A) Plant is not mature

B) Plant has not been watered properly

C) Flower is not of the same species

D) Plant is non-flowering

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Fertilization in plants involves the transfer of pollen from the anther (male part) of one flower to the stigma (female part) of another flower of the same species. This process is crucial for the production of seeds and fruit. Here’s an explanation of why option C is the most probable answer: C) Flower is not of the same species For successful fertilization to occur, the pollen must come from a flower of the same species. Pollen from different species typically cannot fertilize the ovules of another species due to various barriers: Pollen Compatibility: Pollen grains have species-specific proteins that must match with the receptors on the stigma of the same species. If the pollen and stigma do not recognize each other, the pollen will not germinate or grow a pollen tube to reach the ovules. Reproductive Isolation: Different species have evolved mechanisms to prevent cross-species fertilization, which helps maintain species integrity. These mechanisms include temporal isolation (different flowering times), spatial isolation (growing in different habitats), and genetic isolation (incompatibility at the molecular level).

Why Not the Other Options? A) Plant is not mature: If the plant were not mature, it might not produce flowers at all or the flowers produced might not have functional reproductive organs. However, the presence of a flower indicates that the plant has reached a certain level of maturity.
B) Plant has not been watered properly: While proper watering is essential for overall plant health and flower development, it does not directly prevent fertilization once the flower is formed and functional.
D) Plant is non-flowering: If the plant were non-flowering, there would be no flowers to visit in the first place, making this option irrelevant to the scenario described.
Therefore, the most likely reason that fertilization did not take place is that the pollen-laden honey bee visited a flower of a different species, which prevented the pollen from effectively fertilizing the flower’s ovules.

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