Copyright

Plant Fertilization: Process & Definition

Plant Fertilization: Process & Definition
Coming up next: Plant Tubers: Types & Examples

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:00 Plant Fertilization 101
  • 1:17 What Happens Next?
  • 1:32 Types of Plant Fertilization
  • 2:00 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Danielle Haak

Danielle has a PhD in Natural Resource Sciences and a MSc in Biological Sciences

For you, pollen might just be a trigger for sneezing and watery eyes. But for plants, it's a vital ingredient in the reproductive process. Explore plant fertilization through this lesson, then test your knowledge of what you've learned.

Plant Fertilization 101

Plant fertilization is the union of male and female gametes (reproductive cells) to produce a zygote (fertilized egg). So, how does fertilization occur? It's a pretty straight-forward process that's similar for both flowering plants (angiosperms) and seed-bearing plants (gymnosperms). Let's break the fertilization process down into four generalized steps.

Step 1: Pollination

In general, male gametes are contained in pollen, which is carried by wind, water, or wildlife (both insects and animals) to reach female gametes. The pollen is deposited on a plant's stigma, which is part of the pistil (the elongated part of a flower extending from the ovary). This process is called pollination.

Step 2: Germination

Within a few minutes, pollen tubes begin growing, or germinating, toward the egg cell. These tubes will provide a path for the sperm carried in the pollen to reach the egg.

Step 3: Penetration of the Ovule

The pollen tubes penetrate the ovule, which contains the female gametes.

Step 4: Fertilization

Sperm travel down the pollen tubes and fertilize an egg. Most angiosperms undergo double fertilization, where both an egg and the polar nuclei in the embryonic sac are fertilized.

What Happens Next?

After fertilization, the cells of the zygote begin dividing, and the zygote develops into an embryo, or developing plant. The embryo is stored in a seed capsule, where it remains dormant until environmental conditions support its development into a new plant.

Types of Plant Fertilization

There are three primary types of plant fertilization:

  • Porogamy
  • Chalazogamy
  • Mesogamy

Porogamy occurs when a pollen tube enters the ovule through a micropyle, or minute opening in the ovule; this the most common form of plant fertilization. In chalazogamy, pollen tubes enter the ovule through the chalaza, located opposite the micropyle, and in mesogamy, these tubes enter the ovule through its integument (outermost layer or layers).

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account
Support