the soil and into the atmosphere. A healthy plumule develops cotyledons, a special type of leaf that holds seeds; this is one of the most important ways that these plants germinate.

Because these seeds are crucial to the spread of that particular species, a plumule that fails to thrive not only threatens the health of that particular plant but the very existence of dozens, if not hundreds, more down the line.

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