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Question Video: Describing the Process of Cross-pollination Science

Plants can be pollinated by cross-pollination and self-pollination. Which of the following best describes cross-pollination? [A] An egg cell of one plant being fertilized by a sperm cell from the same plant. [B] An egg cell of one plant being fertilized by a sperm cell from a different plant. [C] A pollen grain of one plant being fertilized by the ovary of a different plant. [D] A pollen grain of one plant being fertilized by the ovary of the same plant.

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Video Transcript

Plants can be pollinated by cross-pollination and self-pollination. Which of the following best describes cross-pollination? (A) An egg cell of one plant being fertilized by a sperm cell from the same plant. (B) An egg cell of one plant being fertilized by a sperm cell from a different plant. (C) A pollen grain of one plant being fertilized by the ovary of a different plant. Or (D) a pollen grain of one plant being fertilized by the ovary of the same plant.

You may recall that sexual reproduction in flowering plants involves pollination and then fertilization of the male and female gametes, or sex cells. Many flowering plants are able to produce both male gametes, sperm cells, and female gametes, egg cells.

Pollen are microscopic grains that contain the male gametes. And they are produced in parts of the flower called anthers. Each female gamete is contained within a structure called an ovule. Ovules are located within a flower part called the ovary. For a male gamete to fertilize a female gamete, first pollination must occur. This involves pollen being transferred from the anther, where it is made, to a female part of a flower called the stigma. This transfer of pollen from an anther to a stigma is called pollination.

Self-pollination occurs when pollen grains are transferred from an anther to the stigma of the same flower, like we can see here, or to the stigma of a different flower on the same plant. Alternatively, cross-pollination occurs when pollen grains are transferred to the stigma of a flower on a different plant of the same species. This means that a sperm cell will fertilize an egg cell of a different plant, with different genetic material.

Therefore, the statement that best describes cross-pollination is (B), an egg cell of one plant being fertilized by a sperm cell from a different plant.

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