Difference Between an Ovule and a Seed

Ovule and seed are two different parts of the plant. The ovule is the female reproductive organ of a plant. Seed, on the other hand, is the result of fertilization in plants. These two might seem the same at a stage but are different when you understand it properly.

The ovule is the part of the plant which fertilizes and transforms into seeds. It is the female part of the plant which consists of eggs. The ovule is the female Gametophyte. The ovule is the part of the pistil and is located as a part of the flower. Ovule directly transforms into a seed after fertilization.

Seed, on the other hand, is an embryonic plant. The seed is protected by a seed coat. Seed is the result of fertilization in a plant. It is present inside a fully developed fruit. It is surrounded by fruit which protects it from other organisms.

Ovule vs Seed

The main difference between an ovule and a seed is that ovule is an unfertilized female reproductive organ in a plant, while the seed is the result of fertilization. The ovule is a part of a flower present in pistil consisting of eggs, while we can say that Seed is the fertilized form of an ovule.

Ovule vs Seed

The ovule consists of the female gametophyte, which is fertilized by the pollen gains or the male part of the plants naturally and is transformed into a seed. This can be compared to the female reproductive part in human beings. In Ovule, we can find helium which helps it keep attached to the funiculus.

Seed, on the other hand, means through which a plant grows its progeny. It is formed from the ovule after the fertilization takes place. This can be compared to a human baby formed from the womb of a woman. In seeing, we find helium as well, but it helps seed keep attached to the fruit.

Comparison Table Between an Ovule and a Seed

Parameters of Comparison OvuleSeed
Place Found inside the ovary of the pistil of a flower The seed is found inside the fruits mainly.
Function It produces eggs for fertilization. It is a means of continuing progeny for plants.
Consists of It is consists of integuments, the embryo sac, and nucellus. It is consists of an embryo, endosperm, and a seed coat.
Result Results into a seed after fertilization Results into a whole new plant after it is dispersed and buried underground properly
Fertilization It is present before fertilization in a flower. It is present after fertilization within a fruit.

What is an Ovule?

In a plant, an ovule forms the structure, which in whole can be said as the female reproductive organ. It is consists of three parts which are the integument, the nucellus, and the female gametophyte. It is a small structure present inside the ovary of the flower. The ovule is attached to the placenta by a stalk known as a funicle.

The integument is the forms the outer layer of the ovule. The nucellus is also known as megasporangium, and the female gametophyte forms the centre of the ovule. The female gametophyte, also known as megagametophyte, is the embryosac in angiosperm. This megagametophyte produces the egg for fertilization.

The ovule is located specifically located inside the gynoecium. In the gynoecium, the ovary produces one or more ovules for fertilization. After fertilization, this structure of the ovule turns or develops into a seed. So plants with one ovule have one seed, while plants with more than one ovule have more than one seed.

The ovule is the precursor to seeds which makes then one of the important steps for plant propagation and also food production. The types of the ovule are mainly based on the structures and placement. Their are six types of ovules i.e. orthotropous or anatropous, anatropous ovule, hemi-anatropous ovule or hemitropous ovule, campylotropous ovule, amphitropous ovule and circinotropous ovule.

What is a Seed?

A seed is an embryonic plant, just like an unborn baby inside the womb. The seeds are enclosed inside a protective cover or coat. In angiosperm, gymnosperm and spermatophytes consist of seeds which is also a part of fertilization.

Seeds are produced after fertilization. The pollen fertilizes the eggs of the ovule during the process of fertilization which leads to the formation of seeds. Due to the formation of the seed in gymnosperm and angiosperm plants, their reproduction processes are much faster and stronger.

The word seed in general means “anything that can be sown,” which, for example, can be seeds of the pea plant, seeds of tomato plants, seeds of chilli plants, etc. There are lots of shapes in the seed which can differ in size and weight as well. The outer layer of the seed can also differ. Some seeds are also edible, which also put them on the list of food production.

Commercially also it is a very important stand. Seeds are commercially sold in very large amounts all over the world, either for agricultural purposes or domestic purposes. Seeds are bought by the farmers and even by families for gardening. As some seeds are directly edible, it is also bought for eating purposes.

Main Differences Between an Ovule and a Seed

  1. The formation of the ovule takes place in the gynoecium, while the formation of seed takes in the ovule itself. Ovule itself turns into a seed after fertilization.
  2. The ovule is present in flowers before fertilization, while the seed is present in the main fruits after fertilization.
  3. Ovule has a female gametophyte, while the seed is the embryonic plant.
  4. The layer of the integument made up of cells protects the ovule while the seed is protected by the seed coat.
  5. The ovule is attached to the placenta while the seed is attached to the fruit through the hilum.
  6. Ovule produces the egg cells while the seed produces a new plant when sowed.


The terms ovule and seeds are both connected but are not the same. An ovule and seed fall in the process of production. The ovule is before fertilization forms the female part, while on the other hand, the seed is after the fertilization by pollen.

These two terms are very important parts of the plant and its processes of growth. One cannot come without another. The seed can only come from the ovule after fertilization, while without seed, a plant becomes weak in case of production. 


  1. https://academic.oup.com/botlinnean/article-abstract/97/3/267/2660260
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2486.1997.gcb130.x
  3. https://academic.oup.com/jxb/article-abstract/43/5/709/586656
  4. https://nph.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/nph.16792
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