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Introduction to Pollination

We all know that pollination is mainly carried out by insects, birds, animals, water and wind. Insufficient pollination affects the fruit and seed set and resistance to herbivores., This is because of limited outcrossing opportunities. To overcome these effects, artificial pollination is carried out by humans. In this process, we  use mechanical techniques to pollinate plants. In this type of pollination we don't need any insects or weather agents. Application of this technique is important because most of the time there are not enough pollinators to perform pollination and sometimes their introduction is also risky. This technique is considered as an alternative to natural pollination. 


The Process of Artificial Pollination

In this type of pollination, we use a mechanical method by which we carry pollen or plant sperm from one flower to another flower. This enables the pollen to fertilise the ovaries and create seeds that develop into fruits and new plants. With the decreasing number of bees, artificial pollination is more in trend. If we take the example of China, 100% plants are pollinated artificially. So, we can see that artificial pollination is beneficial.  


Method Involved in Artificial Pollination

There are several methods which are involved in artificial pollination. Some of them are listed below:


Method I

This method is mainly used for vegetable plants, which have separate male and female parts. In this technique, we take the male flowers and remove their petals. This process should be done without touching the stamen, to avoid the pollen transfer to the fingers. After this, we have to search for a blooming female flower with its petals pushed back. We need to then touch the stamens of the male flower to the stigma of the female flower and roll it smoothly and gently, so that the pollen gets transferred to stigma and pollination can happen. 


Method II

In the method we can move cotton over the stamens of male flowers to collect as much pollen grains as possible. After this, the collected pollen is shed over the stigma of the female flower.


Method III

This method is mainly applicable for those plants that undergo self pollination such as tomatoes, beans, pepper, etc. In this method, fans are set up over the branches for shaking stems so that pollen grains fall over the stigma.


Advantages of Artificial Pollination

There are so many advantages of artificial pollination. Some of them have been listed below:

  • Artificial pollination can increase the fruit size and seed numbers

  • It has the ability of converting flowers to export fruits. 

  • It is more suitable because it does not depend on any chance factors

  • Through this type of pollination, we can generate a large variety of hybrid plants


Conclusion

Pollination is the process through which the pollen is transferred from one point to another. This process is usually carried out by agents such as birds, insects, water, wind and seed production. In the absence of these agents, artificial pollination methods are used.

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FAQs on Artificial Pollination

What is the basic definition of pollination?

Pollination is the activity of transferring the pollen grains from anther - a male part of the plant, to stigma - the female part of the plant for fertilisation and production of seeds. The pollinating agents include animals like birds, insects, wind, water, and sometimes the plants themselves. Plants are involved when the process of self-pollination happens within the closed flower. The process of pollination usually happens with specific types of species. 

Why is artificial pollination needed?

Artificial pollination is a type or category of pollination that is carried out by humans using external factors. It is a mechanical process used for pollinating plants when natural pollination does not happen or is not desirable. Artificial pollination is usually carried out when the natural pollinators are absent and introducing these pollinators might be potentially risky. This is why alternative methods such as artificial pollination are used.

How have human beings impacted pollinators?

Human beings have impacted pollinators on a large scale over the years. The usage of chemical pesticides as well herbicides cause trouble to the pollinator species. These chemical fertilizers are designed for killing insects but they can also potentially kill the native flowers and plants that pollinators require for energy. The trees, bushes, and flowering plants that the pollinators rely on for habitat and food are gradually disappearing due to human interference. 


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