What is pollination?

What is pollination?

It is a process through which flowers reproduce meaning they give birth to fruits and crops. But how does this happen? To know that, first we need to learn about the reproductive parts of the flowers. And what are they? The flower consists of both male and female reproductive parts, the male reproductive part of the flower is called a stamen. It is made up of anther and filament. The anther has a sack - like structure that contains pollen grains which are the yellow powdery tiny particles that play a crucial role in reproduction. And below the anther is a long stem - like part called the filament. On the other hand, the female reproductive part of the flower is called pistil consisting of stigma and ovaries.

The stigma has a glue - like substance, whereas the style is a thin stem - like structure that connects the stigma to the ovary. A sack - like structure that contains eggs which reside in ovules. Now that we have learned about a plant’s reproductive parts, let us know about the process of pollination. Pollination is the process through which pollen grains are picked from an anther and transferred to the flower’s stigma. This process can occur in two ways self - pollination and cross - pollination. So let us look at them in detail.

Self - pollination occurs when the pollen from the anther is deposited on the stigma of the same flower or another flower on the same plant through wind and water, whereas cross - pollination occurs between different plants in which pollen grains are transferred from anther of one flower or plant to the stigma of another through agents like insects, birds, wind, etc. known as pollinators. For example, when a bee sits on a flower for sipping nectar the pollen gets stuck on its body and when it flies to the next flower for more nectar the pollen from the bee’s body gets deposited on the female reproductive part.

And when that happens, the pollen gets slipped into the ovary and enters the ovule where seeds are formed through a method called fertilization. This animal or insect - based cross - pollination process is known as Zoophily. And just like that, it can happen in two more ways. First is Anemophily where the pollens are transferred by winds and the second process is Anthropophily where plants are artificially pollinated by humans using cotton swab.

Did you know more than 70% of plant species depend on insects, birds, bats and other animals to transport the pollen? Also, at least 30% of 1500 crop plant species in the world depend on pollination by bees and other insects.

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