Gymnosperms vs Angiosperms

Differences between Gymnosperms and Angiosperms

A pro tip for Biology examinations is to practice differences beforehand. A question pertaining to the differences between Gymnosperms and Angiosperms is very commonly seen in a lot of college exams. No worries, we have got you covered. Gymnosperms and Angiosperms both belong to the category of Phanerogams i.e. seed-producing plants. So, let’s look biologically at the difference between Gymnosperms and Angiosperms.

Differences between Gymnosperms and Angiosperms:

Differences between Gymnosperms and Angiosperms:

Gymnosperms: (‘Gymnos’ means ‘naked’, ‘sperma’ means ‘seed’)

These are specialized seed plants whose seeds are particularly naked i.e. their ovules are not enclosed inside the ovary of the carpel, rather these ovules occur on specialized modified leaves called sporophylls. Gymnosperms do not produce fruits. Gymnosperms are majorly represented by 88 genera and more than about 1000 species. These species belong to about 14 families. 

Examples: Ginkgo biloba, Cycas circinalis, Zamia pygmaea etc.

Angiosperms: (‘Angio’ means ‘vessel’, ‘sperma’ means ‘seed’)

These are the plants that possess the feature of covered seeds (inside a fruit). They are vascular plants that possess coloured flowers. There are more than 250,000 species of Angiosperms. They comprise the plants that are most recently evolved.

Examples- Mangifera indica, Zea mays etc.

Differences between Gymnosperms and Angiosperms:

Although both of them represent higher plants of the plant kingdom, they are undoubtedly different from each other.  So, let’s conclude the differences based on various characteristics and parameters.

  1. Type of plant: Gymnosperms– They are mostly woody trees. Angiosperms– They have a variety of herbs, shrubs and trees.
  2. The sexuality of the plant: Gymnosperms-Unisexual. Angiosperms– Bisexual and Unisexual.
  3. Type of Reproduction: Gymnosperms-Rarely reproduce by vegetative means. Angiosperms– Vegetative reproduction is the most common.
  4. Type of Pollination: Gymnosperms-Anemophily is common. Angiosperms– Anemophily, Entomophily, Hydrophily and Zoophily are common.
  5. Sepals and Petals: Gymnosperms-Absent. Angiosperms– Present.
  6. Ovules: Gymnosperms-Ovules are naked (not covered by the ovary wall). Angiosperms– Ovules are covered by an ovary wall.
  7. Style and stigma: Gymnosperms-surprisingly absent. Angiosperms– Present. 
  8. Archegonium: Gymnosperms-Present. Angiosperms– Absent.
  9. Development of female gametophyte: Gymnosperms-Monosporic development. Angiosperms– Maybe mono-, bi- and tetra- sporic.
  10. Double fertilisation and triple fusion: Gymnosperms-Absent. Angiosperms– Present.
  11. Free nuclear division: Gymnosperms-Occurs in the zygote of gymnosperms while in Angiosperms– Division of the zygote is invariably followed by wall formation.
  12. In microgametophytes, prothallial cells: Gymnosperms-Present. Angiosperms– Absent.
  13. Endosperm formation: Gymnosperms-Formed before fertilisation. Angiosperms– Formed after fertilisation.
  14. Ploidy of endosperm: Gymnosperms-Haploid. Angiosperms– Triploid. 
  15. Cleavage polyembryony: Gymnosperms-Present. Angiosperms– Absent.
  16. Phloem: Gymnosperms-Lack companion cells whereas Angiosperms– Companion cells are present.
  17. Xylem: Gymnosperms-Vessels are generally absent. Angiosperms– Vessels are present.

In conclusion,  there is a huge difference between gymnosperms and angiosperms. Hope this article was helpful.

For more differences check-

Team MBD

Also watch-Evolution of Gymnosperm – YouTube

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