The precise process of Flower fertilisation

Flower fertilisation is a very complex procedure that needs to have a perfect match between a single ovule and a single pollen tube. A new study has come out showing how flowers can reproduce with expert precision.

The researchers have reported that as soon as a gamete fusion event occurs, that is when two sperm cells from a pollen tube unite with two female gametes in the ovule, all the other pollen tubes are rejected and then moved on to other ovules in the flower.

Mark Johnson, a molecular geneticist at Brown University, has this to say, “As soon as the fusion is successful, this mechanism is triggered that tells all the other pollen tubes to go away”.

Dr Johnson is not clear why the redirecting of the pollen tubes occur. “Most likely, some sort of molecule is triggered that repels the other pollen tubes”, he said.

For a flowering plant like Arabidopsis, the flower that the researchers studied, to be successful as possible the ovules should not be wasted. The repelling feature helps the flower attain maximum reproductive success.

“And it is probably why flowering plants have generally been more successful than other plants in colonising the earth”, Dr Johnson said. “They’re basically everywhere”, he added.