Roles of Pollination and Germination

What is the difference between pollination and germination? They are two totally different processes that are both essential to plant production. Let’s define each term first.

Pollination is the culmination of the act of pollinating. defines pollination as “The process by which plant pollen is transferred from the male reproductive organs to the female reproductive organs to form seeds. In flowering plants, pollen is transferred from the anther to the stigma, often by the wind or by insects. In cone-bearing plants, male cones release pollen that is usually borne by the wind to the ovules of female cones.” Basically it is fertilization of plants to produce viable seeds. It should also be noted that pollination is not just from wind or insects, but also birds, bats and even other animals.

Germination occurs after the seeds have been formed. give the most simple definition of germination : “The stage in which a germ or a living thing starts to sprout, grow and develop… Germination in plants is the process by which a dormant seed begins to sprout and grow into a seedling under the right growing conditions.” Germination can actually be much more complex than pollination.

Pollination is the forming of the seeds and germination is the sprouting, very different processes and yet both essential in the propagation of most plant species. They can also be vital in the natural survival of a species or the evolution of new species.

Pollination results in new gene combinations and can result in emerging variants or even new species. One plant in one hundred may have a gene that aids in the resistance of a viral disease, with pollination that gene gets passed on, and on and on. The species survives. You can also get cross pollination between different plants and get something totally new, such as grapefruits! Pollination is required for evolution!

Germination is needed for survival of the species and often requires numerous factors to occur. The seeds often have to be conditioned before they can grow, such as acorns needing freezing weather before that sprout or some seeds getting eaten by bats, passed through the digestive tract, and then expelled; this results in spreading, scarifying and fertilizing of the seeds. If the conditions aren’t right, the seeds wait. In some Egyptian Tombs that have waited for centuries!

Pollination and germination, very different processes and both essential. Seeds can’t form and germinate if the flowers aren’t pollinated, but the flowers will never be around to pollinate if the seeds didn’t germinate first.