A plant that can self-fertilize

In our childhood we learn the common way that many plants have to reproduce. They use the wind and bees to transfer pollen from one flower to another.

But the case of the Erysimum incanum is different, this is a clipped variety of wallflower that grows in the scrublands of Spain and northwestern Africa. It is a plant that can self-fertilize.

As the researchers report in The American Naturalist, the seeds from self-fertilization grew into healthy plants without inbreeding issues. Another sign that the reproductive strategy is paying off: Self-fertilized plants produced as many seeds as those hand-fertilized with pollen from other plants.

The researchers recorded the slow turns of their anthers (part of the stable). Sometimes the anthers would rub their pollen directly onto the stigma, the central structure that contains the ovary. At other times, the anthers rubbed against each other, causing pollen to fall on the stigma.

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