Self-pollination: Facts, Discussion Forum, and Encyclopedia Article
Self-pollination is a form of pollination
Pollination in flowering plants and gymnosperms is the process that transfers pollen, which contain the male gametes to where the female gamete are contained within the carpel; in gymnosperms the pollen is directly applied to the ovule itself....
that can occur when a flower
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproduction structure found in flowering plants . The biological function of a flower is to mediate the union of male sperm with female ovum in order to produce seeds....
has both stamen
The stamen is the male organ of a flower. Each stamen generally has a stalk called the filament , and, on top of the filament, an anther , and pollen sacs, called sporangium....
and a carpel in which the cultivar
A cultivar is a cultivated plant that has been selected and given a unique name because of its decorative or useful characteristics; it is usually distinct from similar plants and when Plant propagation it retains those characteristics....
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring....
is self fertile and the stamens and the sticky stigma of the carpel contact each other to accomplish pollination. The term is inaccurately used in many cases where an outside pollinator
A pollinator is the biotic agent that moves pollen from the male anthers of a flower to the female carpel of a flower to accomplish fertilization or syngamy of the female gamete in the ovule of the flower by the male gamete from the pollen grain....
is actually required; such plants are merely self fertile, or self pollenizing
A pollenizer or polleniser, sometimes pollinizer or polliniser is a plant that provides pollen.The words pollenizer and pollination are often confused: A pollinator is the biotic agent that moves the pollen, such as bees, moths, bats, and birds....
Few plants actually self pollinate. The mechanism is seen most often in some legume
A legume is a plant in the family Fabaceae , or a fruit of these specific plants. A legume fruit is a Fruit#Simple fruit that develops from a simple carpel and usually Dehiscence on two sides....
s such as peanut
The peanut, or groundnut , is a species in the legume Fabaceae native to South America, Mexico and Central America. It is an annual plant herbaceous plant growing to 30 to 50 cm tall....
s. In another legume, Soybean
The soybean or soya bean is a species of legume native to East Asia. The plant is classed as an oilseed rather than a Pulse . It is an annual plant that has been used in China for 5,000 years as a food and a component of drugs....
s, the flowers open and remain receptive to insect cross pollination during the day; if this is not accomplished, the flowers self pollinate as they are closing.
Self pollination, or more generally self pollenizing, limits the variety of progeny and may depress plant vigor
Inbreeding depression is reduced fitness in a given population as a result of breeding of related individuals. Breeding between closely related individuals, called inbreeding, results in more recessive deleterious traits manifesting themselves....
. However, self pollenizing can be advantageous, allowing plants to spread beyond the range of suitable pollinators or produce offspring in areas where pollinator populations have been greatly reduced
The term Pollinator decline refers to the reduction in abundance of pollinators in many ecosystems worldwide during the end of the twentieth century....
or are naturally variable.
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