If, on the other hand, the endosperm is the product of an act of fertilization as definite as that giving rise to the embryo itself, we have to recognize that twin-plants are produced within the embryo-sac - one, the embryo, which becomes the angiospermous plant, the other, the endosperm, a short-lived, undifferentiated nurse to assist in the nutrition of the former, even as the subsidiary embryos in a pluri-embryonic Gymnosperm may facilitate the nutrition of the dominant one.
Indentata) has the starchy endosperm extending to the summit of the grain, with horny endosperm at the sides.
The outermost layer of the endosperm consists of square cells larger and more regular in form than those on each side; these contain aleuron grains - small particles of gluten or nitrogenous matter.
The gametophyte or prothallial generation is thus extremely reduced, consisting of but little more than the male and female sexual cells - the two sperm-cells in the pollen-tube and the egg-cell (with the synergidae) in the embryo-sac. At the period of fertilization the embryo-sac lies in close proximity tube has penetrated, the separating cell-wall becomes absorbed, and the male or sperm-cells are ejected into the embryosac. Guided by the synergidae one male-cell passes into the oosphere with which it fuses, the two nuclei uniting, while the other fuses with the definitive nucleus, or, as it is also called, the endosperm nucleus.
The fruit is berry-like, and the seeds are remarkable for having their embryo surrounded by an endosperm as well as by a perisperm.
Even the most delicate tissues, such as cambium and phloem, the endosperm of seeds, or the formative tissue of the growing-point, are frequently preserved cell for cell, both in calcareous and silicious material.
The formation of endosperm starts, as has been stated, from the endosperm nucleus.
Its position is remarkable, closely applied to the surface of the endosperm at the base of its outer side.
Seeds in which endosperm or perisperm or both exist are commonly called albuminous or endospermic, those in which neither is found are termed exalbuminous or exendospermic. These terms, extensively used by systematists, only refer, however, to the grosser features of the seed, and indicate the more or less evident.
As the development of embryo and endosperm proceeds within the embryo-sac, its wall enlarges and commonly absorbs the substance of the nucellus (which is likewise enlarging) to near its outer limit, and combines with it and the integument Fruit and to form the seed-coat; or the whole nucellus and even the integument may be absorbed.