Why does cross-pollination produce more genetic variation than n the offspring that self-pollination produces?

1 Answer
May 30, 2018

Self pollination only uses one parents set of genetic code


Self pollination occurs in plants with both male and female flowers. The plant can pollinate itself, but only with the genes it already has.
Cross pollinating with another plant (and not even necessarily of the same species!) means that another plants genes can make new combination.

A plant with genes dominant only (XX) only makes dominant (XX). Crossed with itself, that's all you'll ever get. Add in another set of genes and you could get XX, Xx, or xx! And that's for just one set of traits. You could get XxYY, XxYy, XXyy...Overall, self pollination reduces variation by limiting the available pool of allele types to work with.