ANTONIO ROMERO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANTONIO ROMERO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Pine cone. Light micrograph of a section through a female cone, or megastrobilus, of a pine tree (Pinus sp.). Female cones have two types of scales; the sterile bract scales (arranged spirally) and the seed, or ovuliferous, scales. At the base of each seed scale are two sac-like megasporangia inside which is an elongated spherical ovule (dark red). The scales open to receive the male gametophytes (pollen) and then close when fertilise. When the seeds have reached maturity they scales re-open to disperse the seeds. Magnification: x9 when printed at 10 centimetres tall.
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