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ARTICLE

Seed dispersal

Plants make seeds that can grow into new plants, but if the seeds just fall to the ground under the parent plant, they might not get enough sun, water or nutrients from the soil. Because plants ...

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Pollination and fertilisation

Sexual reproduction is a way of making a new individual by joining two special sex cells, called gametes. In the sexual reproduction of animals and plants, the male and female gametes join to ...

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Vegetative plant propagation

Plant propagation is the process of increasing the number of plants of a particular species or cultivar. Propagation can be via sexual or asexual means. Over the years, horticulturalists have ...

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Plant reproduction

Scientists divide plants into two main groups depending on whether they reproduce by seeds or spores. Plants that reproduce by seeds Seed plants have special structures on them where male and ...

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Methods of pollination

Flowering plants need to get pollen from one flower to another, either within a plant for self-pollination or between plants of the same species for cross-pollination to occur. However, pollen ...

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Breeding a new apple cultivar

Breeding a new apple cultivar takes a long time and involves many steps. The aim is to produce high-quality fruit that consumers will like and want to buy. Breeding apples to increase quality The ...

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The science of tea

All tea is made from the leaves of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis. Six main types of tea are produced – white, yellow, green, oolong, black and post-fermented. Each type of tea has a unique ...

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Fertiliser

Just as we have essential needs for our growth, plants also have essential needs for their survival. These include: sunlight air water nutrients appropriate temperature. As long as plants have ...

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The seed-flower life cycle

Humans have many reasons to grow plants. We use them for food, for building materials, for pleasure and for many other purposes. A plant really just has one reason to grow – to reproduce and make ...

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Breeding red-fleshed apples – introduction

Find out how and why a red-fleshed apple variety is being bred in New Zealand, and discover how genetic information, consumer research and sensory science are all involved. Red-fleshed apples – ...

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Genetic information and apple breeding

Information about apple genetics is helping breeders at Plant & Food Research in New Zealand to breed new apple cultivars faster and more efficiently. Selectively breeding new apple cultivars ...

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Avocado pollination

Getting good crops of avocados in New Zealand is not always easy, and pollination is part of the problem. The avocado is a fruit tree introduced to New Zealand from Central America. It likes warm ...

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Kiwifruit pollination problems

Next time you eat a kiwifruit, cut it in half and look at it before taking a bite. Look for the little seeds – most kiwifruit have about 1,000, so you can’t miss them. To get seeds in a ...

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Farming development and changing landscapes

Farming is a way of life in New Zealand. Farms cover about half of the country’s land and are important to our economy. Agriculture has shaped who we are as a nation, but it has also had a big ...

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Pollination – introduction

Flowers are not on plants just to make them look pretty. They are there as a vital part of a flowering plant’s life cycle. Not all plants have flowers, find out what flowering plants are and how ...

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Phytochemicals

Phytochemicals are naturally occurring, biologically active chemical compounds in plants. The prefix ‘phyto’ is from a Greek word meaning plant. The presence of certain types of phytochemicals in ...

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Farm management practices

Farming is an economic venture – farmers work the land to gain an income. Many New Zealand farmers have an interest in preserving and enhancing the land for future generations. In order to ...

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Pollinating kiwifruit

What usually happens when you cut up a piece of fruit to eat or to put in a salad? If it is an apple, a pear, a peach or a plum, you probably cut out the seeds and put them in the compost bin ...

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