How is the process of pollination different from fertilization?


Pollination is a physical process, while Fertilization is a genetic and biochemical process. Flowering plants reproduce in two ways – pollination and fertilization.

  • Pollination occurs through the transfer of pollen which is the male microgametes of seed plants, producing the sperm – from one plant to the stigma (the female reproductive organ) of another. The pollen grain takes up water and germination occurs. The germinated pollen grain sprouts a pollen tube, which grows and penetrates the ovule (the egg structure of the plant) through a pore called a mycropyle. The sperm is then transferred through the pollen tube from the pollen
  • Fertilization can be defined as the fusion of the male gametes (pollen) with the female gametes (ovum) to form a diploid zygote. It is a physicochemical process which occurs after the pollination of the carpel.
  • If the pollen grain meets the stigma, it produces a pollen tube that develops down through the style to the ovary, resulting in fertilisation.
  • The pollen tube expands down the style to the ovary’s opening, where the male gamete is deposited at the egg. Every half of the genetic material required to form a zygote, that later develops into a new plant, is contained in the male and egg.

The former one is followed by a few plants, while the latter is a very common procedure and thus followed by almost every plant. Here are some differences between pollination and fertilization listed below.

The difference between pollination and fertilization

Pollination Fertilization
Pollination is the transfer of pollen grains from an anther to a stigma. The fusion of male and female gametes is called fertilization.
Pollen can be transferred by an animal or by the wind. Fertilization occurs once the pollen grain reaches the stigma, it produces a pollen tube, which grows down through the style to the ovary.
The process can be done by the plant itself or through outside agents. For flowering plants, there can be no fertilization if there is no pollination. However, fertilization applies to almost every organism in this world.

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