In what ways does the corn kernel differ from the bean seed? 

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Corn and bean plants both fall under the classification of angiosperm, or flowering plants. Each of these plants create a flower that, once fertilized, create the vegetable or fruit we harvest later for food. The major differences between the two can be summed up by their individual classifications: monocot and dicot. 

  • Monocots are angiosperms that have only one cotyledon in their seed. These cotyledons are the early or first leaf that comes from a plant once it begins to grow.  You can see this in a corn kernel when you cut one open, as it has one large lobed area inside instead of segments. Once grown, the plant itself also has many other differences that make it a monocot, but if we are only worrying about the kernel vs. the bean, this would be the most important distinction. 
  • Dicots, on the other hand, have two cotyledons inside of each seed. If you were to cut open a bean (think lima bean, kidney bean, etc.) you would see two large lobes on either side of the centerline of the seed. This means that the plant once grown has two seed leaves to begin its growth. Some other prominent examples of dicots are tomatoes, oak trees, legumes, and lettuce.

Once other big difference between a corn kernel and a bean is the presence of an endosperm. This is like a food sac on the inside of the seed to help nourish the seed once it begins to grow. Corn kernels have a large endosperm towards the top of the seed whereas beans generally do not. 

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