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The study of the morphology of fruit and seeds.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the division of plant morphology studying the form and structure of fruits and seeds. Since the propagation of plants is made possible by various agents (wind, water, birds, mammals, and man) it is not sufficient to study only the morphological character of fruits and seeds (for example, the origin of the fruit from a specific part of the flower or the structure of seed and fruit coats). Ecological factors must also be taken into account. Carpology is basically the study of the morphogenesis and ontogenesis of fruits and seeds. A primary function of carpology is the establisment of a classification system. A morphological classification of fruits based on the consistency of the pericarp (dry and succulent fruits) and on the number of seeds in the fruit (single-seed or multiple-seed fruits) was worked out by the German botanist J. Gaertner. Russian scientists, including Kh. Ia. Gobi, developed his system further. Their classification takes several ecological factors into account, such as the method by which the fruit is opened. The most urgent tasks of carpology are the establishment of a convenient and detailed applied scientific classification of fruits and the categorization of the fruits and seeds of weeds. These classifications will greatly aid agronomists, seed developers, and workers in quarantine and seed quality-control laboratories.


Kaden, N. N. “O nekotorykh osnovnykh voprosakh klassifikatsii, tipolo-gii i nomenklatury plodov.” Botanicheskiizhurnal, vol. 46, no. 4, 1961.
Takhtadzhian, A. L. Osnovy evoliutsionnoi morfologiipokrytosemennykh. Moscow-Leningrad, 1964.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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