Mature seeds contain stores of carbohydrate, protein, and lipid material that is broken down into component building blocks upon germination to provide energy and synthesis substrates for the early growth and development of the seedling. The various seed carbohydrates mobilized to support germination and seedling growth have characteristic properties and topographic arrangements in seed tissues that determine their accessibility to mobilization and the mechanisms required to effect their degradation and utilization. Soluble carbohydrates present in ungerminated seeds include some monosaccharides, dissacharides, and a variety of oligosaccharides, but they can also be more highly polymeric material such as fructans, β-glucans and arabinoxylans. Seed reserve mobilization commences upon germination, and thus the factors initiating germination ultimately control carbohydrate degradation and utilization. Effective starch degradation in the cereal seed endosperm is only possible upon the production of initially absent α-amylases. Endosperm mobilization in fenugreek has been considered to be possibly independent of control by the germinating embryo.