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Pollen

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Tip of a tulip stamen with many grains of pollen

Closeup image of a cactus flower and its stamens

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

and forensics. In angiosperms. Wind-borne pollen grains can be as large as about 90-100 µm. and surface markings characteristic of the species (see electron micrograph at top right). some of the cells grow into nutritive cells that supply nutrition for the microspores that form by meiotic division from the sporogenous cells. and a resistant outer wall composed largely of sporopollenin called the exine. during flower development the anther is composed of a mass of cells that appear undifferentiated. The individual pollen grains are small enough to require magnification to see detail. and spruces are winged. male cone of a coniferous plant. sizes. Pollen grains of pines. is around 6 µm (0. Four haploid . archeology. 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. that of the Forget-me-not (Myosotis spp. The smallest pollen grain.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.).006 mm) in diameter.a pollen tube that transfers the sperm to the ovule of a receptive ovary. The group of cells is surrounded by a cellulose-rich cell wall called the intine. four groups of sporogenous cells form with in the anther.[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). paleontology. As the flower develops.[2] The study of pollen is called palynology and is highly useful in paleoecology. firs. except for a partially differentiated dermis. or male cone of other seed plants). Pollen is produced in the microsporangium (contained in the anther of an angiosperm flower. the fertile sporogenous cells are surrounded by layers of sterile cells that grow into the wall of the pollen sac. Pollen grains come in a wide variety of shapes (most often spherical).1 Treatment 6 Nutrition o 6.

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

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

pecan.[18] . there is an extensive fossil record of pollen grains. hickory. Please improve this article and discuss the issue on the talk page. Pollen is first found in the fossil record in the late Devonian period[verification needed] and increases in abundance until the present day. Arizona was once regarded as a haven for people with pollen allergies. There are certain evidential suggestions pointing out hay fever and similar allergies to be of hereditary origin.) 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. sticky pollen does not become independently airborne. although several ragweed species grow in the desert. oak pollen starts to cause problems for sufferers in February and is gone by the end of April. and such allergy has proven to be the most frequent allergic response in the nation. bringing it into contact with the sensitive nasal passages. (September 2010) Allergy to pollen is called hay fever.[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. people often mistakenly blame the conspicuous goldenrod flower for allergies. As such. Most cultivated plants with showy flowers are entomophilous and do not cause pollen allergies. 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. Anemophilous spring blooming plants such as oak. In the US. its heavy. Individuals who suffer from eczema or are asthmatic tend to be more susceptible to developing long-term hay fever. Since this plant is entomophilous (its pollen is dispersed by animals). often disassociated from their parent plant. [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. Generally pollens that cause allergies are those of anemophilous plants (pollen is dispersed by air currents. as suburbs grew and people began establishing irrigated lawns and gardens. In the US. The discipline of palynology is devoted to the study of pollen. it is also produced in huge quantities. However. birch. more irritating species of ragweed gained a foothold and Arizona lost its claim of freedom from hay fever.[17] The percentage of people in the United States affected by hay fever varies between 10% and 20%. a widespread anemophilous plant. Most late summer and fall pollen allergies are probably caused by ragweed.

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

[26] Pollen has been used to trace activity at mass graves in Bosnia. as no scientific basis for these has ever been proven. or even more particular locations such a certain set of bushes. http://www. Biology: facts & practice for A level. "Corn pollen deposition on milkweeds in and near cornfields" (Free full text).org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=11559840. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 98 (21): 11919–24. ^ Pleasants. Je.pnas. Dively.[28] and has even been proposed as an additive for bullets to enable tracking them. Stanley-horn.[23] The U. However. PMID 11559840. (October 2001). pollen can tell a lot about where a person or object has been. 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.[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. Jm.[24] [edit] Forensic palynology Main article: Forensic palynology In forensic biology. Hr. pp. because regions of the world. Oxford University Press.211287498. 95. doi:10. will have a distinctive collection of pollen species. Clark. ISBN 0-19-914766-3. Adam. A manufacturers's claim that pollen collecting helps the bee colonies is also controversial.1073/pnas. Mattila.[25] Pollen evidence can also reveal the season in which a particular object picked up the pollen. FDA does not allow pollen marketers in the United States to make health claims about their produce. Rl.carbohydrates. PMC 59743. De. Sears. with protein content ranging from 7 to 35 percent depending on the plant species collected by bees. Foster. Furthermore. Gp. . ^ Johnstone. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not found any harmful effects of pollen consumption. Hellmich. 2. except from the usual allergies.[27] catch a burglar who brushed against a Hypericum bush during a crime. Mk. P et al.S.

