What is Cross Pollination? – Definition

Pollination in which pollens are transferred from anthers of one flower to the stigma of flower from another plant with the help of some kind of agency like wind, insects, water.

Mechanisms promoting Cross Pollination

There are various mechanisms which facilitates cross pollination and resist self pollination. Those are as follows.

  • Dicliny or Unisexuality
    • Monoecy
    • Dioecy
  • Dichogamy
    • Protogyny
    • Protandary
  • Herkogamy
  • Heterostyly
  • Combinations
  • Self-incompatibility
  • Male-sterility

Dicliny or Unisexuality

Flowers are either male (staminate) or female (pistillate). It can be of two types

  • Monoecy
  • Dioecy


Male and female flowers occur on the same plant, either in the same inflorescence (mango, banana,castor) or in separate one (maize).

Examples – strawberries, rubber, cucurbits, grapes etc.


The male and female flowers are present on different plants i.e. plants in such species are either male or female.
Examples – papaya, spinach, date, asparagus,


Flowers have both stamens and pistils i.e. male and female reproductive organs but they attain maturity at different times. It can be of two types

  • Protogyny
  • Protandary


Pistils mature first, then stamens.

Example – bajara


Stamens mature first, then pistils.

Example – maize, sugar beet


Details are given on the page Self-incompatibility.


Details are given on the page Male-sterility.


It’s a physical barrier. In some crops like lucern and alfalfa stigmas are covered with a waxy film. For pollination to occur this film should be broken, this is achieved with the help of some agencies like insects.


Various combinations of above mechanisms facilitate cross pollination.

Genetic Consequences of Cross-pollination

Leads to heterozygosity, incorporates variation. Exhibit considerable heterosis and mild or some more inbreeding depression.