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Tip of a tulip stamen with many grains of pollen

Closeup image of a cactus flower and its stamens

Pollen is a fine to coarse powder containing the microgametophytes of seed plants. it germinates and produces . morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea). prairie hollyhock (Sidalcea malviflora). Marmalade fly sitting on a grey-haired rockrose. evening primrose (Oenothera fruticosa). and castor bean (Gerenious communis). European honey bee carrying pollen in a pollen basket back to the hive Pollen sticking to a bee. its face and legs covered in pollen. which produce the male gametes (sperm cells). Pollen grains have a hard coat that protects the sperm cells during the process of their movement between the stamens to the pistil of flowering plants or from the male cone to the female cone of coniferous plants. When pollen lands on a compatible pistil of flowering plants.Scanning electron microscope image of pollen grains from a variety of common plants: sunflower (Helianthus annuus). oriental lily (Lilium auratum). Insects involuntarily transporting pollen from flower to flower play an important role in many plants' reproductive cycles.

Four haploid . is around 6 µm (0.[1] but each pollen grain contains vegetative (nonreproductive) cells (only a single cell in most flowering plants but several in other seed plants) and a generative (reproductive) cell containing two nuclei: a tube nucleus (that produces the pollen tube) and a generative nucleus (that divides to form the two sperm cells). In angiosperms. The group of cells is surrounded by a cellulose-rich cell wall called the intine.). except for a partially differentiated dermis.1 Treatment 6 Nutrition o 6. or male cone of other seed plants). and forensics. Contents [hide] • • • • • • • • • • 1 The structure of pollen 2 Pollination 3 Pollen as a carrier of ecological information in plants 4 Pollen in the fossil record 5 Hay fever o 5. sizes. Pollen grains come in a wide variety of shapes (most often spherical).a pollen tube that transfers the sperm to the ovule of a receptive ovary. The smallest pollen grain. and surface markings characteristic of the species (see electron micrograph at top right). and a resistant outer wall composed largely of sporopollenin called the exine. Pollen grains of pines. archeology. Wind-borne pollen grains can be as large as about 90-100 µm. As the flower develops. The individual pollen grains are small enough to require magnification to see detail.[2] The study of pollen is called palynology and is highly useful in paleoecology. four groups of sporogenous cells form with in the anther. and spruces are winged.006 mm) in diameter. some of the cells grow into nutritive cells that supply nutrition for the microspores that form by meiotic division from the sporogenous cells. Pollen is produced in the microsporangium (contained in the anther of an angiosperm flower. paleontology. that of the Forget-me-not (Myosotis spp.1 In humans 7 Forensic palynology 8 See also 9 References 10 External links [edit] The structure of pollen Pollen itself is not the male gamete. firs. during flower development the anther is composed of a mass of cells that appear undifferentiated. male cone of a coniferous plant. the fertile sporogenous cells are surrounded by layers of sterile cells that grow into the wall of the pollen sac.

These two layers are the tectum and the foot layer. or is variously sculptured.microspores are produced from each diploid sporogenous cell called a microsporocyte. The number of furrows or pores helps classify the flowering plants. The exine often bears spines or warts. with eudicots having three colpi (tricolpate). the orientation of which (relative to the original tetrad of microspores) classify the pollen as colpate or sulcate. The outer wall is constructed with a resistant biopolymer called sporopollenin. The pollen wall protects the sperm nucleus while the pollen grain is moving from the anther to the stigma. colpus) which along with pores. which is composed of strengthening rods. which are contained by callose walls. Anemophilous plants typically produce great quantities of very lightweight pollen grains. This transfer can be mediated by the wind. and the character of the markings is often of value for identifying genus. The elongated apertues/ furrows in the pollen grain are called colpi (s. ridges and pores. After the formation of the four microspores. a thin delicate wall of unaltered cellulose (the endospore or intine) and a tough outer cuticularized exospore or exine.[4] Pollen grains may have furrows. Nonflowering seed plants (e. The callose wall is broken down by an enzyme called callase and the freed pollen grains grow in size and develop their characteristic shape and form a resistant outer wall called the exine and an inner wall called the intine. it protects the vital genetic material from drying out and solar radiation. In some flowering plants. germination of the pollen grain often begins before it leaves the microsporangium. The outer pollen wall prevents the pollen grain from shrinking and crushing the genetic material during desiccation and it is composed of two layers. Anemophilous . species.[5][6] Except in the case of some submerged aquatic plants. after meiotic division. or even cultivar or individual. which is just above the intine. The pollen tube passes through the wall by way of structures called apertures.[3] Pollen apertures are any modification of the wall of the pollen grain. in which case the plant is described as anemophilous (literally wind-loving). the mature pollen-grain has a double wall. sometimes with air-sacs. which are held in place by structures called sculpture elements on the surface of the grain. pine trees) are characteristically anemophilous.g. they serve as an exit for the pollen contents and allow shrinking and swelling of the grain caused by changes in moisture content. the development of the pollen grain walls begins. The tectum and foot layer are separated by a region called the columella. [edit] Pollination Main article: Pollination The transfer of pollen grains to the female reproductive structure (pistil in angiosperms) is called pollination. The pollen grain surface is covered with waxes and proteins. with the generative cell forming the two sperm cells. are a chief criteria for the identifying pollen classes. and other groups having one sulcus. These modifications include thinning. The exine is what is preserved in the fossil record.

