The key difference between pollination and fertilization is that pollination refers to the transfer of pollen from anthers to the stigma of flowers while fertilization is the fusion of male and female gametes in order to produce a zygote. Pollination is followed by fertilization in flowering plants.
Pollination and fertilization are two ways of producing offspring, although the former is only applicable to flowering plants while the latter is applicable to almost every living organism in this world.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Pollination
3. What is Fertilization
4. Similarities Between Pollination and Fertilization
5. Side by Side Comparison – Pollination vs Fertilization in Tabular Form
What is Pollination?
Pollination is the process of transferring pollen from anthers to stigma of flowers. The process of pollination was actually discovered in the 18th century by Christian Sprengel. There are two types of pollination: self-pollination or cross-pollination. Self-pollination occurs within the same flower while cross-pollination occurs between two flowers of different plants.
Self-pollination produces genetically identical offspring while cross-pollination produces genetically different offspring. Hence, cross-pollination is more favored than self-pollination. Plants show different adaptations in order to prevent self-pollination and enhance cross-pollination. Once pollination occurs, the sperm cell travel to the egg cell and fertilization occurs. This completes the sexual reproduction of flowering plants.
What is Fertilization?
Fertilization is the union of male and female gametes in order to produce an offspring. The female egg will be fertilized by a male sperm and this will lead to the creation of a child, be it for animals or for plants.
For flowers, this only happens after a successful pollination and when there is a successful fusion of male and female gametes. Seeds are the result of fertilization of plants. Seeds then give rise to new plants. Fertilization is an internal process, unlike pollination.
What are the Similarities Between Pollination and Fertilization?
- Both pollination and fertilization occur in flowering plants.
- They are very important processes with respect to reproduction.
What is the Difference Between Pollination and Fertilization?
Pollination is the transfer of pollen from anthers to stigma of flowers while fertilization is the fusion of male and female gametes in sexual reproduction. Most importantly, pollination is only applicable to flowering plants while fertilization is applicable to almost every living organism in this world. In flowering plants, fertilization is the process that follows pollination.
In addition, pollination can be an external process while fertilization is always an internal process. Moreover, pollination, epically cross-pollination requires pollinators whereas fertilization has no need of pollinators.
Summary – Pollination vs Fertilization
Pollination is just the process of transferring the pollen to the stigma. This can be done through either self-pollination or cross-pollination. Cross-pollination is when there are outside agents like animals, people or the wind, to facilitate the transfer of pollen to stigma. While pollination only applies to flowering plants, fertilization applies to almost everyone in nature. Most importantly, there can be no fertilization if there is no pollination. This is the difference between pollination and fertilization.
1. Meeuse, Bastiaan J.D. “Pollination.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 22 Jan. 2018, Available here.
2. “Fertilisation.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 17 May 2018, Available here.