Flexi Says: Germination of angiosperm seeds typically begins with water absorption. When water passes through the seed coat, the embryo's cells swell and its enzymes become activated. Cellular respiration increases and the cells grow and divide to produce first a root that grows downward into the soil and then a shoot that grows upward into the air. The first seed leaves open and photosynthesis begins. If the seedling survives, it may grow into a mature sporophyte plant and repeat the angiosperm life cycle.