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What is a Fruit?

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After flowering the structure formed from the ovaries and bearing the seeds in it, such structure of the flower is known as Fruit. Fruit is one of the ways to spreads seeds in flowering plants (Angiosperms). 

What is a Fruit?

Fruit is the structure of a plant former from ovaries after flowering plants. It is the edible part of the plant, not all fruits are edible. Fruit maintains the symbiotic relationship between a plant and with animal or human. Animals or humans help in seed dispersal by carrying the fruit. Fruit provide nutrition to the animal and on the other side anima helps in seed dispersal, here plant and animals show a symbiotic interaction.

Fruit basically a nutritious, fleshy seed-bearing structure of the plant, which can be sour and sweet. In some cases, fruit forms from another part of the flower as well instead of ovaries. Fruit is normally the product of sexual reproduction, but they can also form without reproduction such fruit known as parthenocarpic fruits.

Fruit Structure

There are 2 main components of the Fruit i.e., Pericarp and Seed

Pericarp

 

Pericarp

The outermost part of the fruit or covering over the seed is known as the pericarp. Mostly the edible part of the fruit is the pericarp. The pericarp is composed of 3 layers known as:

  1. Epicarp: The outermost skin of the plant is known as the epicarp, also known as the exocarp.
  2. Mesocarp: The fleshy part of the fruit. It is present in between the epicarp and endocarp.
  3. Endocarp: The outermost layer which surrounds around the seed is known as the endocarp.

Seed

The innermost hard part of the fruit is covered by an endocarp known as the seed. A seed is formed from the ripened ovule of a flower after fertilization. Formation of seed distinguishes between the plants whether it is angiosperm or gymnosperm.

Coconut Layer

 

Fruit Classification

Fruits are classified on the basis of :

On the basis of whether fruit develops from the ovary or not

  • True Fruit- True fruits are those that develop solely from the ovary. Mango, Coconut, and other tropical fruits are examples.
  • Pseudocarp or False Fruit- The fruit is not formed by the ovary in some fruits. Some flower parts, such as the thalamus, inflorescence, and calyx, are modified to become a part of the fruit. These are referred to as false fruits. Apple, strawberry, and other fruits are examples.

On the basis of development

After sexual reproduction, the ovary develops into a fruit. furthermore three different types of fruits depending on the development:

  • Apocarpous:  The fruit is developed from one flower and one or more carpels. Apocarpous is known as the most simple fruit. 
  • Syncarpous: The fruit is formed from one or two carpels and one gynoecium
  • Multiple: The fruit is formed from groups of flowers, also known as inflorescence.

On the basis of no. of flowers and ovaries involved

On this basis, true fruit is classified into:

  • Simple Fruit
  • Aggregate Fruits
  • Multiple and Composite Fruits

 Simple Fruit 

The monocarpellary or multicarpellary syncarpous ovary produces these fruits. The gynoecium produces only one fruit. Simple fruits are as follows:

  • Fleshy Fruits: Fleshy fruits have three layers of fruit wall: epicarp, mesocarp, and endocarp. These fruits are produced by superior or inferior syncarpous gynoecium.
  • Simple Dry Fruits: The pericarp of simple dry fruits is typically dry and hard. It does not have the three layers of epicarp, mesocarp, and endocarp. This pericarp is broken down into some dry fruits, and the seeds are scattered or dispersed. Those are fruits that are dehisced.

The pericarp is further divided into one or more seeded segments in some fruits. All of those are a fruit that seems to be schizocarpic. Even after maturing/ripening, the pericarp in some fruits is not dehisced. 

Aggregate Fruit 

The multicarpellary apocarpous ovary produces the fruits. Because each carpel is separated from the others in the apocarpous ovary, it develops into a fruitlet. These fruits produce a cluster of fruitlets known as etaerio.

  • Follicle etaerio: A follicle is a fruit or etaerio. Calotropis, Catharanthus, and Magnolia -e are some examples. Calotropis occurs when the stigma is fused or joined in the carpellary ovary and the ovules’ ovaries are separated. In etaerio, there are only two follicles.
  • Achene etaerio: Each fruit in this aggregate fruit is an achene. For example, Ranunculus, Strawberry, Rose, etc. The thalamus becomes spongy in the lotus, and some achenes become embedded. The thalamus in strawberries is fleshy, with small achenes on its surface.
  • Berrie’s etaerio is a grouping of tiny berries. Polyalthia, Custard-apple, etc. All of the berries in Annona’s etaerio are arranged densely on the thalamus.
  • Drupe etaerio: Many small drupes develop from different carpels in this type of fruit like raspberry. The drupe fruit is formed by the carpel of an apocarpous ovary.

Composite Fruit

False fruits are all composite fruits. In general, many ovaries and other floral parts combine to form the fruit in these fruits. There are two kinds of these:

  • Sorosis: These fruits form from the spike, spadix, or catkin inflorescence. Examples include Jackfruit and Kevda (screwpine). Pistillate flowers develop around the peduncle of jackfruit (Kathal). The pericarp becomes spongy and fused during fruit formation.
  • Sycosis: The hypanthium inflorescence produces these fruits. The receptacle hollows out and develops a pore. The orifice is surrounded by a swarm of microscopic scales. For example, the Ficus species Peepal.

Uses of Fruits

Fruits are the edible sour or sweet structure of the plant, which is the end result of the sexual reproduction of the plant. 

  • Fruit is a source of food for humans and many animals.
  • The fruit consists of essential nutrients and vitamins which are necessary for a healthy life and helps to fight disease.
  • Fruits are the organic sweetener and coloring source in cooking.
  • Get organic oil from some fruits. Example- Coconut, Castor, and Groundnut oil.
  • Some fruits are used in Ayurvedic medicine.
  • Fruits have Vit. C. is used as a free radical in the human body.

FAQs on Fruit

Question 1: What are the four parts of the fruit?

Answer:

 The outside epicarp, middle mesocarp, endosperm, and inner endocarp are formed when the pericarp is thick and the outer layer of fruit.

Question 2: What are the discussed fruit categorizations?

Answer:  

Fruits are classified according to two criteria: 

  • Whether or not the carpels in gynoecium are free or fused. 
  • Fruit is formed by the participation of one or more flowers. 

Question 3: What are the types of fruits?

Answer:

Four types of fruits are i.e., Simple, aggregate, multiple, and accessory.

Question 4: What is Fruit?

Answer:

The nutritious, fleshy seed-bearing structure of the plant after sexual reproduction, is formed from the ripened ovary. Such structure is known as Fruit.

Question 5: How is the pericarp of mango is divided?

Answer:

 Mango pericarp is made up of three layers: an outer thin epicarp, a mid squishy mesocarp, and an internal rocky hard endocarp.



Last Updated : 03 Mar, 2023
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