Q:

What is the function of a flower's style?

A:

Quick Answer

In plants, the style is the long, slender stalk that connects the stigma to the ovary. The stigma is where the pollen is deposited, and the ovary is at the bottom of the style and houses the plant's ovules, which contain the egg cells. The function of the style is to check compatibility and judge whether the pollen that lands on the flower can fertilize the plant.

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What is the function of a flower's style?
Credit: Frank Kovalchek CC-BY 2.0

Full Answer

Pollen with male genetic information lands on the flower’s stigma and is secured there due to the stickiness of the stalk. As the pollen germinates on the stigma, it creates a pollen tube, which is used to burrow through the length of the style. The pollen creates a tunnel from the stigma to the ovary.

When the pollen tube reaches the ovary, two sperm cells are released and travel down the pollen tube to the ovary. This sperm then fertilizes the eggs that are waiting in the ovule. After this fertilization, the ovule develops into the seed of the plant. If uneaten, this results in the creation of another plant of the same species.

The style is extremely important during the fertilization process, because this is not only the location where the pollen tube forms but also the checkpoint that stops incompatible pollen from penetrating the ovary.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the middle of a flower called?

    A:

    The middle of a flower consists of the female reproductive organs - the stigma, a style and one or more ovules. The ovary is located at the base of the flower.

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  • Q:

    How does pollination take place?

    A:

    Pollination takes place when bees or other pollinators pick up the pollen from a flower's stamen and transfer it to another flower's stigma as they move from flower to flower. Pollination is not an intentional process, but it is key to the reproduction process of plants and is a crucial part of the ecosystem.

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  • Q:

    How does pollen get to the stigma of a pistil?

    A:

    Pollen can get to the stigma of a pistil in several ways, including transfer by wind, bees, hummingbirds, humans and animals. The sticky pollen will attach to an insect or animal when feeding and is moved to another flower where some rubs off onto the stigma. It is this transfer that starts the production of a plant's seeds.

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  • Q:

    What is the difference between pollination and fertilization?

    A:

    Pollination is the process whereby pollen grains move from the anther to the stigma on a flower’s style, while fertilization is the fusion of the male gametes and female egg cells to form a new plant seed. Pollination precedes fertilization and depends on such media as wind, water and insects. Pollination takes place externally, while fertilization occurs in the inside of the flower and does not depend on external vectors.

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