The key difference between germination and vivipary is that germination is the emergence of a seedling from a seed under favourable conditions while vivipary is the process of premature seed germination and development of embryos inside the fruit before detaching from the parent plant.
Seed plants use their seeds to spread in the environment. When the seeds meet favourable conditions in the environment, they start to germinate and produce seedlings, which can later become mature plants. We call this process germination; it is a vital process in plant development. Generally, seeds detach from the parent plant and then undergo germination. However, some seeds or embryos begin to develop before detaching from the parent plant. This is the process called vivipary.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Germination
3. What is Vivipary
4. Similarities Between Germination and Vivipary
5. Side by Side Comparison – Germination vs Vivipary in Tabular Form
What is Germination?
Germination is the process in which a seed undergoes development and produces a seedling. Seedling then converts into a sapling and then into a mature tree. There are different morphological and growth phases of the germination process. Appropriate optimal levels of warmth and moisture along with the correct nutrients are necessary for the germination process. There are two types of seed germination as epigeal germination and hypogeal germination, based on the direction in which the seedlings grow upon germination.
In epigeal seed germination, the seed leaves or the cotyledons come out of the soil surface along with the development of the shoot. This is mainly due to the rapid elongation of the hypocotyl of the plant. Furthermore, the hypocotyl grows rapidly and actively and becomes curved or curled in appearance. This change in the hypocotyl allows the seed leaves or the cotyledons to be brought on top of the soil surface.
During hypogeal germination of seeds, the cotyledons remain below the soil surface. This is due to the rapid development and elongation of the epicotyl. The epicotyl initially develops and then it elongates, followed by curling up and attaining a curved structure. This will result in the early development of the plumule, bringing it above the soil surface. Moreover, this makes the cotyledons to remain below the soil surface.
What is Vivipary?
Vivipary is the process in which seeds or embryos begin to develop while attached to the parent plant. Therefore, vivipary occurs before the detachment of the seeds from the parent plant. In vivipary, seeds germinate inside the fruit and come out through the fruit wall. Generally, seeds do not start to germinate when they are inside the fruit. Therefore, we say that seeds germinate prematurely in vivipary.
Many species of mangroves show vivipary. Their seeds germinate using the parent plant resources and then they release seedlings into water currents for dispersion. Furthermore, vivipary can also be seen in plants such as corn, tomatoes, peppers, pears and citrus fruits, etc. Moreover, when you cut tomatoes, sometimes you may find sprouts inside it; this is another example of vivipary.
What are the Similarities Between Germination and Vivipary?
- Vivipary is a form of premature seed germination.
- In both germination and vivipary, seeds produce seedlings which can become mature plants in the future.
- Both types are seen in seed plants.
- They are very important processes in plant life cycles.
What is the Difference Between Germination and Vivipary?
Germination is the development of seeds into new plants while vivipary is a process in which seeds germinate prematurely before detaching from the parent plant. Thus, this is the key difference between germination and vivipary.
The below infographic summarizes the difference between germination and vivipary.
Summary – Germination vs Vivipary
Germination or seed germination is the process of developing seeds into new plants. When seeds are under favourable conditions to germinate, they break seed coats and give rise seedlings. Later, these seedlings grow and become new mature plants. In contrast, vivipary is a phenomenon of premature seed germination. It usually occurs when the seeds are still inside the fruit, before detaching from the parent plant. Many species of mangroves show vivipary commonly. This summarizes the difference between germination and vivipary.
1. “What Is Vivipary – Reasons For Seeds Germinating Prematurely.” Gardening Know How, 9 Apr. 2018, Available here.
2. ” What is Seed Germination? – Definition, Process, Steps & Factors.” Study.com, Available here.