with a large number of male plants nearby. All three studied species of plants (cotton plant. High pollen quantity leads to a reduction of these characteristics and stabilization of a population. dispersion and sexual dimorphism of a plant population. and wheat) showed dependence in the direction forecast by the theory — fertilization with a small amount of pollen resulted in an increase in the diversity of the offspring. in ideal growing conditions. In non-flowering seed plants. Geodakian believes that the quantity of pollen reaching a pistillate flower defines the sex ratio. with a deficiency of male plants.[15][16] . and are called palynivores. The nucleus of the tube cell has meanwhile passed into the tube. guided by projections or hairs.flowering plants generally have inconspicuous flowers. Dependence of offspring phenotype variety on amount of pollen was observed by TerAvanesyan in 1949.[10][11] Cannabis sativa[12] and Humulus japonicus (Cannabinaceae). while those of Cycadophyta and Ginkgophyta have many flagella. TerAvanesian writes that as a result of a limited pollination “instead of homogenous sorts we get populations”. and adverse weather conditions).[8][9] Melandrium album (Cariophyllaceae). The sperm cells are carried to their destination in the tip of the pollen-tube. a pollen grain puts forth a pollen tube which grows down the tissue of the style to the ovary. Entomophilous (literally insectloving) plants produce pollen that is relatively heavy. which grows into the nucellus to provide nutrients for the developing sperm cells. [edit] Pollen as a carrier of ecological information in plants A Russian theoretical biologist has suggested that the quantity of pollen reaching a pistillate flower can transmit ecological information and also regulate evolutionary plasticity in cross-pollinating plants. to the micropyle of an ovule. whereas a small amount of pollen indicates extreme conditions (at the borders of its range. Sperm cells of Pinophyta and Gnetophyta are without flagella. located beneath and inside the micropyle.[13] (see summary of all these data in review article[14]). and favorable weather conditions). and makes its way along the placenta. pollen germinates in the pollen chamber. and are carried by the pollen tube. sticky and protein-rich. A pollen tube is produced. as does also the generative nucleus which divides (if it hasn't already) to form two sperm cells. under favorable circumstances. for dispersal by insect pollinators attracted to their flowers. Plentiful pollen indicates optimum environmental conditions (for example a plant that is situated at the center of its natural range.[7] Dependence of the secondary sex ratio on the amount of fertilizing pollen was confirmed on four dioecious plant species from three families — Rumex acetosa (Polygonaceae). Small quantity leads to their increase and destabilization of a population. Many insects and some mites are specialized to feed on pollen. When placed on the stigma of a flowering plant. black-eyed pea.

