double-fertilization

Science Dictionary
double fertilization  
The process in which the two sperm nuclei of a pollen grain unite with nuclei of the embryo sac of an angiosperm plant. One sperm nucleus unites with the egg to form the diploid zygote, from which the embryo develops. The other sperm unites with the two nuclei located in a single cell at the center of the embryo sac. Together these nuclei form the triploid nucleus of the cell from which the endosperm develops. Double fertilization in this form is unique to the angiosperms.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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