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In plants, pollination plays an important role in reproduction.

In plants, pollination plays an important role in reproduction. Pollination is the sexual method of reproducing in all plants by the process of transferring the pollen grains from the anther to the stigma of the gynoecium and thereby permitting the fertilization process. In this process, the spermatophytes or the seed plants pass their genetic information to its next-generation, just like all other living organisms. Christian Konrad Sprengel first identified the process of pollination in the 18th century. This is commonly known as an interaction between pollen vector and a flower. The significance is found in agriculture and horticulture. There are two  types of pollination  -:

The cross-pollination is defined as the deposition of pollen grains from a flower to the stigma of another flower. Commonly, the process is done by insects and wind. By insects, the process takes place in several plants like strawberries, grapes, raspberries, tulips, apples, plums, pears, daffodils, and more. Pollination by the wind is observed in different grasses, maples trees, dandelions, and catkins.

In this process, the pollen grains transfer from the stigma of the same or genetically similar  flower . The self-pollination can be observed in legumes such as orchids, sunflowers, peas, peanuts, oats, peaches,  potatoes, wheat, and others. Let us learn more in detail about the differences between the two types of pollination.

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Transfer pollen grains from the anther to the stigma of the same flower.

Transfer pollen grains from the anther to the stigma of a different flower.

This process can take place in the same flower or a different flower of the same plant.

This process can take place between two flowers present on different plants.

It occurs in the flowers which are genetically identical.

It occurs between flowers which are genetically different.

Few species that exhibit self-pollination –  Paphiopedilum parishii, Arabidopsis thaliana

Few species that exhibit cross-pollination –  apples, daffodils, pumpkins and grasses

Causes homogenous conditions in progenies.

Causes heterozygous condition in progenies.

Self-pollination increases genetic uniformity and decreases genetic variation.

Cross-pollination decreases genetic uniformity and increases genetic variation.

Produces limited amounts of pollen grains.

Produces large amounts of pollen grains.

In self-pollination, both the stigma and anther simultaneously mature

In cross-pollination, both the stigma and anther mature at different times.

Transfers a limited number of pollens.

This process is carried out even when the flowers are closed.

For cross-pollination to happen, the flower should be open.

No need for pollinators to transfer pollen grains.

Require pollinators to transfer pollen grains.

Pollen grains are transferred directly to a flower’s stigma.

Pollen grains are carried via wind, insects, animals, water, etc.