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Edexcel Biology Concept Checklist

3 Reproduction and Inheritance

The following sub-topics are covered in this section.
(a) Reproduction
(b) Inheritance

(a) Reproduction
3.1 Understand the differences between sexual and asexual reproduction
Human can only reproduce by sexual reproduction while plants can reproduce by either way
Other animals like Hydra can reproduce asexually through budding
The two modes of reproduction differ in terms of:
Gamete formation yes vs no
Fertilization to form zygote yes vs no
Genetic variation yes vs no
Permit survival in changing vs stable environment
3.2 Understand that fertilisation involves the fusion of a male and female gamete to produce a zygote that
undergoes cell division and develops into an embryo
In plants Pollination brings the two gametes together
Male gamete: Pollen grains
Female gamete: Ova
In animals Copulation brings the two gametes together
Male gamete: Sperms
Female gamete: Ova
Flowering plants
3.3 Describe the structures of an insect-pollinated and a wind-pollinated flower and explain how each is
adapted for pollination
Both types of pollination may occur as self-pollination or cross-pollination
Structures of insect-pollinated and wind-pollinated flowers are different in terms of:
Placement: Enclosed vs exposed
Stigma structure: Sticky vs feathery (to catch wind)
Petals: Large and brightly colored with guiding lines vs small and not brightly colored
Nectary: Present vs absent
Pollen grains: Sticky and large vs small, smooth and inflated
3.4 Understand that the growth of the pollen tube followed by fertilisation leads to seed and fruit formation
Pollen grain and ovum combines to form seed, which is enclosed in a fruit
Process of fertilization:
A pollen tube grows out of a pollen grain
The tube digests its way through the style and into the ovary
It enters through the micropyle and the tip dissolves
The pollen grain nucleus moves out of the tube into the ovule
It fertilizes the ovum to form a zygote
Process of seed and fruit (structure containing seeds) formation:
The zygote becomes an embryonic plant with radicle (embryonic root) and plumule (embryonic shoot)
Other parts of the ovule develop into one (monocotyledon) or two (dicotyledon) cotyledons, which
serves as the food store when it germinates
The ovule wall hardens to form the testa (seed coat)
The ovary wall becomes the fruit coat with highly diverse structures depending on type of fruit and may
be fleshy (plum) or fibrous (coconut)
Dispersal of seed and fruit
Seeds need to be dispersed or else there would be competition for resources such as water, nutrients
and oxygen
Seeds may be dispersed while inside the fruit or as free seeds
They may be dispersed by various means including by wind or by animals
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3.5 Practical: investigate the conditions needed for seed germination
Germination (Breaking dormancy)
After seed dispersal, seeds are usually very dry with about 10% water, which restricts seed metabolism
to such an extent that it can remain alive but dormant for prolonged period (years)
During germination, the cotyledon acts as food store to provide nutrients for radicle and plumule growth
The plumule grows towards the light and starts photosynthesis
The radicle grows into the soil to aid water and mineral absorption
Germination requires warmth, oxygen and water:
Warmth increases enzyme activity
Water imbibition activates enzymes and to provide a medium for chemical reaction
Oxygen allows aerobic respiration for growth
3.6 Understand how germinating seeds utilise food reserves until the seedling can carry out photosynthesis
Germination ends when the seedling can carry out photosynthesis and so no longer depend on the
cotyledon as food source
3.7 Understand that plants can reproduce asexually by natural methods (illustrated by runners) and by
artificial methods (illustrated by cuttings)
Natural means of asexual reproduction uses:
Bulbs (modified leaves) Onion
Runners (modified stems) Strawberry, spiderplant
Tubers (modified roots) Potato
Artificial means of asexual reproduction uses:
Cuttings in which a section of plant stem with some leaves is cut and planted in nutrient and soil
aseptically, rooting will then occur and it develops into a new plant
In both cases, clones (identical individuals) are formed
This is possible in plants as plant cells retain their ability to differentiate while animal cells dont
3.8 Understand how the structure of the male and female reproductive systems are adapted for their
Male reproductive structures:
Vas deferens (sperm duct) carry sperm
Testis produce testosterone and sperm
Scrotum keep the testes at temperature lower than normal body temperature
Penis to transfer sperm
Female reproductive structures:
Uterus where the embryo develops
Fallopian tube (oviduct) carries eggs to the uterus
Ovary produces eggs, estrogen and progesterone
Vagina the birth canal from which the baby emerges
3.9 Understand the roles of oestrogen and progesterone in the menstrual cycle
Estrogen Help repair/thicken the endometrium (uterine lining), inhibits FSH, stimulates LH
Progesterone From Corpus Luteum or placenta later in pregnancy, helps maintain the thickness of the
endometrium, inhibits both FSH and LH, thus stops ovulation
3.10B Understand the roles of FSH and LH in the menstrual cycle
Luteinizing hormone (LH) its peaking causes ovulation to happen on day 14
Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) stimulates follicle development in ovary
3.11 Describe the role of the placenta in the nutrition of the developing embryo
The placenta separates the mothers blood from the fetus and it allows exchange of:
Oxygen, glucose, antibodies from mother to fetus
Carbon dioxide, urea from fetus to mother
While it doesnt allow the exchange of pathogens and harmful chemicals (some do pass through though)
3.12 Understand how the developing embryo is protected by amniotic fluid
Amniotic fluid has the following functions:
Absorb shock
Lubricates the birth canal during parturition
Provide a stable temperature environment and buoyancy for the fetus
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3.13 Understand the roles of oestrogen and testosterone in the development of secondary sexual
Estrogen produced by the ovaries gives secondary sexual characteristics:
Enlargement of breast
Beginning of menstruation
Increase in body mass more rounded hips
Voice deepens without sudden breaking

Testosterone produced by the testes (by Leydig cells) gives secondary sexual characteristics:
Growth of the penis and testes
Growth of facial and body hair
Muscle development
Breaking of the voice