Self-incompatibility (SI) is a general name for several genetic mechanisms that prevent self-fertilization in sexually reproducing organisms, and thus encourage outcrossing and allogamy. It is contrasted with separation of sexes among individuals (dioecy), and their various modes of spatial (herkogamy) and temporal (dichogamy) separation.
SI is best-studied and particularly common in flowering plants, although it is present in other groups, including sea squirts and fungi. In plants with SI, when a pollen grain produced in a plant reaches a stigma of the same plant or another plant with a matching allele or genotype, the process of pollen germination, pollen-tube growth, ovule fertilization, or embryo development is inhibited, and consequently no seeds are produced. SI is one of the most important means of preventing inbreeding and promoting the generation of new genotypes in plants and it is considered one of the causes of the spread and success of angiosperms on Earth.

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