How does pollination produce food (fruits and vegetables)? [Timelines]

Team 10 BBQ3a

The process by which apple trees create apples is the same process in which most plants would create seeds. An apple tree is an angiosperm, or a flowering plant, which relies on the process of pollination and fertilization in order to reproduce (http://appleparermuseum.com/AppleTreeReproduction.htm). Apple trees specifically must be cross-pollinated. They cannot pollinate themselves through self pollination (http://appleparermuseum.com/AppleTreeReproduction.htm.) However, because of this, the plants will tend to be stronger and be genetically diverse from their parents (http://tomclothier.hort.net/seedsav2.html). This begins in the stamen which produces pollen for the plant. Pollen serves as the male part of the flower in the fertilization process. Pollen is picked up by pollinators, such as bees, wasps, and hummingbirds, who feed on the nectar that flowers produced, or are attracted by the smell. They then carry the pollen to another plant of the same species, in this case a different apple tree. The pollen on the pollinator lands on the stigma, and upon landing on the female associated stigma, the pollen will begin the formation of a pollen tube, which will grow down the pistol towards the ovary (http://tomclothier.hort.net/seedsav2.html). This tube will release the sperm the pollen contains and fertilize the egg forming in the ovary, as well as create what is called an endosperm, which will serve as the nutrients for the seed (http://appleparermuseum.com/AppleTreeReproduction.htm). From there, both the endosperm and the embryo will become encased in part of the ovule, which will harden and become the seed coat, and the rest of the flower parts will close together and form the fruit, in this case an apple, containing 2 to 3 seeds (http://appleparermuseum.com/AppleTreeReproduction.htm). Aside from humans, who do not consume the seeds of an apple, most animals who consume the fruit will assist in the dispersal of the apple tree seeds, as the seeds themselves are not digested, and grow future generations of apple trees (http://appleparermuseum.com/AppleTreeReproduction.htm). This is how pollination produces apples.

Contributors: Melanie Anes, Devyn Shibla, Megan Coceano, Annie Kalfaian, and Hailey Hershey

 

Sources: 

Pollination as an ecological phenomenon. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://tomclothier.hort.net/seedsav2.html

Viney, M. (2007). Apple tree reproduction. Retrieved from http://appleparermuseum.com/AppleTreeReproduction.htm

Sources for pictures: 

Pollination. (2012). Retrieved from http://beekeeping101.psu.edu/samples/module10/pollination.html

Cornell University. (n.d.). Native bees are better pollinators than honeybees. Retrieved from http://phys.org/news/2011-10-native-bees-pollinators-honeybees.html

Slavo, M. (2013). Peak pollination. Retrieved from https://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/peak-pollination-global-collapse-of-food-supplies-approaches-as-30-of-bee-colonies-wiped-out-in-the-last-year_05162013

Duchamp, M. (2005). Will plants and pollinators get out of sync?. Retrieved from http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Bees/bees3.php

Fruit tree pollination. (2011). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruit_tree_pollination

How fertilization takes place. (2014). Retrieved from http://kids.britannica.com/comptons/art-53333/The-flower-is-the-reproductive-unit-of-a-plant-responsible

The botanist in the kitchen. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://botanistinthekitchen.wordpress.com/tag/structure/

Selly, D. (2012). Apple trees?. Retrieved from http://earthworksgardens.blogspot.com/2012/09/apple-trees.html

Flowering trees. (2005). Retrieved from http://lakeviewcc.com/turfcare/blog/flowering_trees.php

Snack attack. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://ahealthyfit.org/archives/252

 

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