edu/palynology/polkey. doi:10. Selekt. University of Florida. 465-480. Hamilton. (1978) Significance of pollen amount for fertilization. ref. 14. The Hive and the Honey Bee. “Acta Biol.html#key 4. 1975 24. 7. "Oak is especially irritating in March". Handb. Zuce. citing P. Jim (22 March 2009). (1925) Beitrage zum Geschlechts. 363—367 (cit.1972. http://edis. New Phytologist 71 (1): 181–185. ^ Соrrеns С. "Producing Pollen". "Forensic Palynology: A New Way to Catch Crooks". Jap.html 5. 2–8. 25. pp.. ^ Sanford. S.10. et.crimeandclues. ^ http://www.ufl. Kazlmierez Z. http://www. ^ Bee. American Journal of Botany 91: 1627– 1644. Judd and Richard G. 5. ^ Hay fever treatment eMedicine Health. ^ Treatments and drugs for Hay Fever Mayo Clinic. V. http://www. (full text) 7..blackwellsynergy. "A survey of tricolpate (eudicot) phylogenetic relationships".. Retrieved on 2010-03-09 21. ). Retrieved 200708-30. ^ Waymer. Witherell.1111/j. Sci. 193–196. (1967) Optimal sex ratio in Silene alba. 1934. V. 17. 8.com/doi/abs/10. Genet. pp. 11.arizona. L.com/pollen. Torrey Bot. ^ http://www.tb04826. 248. ^ Ter-Avanesian D.14698137. 87–11. "Some Observations on the Evolution of Pollen Types in Dicotyledons". ^ Rychlewski J. Reviewed May 1. “Biol. 41. Original publication date November 1..: Plant Breeding Abstr. 18. ^ Correns C. IL. Olmstead (2004).. Retrieved on 2010-03-09 19. 10.V...htm. Sieb. p. Sporne (1972). Vererbungswiss.91. (1922) Geschlechtsbestimmung und Zahlenverhaltnis der Geschlechter beim Sauerampfer (Rumex acetosa). Retrieved on 2010-03-09 22.. № 3.arizona. 28 119. Document ENY118. 1-138. 12. Florida: Florida Today. grass pollen allergy symptoms Retrieved on 2010-03-09 20. ^ Ter-Avanesyan D. Cracov” Scr. “Doklady Biological Sciences” 234 N 1-6. ^ Mulcahy D. & Geodakyan.geo.A. 15.edu/AA158. "Other Products of the Hive.x. ^ Allergies and Hay Fever WebMD. doi:10. (1932) Die Geschlechtschromosomen von Humulus japonicus. Dadant & Sons. Tr. ^ Malcolm T. (1985) Is there a negative feedback in sex determination? “Zurnal obschej biol. № 768). ^ Kenneth R. Hirayoshi J.und Anpassungs-problem. ^ Geodakyan V.edu/palynology/ppapertr.” 105 N 1." Chapter XVIII. (1977). 16. doi:10. ^ Geodakyan. In: 8th Congr. Bot. 2.1972. ^ Riede W.x.tb04826. ^ Kihara H. 9. 3A. as a result of sparse or abundant pollination. 1995.. Bot. Adv. Ass. “Heredity” 22 № 3. Inc. Sanford.. Revised February 1. (1949). ^ The Pollen Feeders. ^ Walter S. 1994. Prikl. “Bull. 18.. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. 2003. 6. Zbl.1111/j. ^ Vaughn M. (1975) Sex ratio in seeds of Rumex acetosa L. Bryant. V.3.” 42.1627. edit 23.1469-8137. “Flora” 18/19 13. .1007/978-1-4020-9235-0_6.3732/ajb. (1928) Bestimmung. 2009. p.ifas. The Amount of Pollen as a Regulator of Evolutionary Plasticity of Cross-Pollinating Plants. Melbourne. Vererbung und Verteilung des Geschlechter bei den hoheren Pflanzen.geo. 101114.” 46 201-216 (in Russian). A. Club.

33.stm. BBC News.26.2005.Studies.Look. PMID 16406430.www. The Battalion. Forensic Science International 163 (3): 231–235. 28. "Pollen helps war crime forensics". p.thebatt. 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) . Mildenhall (2006).com/media/storage/paper657/news/2003/04/17/SciTech /Forensics.Pollen-513603. ^ Peter Wood (9 September 2004).028. http://media.shtml. 18 August 2008. 27.co. • • • • • • • 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.bbc. ^ Robert Stackhouse (17 April 2003). ed (1911).forsciint. Chemical & Engineering News. doi:10. Encyclopædia Britannica (Eleventh ed.1016/j. "Hypericum pollen determines the presence of burglars at the scene of a crime: An example of forensic palynology". ^ Newscripts.). "Forensics studies look to pollen".To.11. http://news. Cambridge University Press. • • • • Palynology in Utrecht. Hugh. 86. 29. 88 [edit] External links Clumps of yellow pollen on a flower head.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3640788. ^ D.

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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