Cross Pollination vs. Self Pollination

Cross Pollination
Self Pollination

In the process of cross pollination, the pollen is transferred from one plant to another by a pollinator, such as an insect, or by the wind. In self pollination, the plant’s stamen sheds pollen directly onto its own stigma.

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Cross Pollination

Self Pollination

Definition Cross pollination is the transfer of pollen grains from the anther of a flower to the stigma of a flower of a different plant of the same species. Self pollination is the transfer of pollen grains from the anther to the stigma of the same flower
Seen in Insects: Apples, grapes, plums, pears, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, runner beans, pumpkins, daffodils, tulips, lavender Wind: grasses, catkins, dandelions, maple trees, and goat’s beard. Some legumes, e.g. peanuts. Orchids, peas and sunflowers, wheat, barley, oats, rice, tomatoes, potatoes, apricots and peaches.
Transfer Wind, insects, water, animals, etc. Shed pollen directly onto stigma.
Plant differences Brightly colored petals, nector and scent, long stamens and pistils. Smaller flowers.
Results More variety in species. It allows for diversity in the species, as the genetic information of different plants are combined. However, it relies on the existence of pollinators that will travel from plant to plant. More uniform progeny. Allows plant to be less resistant as a whole to disease. However, it does not need to expend energy on attracting pollinators and can spread beyond areas where suitable pollinators can be found.
Number of pollen grains large number small number
Type of reproduction Allogamy Autogamy, Geitonogamy
Occurs in... Either perfect or imperfect flowers Perfect flowers

Contents: Cross Pollination vs Self Pollination

Dandelions use the wind to pollinate. So they have long pistils.
Dandelions use the wind to pollinate. So they have long pistils.

edit Which plants self-pollinate?

Most plants use cross pollination. Those that use insects as pollinators tend to have brightly colored flowers and an attractive scent. Those that are pollinated by the wind have long stamens and pistils with small or no petals.

Plants that use self pollination, such as peanuts, tend to have smaller flowers. Some plants that cross pollinate are also capable of self pollination if cross pollination is unsuccessful. These include peas, orchids and sunflowers.

edit Examples

A bee collecting pollen from a flower. Flowers that use insects for pollination are usually brightly colored to attract insects.
A bee collecting pollen from a flower. Flowers that use insects for pollination are usually brightly colored to attract insects.

Examples of plants that use insects for cross-pollination include apples, plums, pears, raspberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, strawberries, runner beans, pumpkins, daffodils, tulips, heather, lavender, and most flowering plants.

Examples of plants that use wind for cross pollination include grasses, catkins, dandelions, maple trees, and goat’s beard.

Examples of self-pollinating plants include wheat, barley, oats, rice, tomatoes, potatoes, apricots and peaches. Many plants that are capable of self-pollinating can also be cross pollinated.

edit Advantages and Disadvantages

Cross pollination is advantageous because it allows for diversity in the species, as the genetic information of different plants are combined. However, it relies on the existence of pollinators that will travel from plant to plant.

Self pollination leads to more uniform progeny, meaning that the species is, for example, less resistant as a whole to disease. However, it does not need to expend energy on attracting pollinators and can spread beyond areas where suitable pollinators can be found.

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Comments: Cross Pollination vs Self Pollination

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Anonymous comments (1)

January 15, 2014, 6:05am

Pollination is the transfer of polle grain from mature anther of thesame flower or another plant flower to the mature stigma

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