In the US. bringing it into contact with the sensitive nasal passages. it is also produced in huge quantities. sticky pollen does not become independently airborne. There are certain evidential suggestions pointing out hay fever and similar allergies to be of hereditary origin. Please improve this article and discuss the issue on the talk page.[edit] Pollen in the fossil record Pollen's sporopollenin outer sheath affords it some resistance to the rigours of the fossilisation process that destroy weaker objects. and early summer grasses may also induce pollen allergies. Generally pollens that cause allergies are those of anemophilous plants (pollen is dispersed by air currents. Since this plant is entomophilous (its pollen is dispersed by animals). Arizona was once regarded as a haven for people with pollen allergies. Pollen is first found in the fossil record in the late Devonian period[verification needed] and increases in abundance until the present day.[17] The percentage of people in the United States affected by hay fever varies between 10% and 20%. In the US. However. more irritating species of ragweed gained a foothold and Arizona lost its claim of freedom from hay fever. as suburbs grew and people began establishing irrigated lawns and gardens.[18] . people often mistakenly blame the conspicuous goldenrod flower for allergies. As such. pecan. [edit] Hay fever The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. a widespread anemophilous plant. birch. which can be used both for biostratigraphy and to gain information about the abundance and variety of plants alive — which can itself yield important information about paleoclimates. Most late summer and fall pollen allergies are probably caused by ragweed. hickory. The discipline of palynology is devoted to the study of pollen. often disassociated from their parent plant. (September 2010) Allergy to pollen is called hay fever. Anemophilous spring blooming plants such as oak. Most cultivated plants with showy flowers are entomophilous and do not cause pollen allergies. there is an extensive fossil record of pollen grains. and such allergy has proven to be the most frequent allergic response in the nation. although several ragweed species grow in the desert. Individuals who suffer from eczema or are asthmatic tend to be more susceptible to developing long-term hay fever.) Such plants produce large quantities of lightweight pollen (because wind dispersal is random and the likelihood of one pollen grain landing on another flower is small) which can be carried for great distances and are easily inhaled. its heavy. oak pollen starts to cause problems for sufferers in February and is gone by the end of April.

Euseius tularensis can survive by feeding on the pollen of dozens of plant species. but can consume pollen contents that are dissolved in a fluid. individuals with hypertension are advised to avoid them. The confirmation of hay fever can be obtained after examination by a general physician. Individuals carrying the ailment may at first believe that they have a simple summer cold. cetirizine and chlorphenamine.[21] [edit] Nutrition Most major classes of predatory and parasitic arthropods contain species that eat pollen. and three UK species feed strictly on pollen. Some predatory mites also feed on pollen. often marketed as a food (rather than a dietary supplement). since they live at too high an altitude for insects. Ants also eat pollen. but it has been proven that they do prevent a part of the chain reaction activated by this biogenic amine. the side effects of these medications can vary from person to person. Ladybirds mainly eat insects. Flies cannot eat pollen directly. making the process of urinating more complicated. All adult Syrphidae feed on pollen. The oral decongestant type can aggravate the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. A side effect of antihistamines is somnolence. but this is thought to be a severe underestimate as the feeding habits are only known for 1000 species. It is not clear how spiderling manage to eat pollen however. xylometazoline and drixoral can be acquired as over-the-counter medications. this type of nonprescribed drugs includes loratadine. and it is therefore recommended not to take these drugs while driving an automobile or during the consumption of alcoholic beverages. forming part of the diet of many ant larvae. They do not prevent the discharge of histamine. particularly for spiderlings which catch pollen on their webs. but hay fever becomes more evident when the apparent cold does not disappear. with some species being able to subsist solely on pollen.The most efficient way to handle a pollen allergy is by preventing contact with the material.[20] Decongestants can be administered in different ways such as tablets and nasal sprays. some are thought to only eat pollen. Decongestants such as pseudoephedrine. which considerably lowers hay fever symptoms. Only 36 of 40000 species of ground beetles have been shown to eat pollen. since their mouths are not large enough to consume pollen grains. Spiders are normally considered carnivores but pollen is an important source of food for several species.[22] [edit] In humans A variety of producers have started selling pollen for human consumption. Heteroptera are mostly omnivores but pollen feeding has only been well studied in the Anthocorinae. Since oral decongestant drugs raise blood pressure levels. but many species also eat pollen. The largest constituent is .[19] [edit] Treatment Antihistamines are effective at treating mild cases of hay fever. However.

