Have you ever wonder why bees are attracted to flowers? Flowers look beautiful and smell nice but there is a reason behind this – flowers actually help plants to reproduce. Flowering plants have seeds, carry the genetic information of the parents and develop into a new plant.
Pollination is a method where pollen grains are picked from an anther, which is the male part of a flower and transferred to the flower’s female part called the stigma. To make the pollination work successfully, the pollen grains must be transferred from the same species of flower.
Once the pollen grains lands on the stigma, they form a pollen tube with the style length, it connects both the stigma and ovary. After the completion of the pollen tube, the pollen grain starts sending sperm cells from the grain to the ovary. The occurrence of fertilization will take place when the sperm cells will reach the ovary and egg cells. The seed is then released from the parent plant and making it able to grow into a plant and continue the reproductive cycle with the use of the pollination method.
Types of Pollination
All the plants having flower completely rely on pollination method for reproduction. There are 2 pollination types-
- Self Pollination
It is referred to as the primary type of pollination as it includes just one flower. Self-pollination occurs when pollen grains fall directly from another into the stigma of the flower. Although this process is quite simple and quick it leads to a reduction in genetic diversity as the sperm and egg cells of the flower share some genetic information.
It refers to a complex type of pollination that allows the transfer of pollen grains from the anther of the flower into the stigma of another flower. This method leads to an increase in genetic diversity as different flowers will share and combine their genetic information to create unique offspring.
Types of Cross-Pollination
Pollination by Wind
This type of pollination usually occurs when plants are closed. It will not be a long distance for a pollen to move from anther of one flower to the stigma of a different flower. All those plants that use wind for their pollination can be blamed for spring allergies and fever in humans. You must have seen that your car is fully covered with yellow film in the spring as it is actually the pollen that uses wind for the method. The flower of the plants uses wind pollination are greenish, small and odorless as they do not have to attract the pollinators, their energy is not used for making colorful petals.
Pollination by Animals
Animals play an important role in plant reproduction. They help in seed dispersal. When an animal eats the fruit of a plant, they move to a different location. This movement helps in spreading the seeds and with this, we get new plants to new locations.
Artificial pollination is done by human beings. If there is difficulty in the pollination process through air or animals, humans have to perform this method by spreading pollen grains of palm trees over the female flowers.
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