Pollen is a fine to coarse powder containing the microgametophytes of seed plants, which produce the male gametes (sperm cells). Pollen grains have a hard coat that protects the sperm cells during the process of their movement from 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 or female cone (i.e., when pollination has occurred), it germinates and produces a pollen tube that transfers the sperm to the ovule (or female gametophyte). Individual pollen grains are small enough to require magnification to see detail. The study of pollen is called palynology and is highly useful in paleoecology, paleontology, archeology, and forensics.
Read more about Pollen: The Structure and Formation of Pollen, Pollination, Pollen As A Carrier of Ecological Information in Plants, Pollen in The Fossil Record, Hay Fever, Nutrition, Forensic Palynology
Famous quotes containing the word pollen:
“Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind.”
—James Russell Lowell (18191891)
“Everything was blamed on Castro. Mudslides in California. The fact that you cant buy a decent tomato anymore. Was there an exceptionally high pollen count in Massapequa, Long Island, one day? It was Castro, exporting sneezes.”
—Calvin Trillin (b. 1935)