Oxford University Press. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not found any harmful effects of pollen consumption. there are possible dangers not only from allergic reactions but also from contaminants such as pesticides and from fungi and bacteria growth related to poor storage procedures. Furthermore.[24] [edit] Forensic palynology Main article: Forensic palynology In forensic biology. pp. http://www. Hellmich. PMID 11559840. Gp.[29] [edit] See also Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Pollen • • • • • European Pollen Database Evolution of sex Pollen count Pollen source Polyphenol antioxidant [edit] References 1.1073/pnas. ISBN 0-19-914766-3.211287498. Jm. Adam. However. as no scientific basis for these has ever been proven. . will have a distinctive collection of pollen species. Mk. Dively.[26] Pollen has been used to trace activity at mass graves in Bosnia.[28] and has even been proposed as an additive for bullets to enable tracking them. Hr. because regions of the world. Mattila.carbohydrates. with protein content ranging from 7 to 35 percent depending on the plant species collected by bees. except from the usual allergies. (October 2001). PMC 59743. Clark. FDA does not allow pollen marketers in the United States to make health claims about their produce.[25] Pollen evidence can also reveal the season in which a particular object picked up the pollen.S.pnas. Foster. 2. P et al.[23] The U. Sears. "Corn pollen deposition on milkweeds in and near cornfields" (Free full text). Stanley-horn.[27] catch a burglar who brushed against a Hypericum bush during a crime. pollen can tell a lot about where a person or object has been. De. or even more particular locations such a certain set of bushes. Je. Rl. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 98 (21): 11919–24. doi:10. ^ Johnstone. Biology: facts & practice for A level. 95.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=11559840. ^ Pleasants. A manufacturers's claim that pollen collecting helps the bee colonies is also controversial.

American Journal of Botany 91: 1627– 1644. Retrieved on 2010-03-09 19. ^ Riede W.com/pollen. 465-480.” 105 N 1. pp. V. L. 2. ^ Correns C. “Flora” 18/19 13.geo. 7. p. (1977).edu/AA158. Sci. 5.html 5. edit 23. Inc. 14. ^ The Pollen Feeders.com/doi/abs/10. http://edis. New Phytologist 71 (1): 181–185. 1975 24. Jap. "Oak is especially irritating in March"." Chapter XVIII.tb04826. (1932) Die Geschlechtschromosomen von Humulus japonicus. Original publication date November 1.arizona. ^ Ter-Avanesian D. (1985) Is there a negative feedback in sex determination? “Zurnal obschej biol. (1928) Bestimmung. Prikl. Document ENY118.. № 3.geo. . Cracov” Scr. ^ Allergies and Hay Fever WebMD. ).ifas. citing P. ^ Bee. ^ Vaughn M.. grass pollen allergy symptoms Retrieved on 2010-03-09 20.: Plant Breeding Abstr. 10. “Doklady Biological Sciences” 234 N 1-6. 6. & Geodakyan. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. (1922) Geschlechtsbestimmung und Zahlenverhaltnis der Geschlechter beim Sauerampfer (Rumex acetosa). “Bull. as a result of sparse or abundant pollination. “Acta Biol.V.A. (full text) 7.3. Olmstead (2004).14698137.” 46 201-216 (in Russian). ^ Ter-Avanesyan D. Genet. Melbourne.edu/palynology/polkey. S.edu/palynology/ppapertr. 8. "Some Observations on the Evolution of Pollen Types in Dicotyledons". 25. Kazlmierez Z. Hirayoshi J. Sieb. "Forensic Palynology: A New Way to Catch Crooks". ^ Sanford. Tr. http://www. ^ Hay fever treatment eMedicine Health.. (1978) Significance of pollen amount for fertilization. 15..tb04826. V.1627. 9.1972.1469-8137.htm. "Other Products of the Hive. 3A. ^ Geodakyan. doi:10.3732/ajb. pp. “Heredity” 22 № 3. 41. 1994.1111/j. Bot. V.. ^ Malcolm T. Zbl. Sporne (1972).ufl. The Hive and the Honey Bee. Vererbungswiss. 28 119.1007/978-1-4020-9235-0_6. IL. Revised February 1. p. Reviewed May 1..10.und Anpassungs-problem. Retrieved 200708-30.91. (1949)..1972. Ass. Jim (22 March 2009). "A survey of tricolpate (eudicot) phylogenetic relationships". Club.. 1934. 2003. ^ Treatments and drugs for Hay Fever Mayo Clinic. 248. Selekt. 18. ^ http://www... Zuce. Vererbung und Verteilung des Geschlechter bei den hoheren Pflanzen. (1925) Beitrage zum Geschlechts. Adv. Bot. Retrieved on 2010-03-09 22. 1995.html#key 4. Sanford.x. ref. ^ Rychlewski J. (1975) Sex ratio in seeds of Rumex acetosa L. ^ http://www. ^ Geodakyan V. 87–11. 17. A. Torrey Bot. Hamilton.crimeandclues.” 42. Bryant. (1967) Optimal sex ratio in Silene alba. Witherell. Judd and Richard G. ^ Walter S. 11. Dadant & Sons.blackwellsynergy. ^ Waymer. 193–196. doi:10. Florida: Florida Today. Handb.x. 12. University of Florida. http://www. “Biol. 18. Retrieved on 2010-03-09 21.. № 768). 1-138. In: 8th Congr. The Amount of Pollen as a Regulator of Evolutionary Plasticity of Cross-Pollinating Plants. doi:10. "Producing Pollen". ^ Mulcahy D. 16.1111/j. et. 2009. 363—367 (cit. ^ Kihara H.arizona. ^ Kenneth R. 101114. 2–8. ^ Соrrеns С.

