How Pollination Works

Plant Pollination is very important, it is the vital method of sexual reproduction in plant.

Pollination enables plants to bear fruit and new seeds that grow into new plants, many of which are not only eaten by humans, but also by other living species from birds to mammals.

It all begins in the flower. Flowering plants have several different parts that are important in pollination.

The pollination process involves the transfer of pollen (the sticky powder of the plants, from the male part of a plant (called the ‘stamen’) to the female part of the plant (the ‘carpel’). The pollen contains male sperm (gametes), and the carpel is where the female gametes are contained.

As shown in the picture below

Pollination Diagram
 
-the male part of the flower: comprising the anther and filament (together, called the ‘stamen’)

 

and

 

– the female part of the flower: the stigma and style with the ovary (containing the ovule) at the base of the flower (the ‘carpel’).

 

 

 

Pollination occurs in several ways.

People can transfer pollen from one flower to another, but most plants are pollinated without any help from people. Usually plants rely on animals or the wind to pollinate them.

There are two types of pollination called self-pollination and cross-pollination.

Self-pollination is the more basic type of pollination because it only involves one flower. This type of pollination occurs when pollen grains from the anther fall directly onto the stigma of the same flower. Although this type of pollination is simple and quick, it does result in a reduction in genetic diversity because the sperm and egg cells of the same flower share genetic information. Very few plants are able to self pollinate.

Cross-pollination is a more complex type of pollination that involves the transfer of pollen from the anther of one flower to the stigma of a different flower. This type of pollination results in an increase in genetic diversity because the different flowers are sharing and mixing their genetic information to create unique offspring.

There are several ways that flowering plants utilize to move pollen from one flower to another, including wind, water and animal pollinators.

Wind is commonly used to transport pollen long distances. Plants that use wind to transport pollen often have pollen grains that are small, lightweight, and smooth. These plants are also often found in large populations because this increases the chance of a pollen grain landing on a flower of the same species.

Although this strategy is not common, some plants rely on water to transport their pollen to other flowers. Water transportation of pollen can involve rain water or waterways, such as streams.

Animal pollinators are organisms that travel from flower to flower and transfer pollen to each flower they visit. This type of pollination is very important because around 80% of all flowering plants and 75% of staple crop plants require animals to help complete the pollination process.

This is where honey bees come in with a vital roll, they are major pollinators . Bees pollinate plants at accident.

They are not trying to pollinate the plant. Usually they are at the plant to get food, the sticky pollen or a sweet nectar made at the base of the petals. When feeding, the animals accidentally rub against the stamens and get pollen stuck all over themselves. When they move to another flower to feed, some of the pollen can rub off onto this new plant’s stigma, and this is how pollination occurs.

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