Why Do Plants Make Fruit?

February 14, 2024

Fruit is a delicious and nutritious addition to many meals. It provides minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, micronutrients, natural sugars, and carbohydrates. But why do plants put all of that energy into making colorful, tasty fruit? In this article we will explore the answer to that question and discover a few more reasons why plants produce fruit.

Plants make fruits to disperse their seeds and ensure their survival. They do this by growing fruit that is sweet and attractive to animals. Fruits like berries and mangoes are designed to encourage animals to eat them. Once a creature has eaten the sweet fruit, the seeds are released when it is excreted in its waste. This process is known as seed dispersal or endozoochory.

Some fruits protect the seeds as they float, sometimes for thousands of miles, across water or land. This allows the seeds to be spread to new places where they can grow and start a new generation of the same species. The fruit also gives the seed a jump-start, providing it with a nutritious place to begin growing.

The first step in making a fruit is pollination, which occurs when the ovary of the flower of a plant becomes fertilized. This can happen when a bee, bat, bird, or wind spreads pollen from one flower to another. The second step in fruit formation is a chemical process called fruit development. This occurs when the cell of the plant releases hormones called auxin and gibberellin, which break down repressor genes that inhibit fruit development.

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