Pollen tube



Zygote (2n)

One of the two sperm fuses with the egg, forming a diploid zygote. The zygote eventually develops into an embryo. The second sperm fuses with the two polar nuclei, producing a triploid (3n) nucleus. This nucleus then develops into tissue called endosperm. The endosperm provides nourishment for the embryo. Kernels of corn are mostly endosperm. In many plants, however, the endosperm is absorbed by the embryos as the seeds mature. This process of two cell fusions, which is called double fertilization, is unique to angiosperms.

figure 30-9

In a process called double fertilization, one sperm fuses with an egg, forming a zygote. Another sperm fuses with two polar nuclei, forming an endosperm.

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