BIOL1002 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Pollen Tube, Pollination, Double Fertilization

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Pollen grains are carried by wind, water, or animal to a mature flower, where pollination occurs. During pollination, pollen grain surface proteins interact with stigma surface proteins. Interactions are specific, preventing cross-species fertilization and, often, self- fertilization. Following a successful interaction, a pollen tube begins to grow and extend down toward the egg cells. Pollen tube growth is guided by signals released from the egg at the base of the carpel. Mosses and other groups that do not form pollen have flagellated sperm that must swim to the egg or are otherwise transferred to the egg through water. Pollination evolved, late in land plant evolution, into a much more efficient process when animals began to act as pollinators instead of relying on wind or water. The more recently evolved plant groups are those that do not require water for sexual reproduction. The evolution of pollen (and seeds) allowed species to colonize drier habitats and reproduce more effectively.

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