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Key Terms

This resource provides explanations of some key concepts encountered when exploring the Pollination context.

Page links to Key Term definitions

  1. Flowering plants (angiosperms)
  2. Reproduction
  3. Sexual reproduction
  4. Vegetative reproduction
  5. Seed
  6. Flower
  7. Pollination
  8. Cross-pollination
  9. Self-pollination
  10. Pollinator
  11. Artificial pollination
  12. Mutualism

List of Key Term definitions

  1. Flowering plants (angiosperms) key term.

    1. Flowering plants (angiosperms)

    Two groups of plants use seeds to create new plants. Flowering plants (called angiosperms), have seeds produced in flowers. Cone plants (called gymnosperms) have seeds produced in cones.

  2. Reproduction key term.

    2. Reproduction

    All living things, including plants, only live for a limited time. Reproduction is the creation of offspring to ensure that a species continues and increases in numbers.

  3. Sexual reproduction key term.

    3. Sexual reproduction

    Male and female sex cells (gametes) come together and develop into a new individual. The offspring has a unique collection of genes, slightly different to either of the parents.

  4. Vegetative reproduction key term.

    4. Vegetative reproduction

    Many plants can reproduce asexually, with special roots, stems or leaves that can grow to become new plants. These new plants have exactly the same collection of genes as the parent.

  5. Seed key term.

    5. Seed

    Part of the sexual reproduction of angiosperms (flowering plants) and gymnosperms (cone plants). A seed contains an embryo and its food store, which creates a new plant when conditions are right.

  6. Flower key term.

    6. Flower

    A special structure for sexual reproduction in flowering plants. It contains male and female parts and features (such as colour, shape and nectar) that encourage pollination.

  7. Pollination key term.

    7. Pollination

    The transfer of pollen from male parts of flowers to female parts.

  8. Cross-pollination key term.

    8. Cross-pollination

    The transfer of pollen from one flower to another flower on a different plant. After fertilisation, genetic material from the two parents becomes mixed, resulting in variation in the population and a better chance of survival.

  9. Self-pollination key term.

    9. Self-pollination

    The transfer of pollen from the male to the female part of the same flower or another flower on the same plant. No new genes are introduced from other plants.

  10. Pollinator key term.

    10. Pollinator

    Pollen cannot move on its own, so it has to be carried by a pollinator. Wind and animals are the commonest pollinators, although a few plants are pollinated by water.

  11. Artificial pollination key term.

    11. Artificial pollination

    Humans cannot always rely on natural pollinators to pollinate their crops or flower experiments. Pollen is therefore collected from flowers and put on female parts using a paintbrush or spray equipment.

  12. Mutualism key term.

    12. Mutualism

    A relationship in which two kinds of living organism benefit from each other. For example, an animal might rely on a particular plant for food, and the plant relies on the animal to pollinate its flowers.

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