Pollination vs Fertilization: Difference and Comparison

Plants use pollination and fertilization to reproduce sexually. They are the two most common and natural ways of having children.

Both the male and female reproductive structures are involved in this process, which occurs in all bisexual flowers. Consequently, all flowering plants’ reproductive organs are termed flowers.

Key Takeaways

  1. Pollination is transferring pollen from a flower’s male part (anther) to the female part (stigma) of the same or another flower. At the same time, fertilization occurs when the male reproductive cell (sperm) fuses with the female reproductive cell (ovule) to form a zygote.
  2. Pollination enables plants to reproduce sexually and maintain genetic diversity, while fertilization ensures the development of seeds and the continuation of a plant’s life cycle.
  3. Pollination can be achieved through various means, such as wind, insects, or self-pollination, whereas fertilization is an internal process that follows successful pollination.

Pollination vs Fertilization

The difference between Pollination and Fertilization is that Pollination is the transfer of pollen grains from an anther to a flower’s stigma, whereas fertilization is the joining of haploid gametes to form a diploid zygote. Pollen grains containing male genetic material are taken from the anther and transported to the stigma of a flower in this procedure.

Pollination vs Fertilization

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Pollination is the biological process of pollen grains being transferred from a flower’s male reproductive organ to its female reproductive organ.

Pollen grains are carried between the anther and the stigma by a variety of vectors like a breeze, flies, honey bees, butterflies, and moths during pollination.

Pollination can be divided into two types, each of which is dependent on the dispersal of pollen grains. Self-Pollination and Cross-Pollination are the two types of pollination.

It was found in the 18th century by a German scientist named Christian Sprengeld. Feminine and male gametes combine to produce a diploid zygote during fertilization.

This occurs after the carpel has been pollinated. The entire process of fertilization takes place within the zygote for it to develop into a seed, and flowers, as the reproductive structures of angiosperms, play a key role.

Male gametes are delivered to female reproductive organs by pollinators such as hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, flower beetles, and other insects during fertilization to produce a final result – an embryo in a seed.

There are three methods of fertilization in plants. The pollen tube enters the ovule in a variety of ways, which is used to categorize them.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPollinationFertilization
DefinitionPollen grains are deposited just on the stigma of a flower during pollination.The fusing of haploid male and female gametes to generate a diploid zygote is known as fertilization.
ProcessPollination is a bodily function.Fertilization is a biochemical, genomic, and cellular process.
External AgentsExternal pollination agents such as moisture, breeze, flies, and animals are used to pollinate plants.Fertilization does not necessitate the use of exogenous agents.
CorrespondencePollination occurs during the initial stages of a plant’s sexual reproduction.
Pollination occurs before fertilization.

What is Pollination?

Pollen is deposited on the stigma of a flower during pollination. Pollen grains originate in the anthers of flowers and are distributed by pollinators such as breeze, moisture, birds, and animals.

Self-pollination and cross-pollination are two methods for pollinating a flower. During self-pollination, pollen grains from a genetically similar flower fertilize a plant’s stigma.

That is, pollens from the same blossom or a separate flower on the same plant should be grouped. The children of the parents are genetically identical as a result of the person. Pollination in the same flower is referred to as autogamy.

Geitonogamy is the pollination of different flowers on the same plant. Cleistogamy is the process of pollinating a flower before it blooms.

The depositing of pollen grains from one flower on the stigma of some other blooming on a plant sample in the same species is known as cross-pollination. Allogamy is the term for this process.

During cross-pollination, the genetic information of two plants is united, resulting in a genetically diverse progeny for the parents. Cross-pollination is aided by external pollinating agents such as moisture, breeze, insects, and animals.

Flowers have a variety of characteristics, such as brilliantly colored petals, fragrances, and syrup, to attract insects and improve pollination.


What is Fertilization?

The zygote is formed by the union of male and female gametes during fertilization. Syngamy refers to the fusion of gametes. Fertilization is the term for this process in plants.

The fertilization process begins after pollination when pollen grains land on the flower to the stigma of the same species. A tube cell and a generative cell can both be found in pollen.

The development of the pollen tube is aided by tube cells. A productive cell produces two sperm cells. The pollen tube expands until it reaches the ovary, which is located at the bottom of the stile.

Germination is the name for this process. When the pollen tube enters the ovule through the micropyle, a microscopic opening in the ovule, it explodes, delivering the two sperms into the embryo.

In flowering plants, a process known as twofold fertilization occurs (angiosperms). During double fertilization, one sperm fertilizes the egg cell at the bottom of the female gametophyte, resulting in the formation of a diploid zygote.

The embryo sac is another name for the female gametophyte. The central cell fuses with another sperm cell.

Two haploid polar nuclei are seen in the central cell. Consequently, the resultant cells are triploid, and mitosis divides them into the endosperm.

Inside the seed, the endosperm is a nutrient-rich tissue. After fertilization, the ovaries of an angiosperm develop into a fruit. Avocados, for example, have a single ovule per blossom in their ovary.


Main Differences Between Pollination and Fertilization

  1. During pollination, pollen grains are only deposited on the stigma of a flower, whereas Fertilization is the process of combining haploid male and female gametes to create a diploid zygote.
  2. Pollination is a physiological process, whereas Fertilization is a biological, biochemical, and genetic process.
  3. Plants are pollinated by external pollinators such as moisture, breeze, flies, and animals, whereas The use of external agents is not required for fertilization.
  4. Pollination occurs at the beginning of a plant’s sexual reproductive cycle, whereas Pollination takes place before fertilization.
  5. Pollination is a process that occurs outside of the body, whereas Fertilization is a process that occurs within the body.
Difference Between Pollination and Fertilization
  1. https://www.actahort.org/books/423/423_1.htm
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S037842901931175X

Last Updated : 22 July, 2023

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