Pollen Grains


Under a high magnification of 1648x, this scanning electron micrograph (SEM) revealed some of the morphologic ultrastructure found amongst a collection of pollen found within the dehisced, or split open, anther of a yellow "Fireworks" sundrops, Oenothera fruticosa flower. These pollen grains were of the "tricolpate" type of pollen, which means that the outer surface is traversed from pole to pole, by three symmetrically placed furrows. The textured surface also identified this grain as of the "reticulate" type. Note that the grains' shape is elliptical, indicating that they had undergone a drying process, and were ready to be disseminated into the plants environment.

The anther is the organ housed inside a flower that produces pollen through a process known as meiosis, which involves cell division that gives rise to a half compliment of chromosomes, known as haploidy. The anther resides at the distal tip of the "filament", both structures comprising the male portion of the flower known as the stamen. When a pollen grain representing a male gamete of a plant with its haploid chromosomal contents comes into contact with an ovum, or egg of that specie of plant, which also contains a haploid chromosomal compliment, a zygote is created containing a full compliment of chromosomal DNA.

Source: CDC

Link to hi-res version:


Pollen Grains :  Created on September 9th, 2007.  Last Modified on November 4th, 2009


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