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Get the buzz on pollination and a free student handout from McGraw Hill's AccessScience

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Pollination Article by: Leslie Real, Department of Zoology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina. Bastiaan J. D. Meeuse, Department of Botany, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington. Access to this content is available to Ward's World readers for free from McGraw Hill's AccessScience, an award-winning, digital STEM resource containing exclusive articles written by expert scientists and engineers; biographies of well-known scientific figures; science news, videos, and animations; and much, much more. Instructors can use AccessScience to guide students on their research project journeys, to help students understand scientific concepts, to support distance learning efforts, in flipped classroom approaches, and in countless other ways. Ward's World and AccessScience have partnered to offer educators a no-obligation, free trial subscription to AccessScience. Request your free trial today to discover how valuable AccessScience can be for you and your students! Get your free trial now. The transport of pollen grains from the plant parts that produce them to the ovule-bearing organs, or to the ovules (seed precursors) themselves. Pollination is a process that ensures the successful life cycle of plants. Without pollination, there would be no plant fertilization; thus, it is of crucial impor- tance for the production of fruit crops and seed crops. In the pollination process, pollen (the small male reproductive bodies produced in the pollen sacs of seed plants; Fig. 1) is transferred to the female reproductive organs of a plant, thus facilitating fertilization. In gymnosperms (plants with naked seeds), includ- ing conifers and cycads, the pollen, usually dispersed by the wind, is simply caught by a drop of fluid excreted by each freely exposed ovule. In angiosperms (flowering plants), where the ovules are contained in the pistil, the pollen is deposited on the pistil's receptive end (the stigma), where it germinates. Pollina- tion also plays an important part in plant-breeding experiments that are aimed at increasing crop production through the cre- ation of genetically superior types. + ward ' s science Content • Self- and cross-pollination • Flower attractants • Animal pollinators • Bird pollination • Bat pollination • Hawkmoth pollination • Butterfly pollination • Fly and beetle pollination • Bee pollination • Wind pollination • Water pollination • Ecology Fig. 1: Photomicrograph of pollen grains. (Credit: Steven P. Lynch) Key Concepts • Pollination is any process that transports pollen grains from the plant parts that produce them to the ovule-bearing organs, or to the ovules themselves. • Without pollination, there would be no plant fertilization. • Pollination plays an important part in plant-breeding experiments aimed at increasing crop production through the creation of genetically superior types. • In most plants, self-pollination is difficult or impossible. • Plants normally need external agents for pollen transport, including insects, wind, birds, mammals, and water.

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