co.1016/j. BBC News. http://media.forsciint.). Mildenhall (2006). Forensic Science International 163 (3): 231–235. ^ D. "Hypericum pollen determines the presence of burglars at the scene of a crime: An example of forensic palynology".bbc.To. 28. • • • • Palynology in Utrecht. doi:10. ^ Peter Wood (9 September 2004).Pollen-513603.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3640788. "Pollen helps war crime forensics".www. 29. Chemical & Engineering News.Look.26. 18 August 2008. Encyclopædia Britannica (Eleventh ed. 27. Hugh. http://news. 33. ^ Newscripts.Studies. "Forensics studies look to pollen". Cambridge University Press.stm.com/media/storage/paper657/news/2003/04/17/SciTech /Forensics. • • • • • • • Pollen and Spore Identification Literature Paleobotany and Palynology at the Florida Museum of Natural History Palynology at the University of Arizona Palynology at French Institute of Pondicherry Palynology at the University of Sheffield SEM coloured and confocal microscope images of pollen Pollen Biology and Pollen Allergy (Radboud University Nijmegen) This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm. the Netherlands The flight of the pollen cloud Outcrossing from transgenic maize and quantifying outcrossing rates The Evolutionary Theory of Sex: Mechanisms of Regulation of the Population Parameters PalDat (database comprising palynological data from a variety of plant families) .11.thebatt. PMID 16406430. ^ Robert Stackhouse (17 April 2003). ed (1911).2005. p. 88 [edit] External links Clumps of yellow pollen on a flower head. The Battalion.028.shtml. 86.

org/wiki/Pollen" Categories: Plant anatomy | Plant morphology | Palynology | Pollination | Allergology Hidden categories: All pages needing factual verification | Wikipedia articles needing factual verification from July 2007 | Articles with limited geographic scope | USA-centric | Wikipedia articles incorporating text from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica | Wikipedia articles incorporating text from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica without Wikisource reference | Wikipedia articles incorporating text from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica with no article parameter Personal tools • • New features Log in / create account .• • • Very large pollen accumulation in the sea Pollen movement dynamics Co-extra research project on coexistence and traceability of GM an non-GM supply chains Pollen SEM-image gallery [hide] v•d•e Botany Ethnobotany · Paleobotany · Plant anatomy · Plant Subdisciplines ecology · Plant evo-devo · Plant morphology · Plant of botany physiology Plants Plant parts Plant cells Evolutionary history of plants · Algae · Bryophyte · Pteridophyte · Gymnosperm · Angiosperm Flower · Fruit · Leaf · Meristem · Root · Stem · Stoma · Vascular tissue · Wood Cell wall · Chlorophyll · Chloroplast · Photosynthesis · Plant hormone · Plastid · Transpiration Plant Alternation of generations · Gametophyte · Plant reproduction sexuality · Pollen · Pollination · Seed · Spore · Sporophyte Plant taxonomy Glossaries Botanical name · Botanical nomenclature · Herbarium · IAPT · ICBN · Species Plantarum Glossary of botanical terms · Glossary of plant morphology terms Category · Portal Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.

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