Fertilisation

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Fertilisation (also known as conception, fecundation and syngamy), is the fusion of gametes to produce a new organism. In animals, the process involves the fusion of an ovum with a sperm, which eventually leads to the development of an embryo. Depending on the animal species, the process can occur within the body of the female in internal fertilisation, or outside in the case of external fertilisation

The entire process of development of new individuals is called procreation, the act of species reproduction.

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Fertilisation in plants

Flowering plants

After the carpel is pollinated, the pollen grain germinates in a response to a sugary fluid secreted by the mature stigma (mainly sucrose). From each pollen grain, a pollen tube grows out that attempts to travel to the ovary by creating a path through the female tissue. The vegetative (or tube) and generative nuclei of the pollen grain pass into its respective pollen tube. After the pollen grain adheres to the stigma of the carpel (female reproductive structure) a pollen tube grows and penetrates the ovule through a tiny pore called a micropyle.

The pollen tube does not directly reach the ovary in a straight line. It travels near the skin of the style and curls to the bottom of the ovary, then near the receptacle, it breaks through the ovule through the micropyle (an opening in the ovule wall) and the pollen tube "bursts" into the embryo sac. After being fertilised, the ovary starts to swell and will develop into the fruit.[1] With multi-seeded fruits, multiple grains of pollen are necessary for syngamy with each ovule. The growth of the pollen tube is controlled by the vegetative (or tube) cytoplasm. Hydrolytic enzymes are secreted by the pollen tube that digest the female tissue as the tube grows down the stigma and style; the digested tissue is used as a nutrient source for the pollen tube as it grows. During pollen tube growth toward the ovary, the generative nucleus divides to produce two separate sperm nuclei (haploid number of chromosomes)[2] – a growing pollen tube therefore contains three separate nuclei, two sperm and one tube.[3] The sperms are interconnected and dimorphic, the large one, in a number of plants, is also linked to the tube nucleus and the interconnected sperm and tube nucleuses form the "male germ unit".[4]

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