(cross fertilization, exogamy) Fusion of female and male gametes derived from genetically dissimilar individuals of the same species. It promotes the recombination of variable genetic material so that the total population shows greater variation than an *autogamic
population and has greater adaptive potential. Various methods have developed in the plant kingdom to encourage or necessitate allogamy (see dichogamy, dioecious, monoecious, incompatibility, chasmogamy, heterostyly). When cross fertilization is obligate, useful genetic traits may be diluted and isolated individuals cannot reproduce.