|Compare cross-fertilization fertilization in a plant or animal by the fusion of male and female gametes produced by the same individual|
|self-fertilization (sělf'fûr'tl-ĭ-zā'shən) Pronunciation Key
Fertilization that occurs when male and female gametes produced by the same organism unite. Self-fertilization occurs in many protozoans and invertebrate animals. It results from self-pollination in plants. Self-fertilization allows an isolated individual organism to reproduce but restricts the genetic diversity of a community. Compare cross-fertilization.