Pollen grains find safety in numbers

Behind the Cover: New Phytologist 221:2, January 2019 You might think that the image on the latest cover of New Phytologist looks a bit like falling snow, appropriate for this time of year in the northern hemisphere. But what you're actually looking at are pollen grains. The photo shows fragments of pollen tetrads connected by clear, sticky threads of v...
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Feeling the (pollen tube) force

If you think about a pollen grain that, after all of that bee-hitchhiking, has landed on the sweet stigma of the right flower, you might think that it has finally arrived. But from the pollen grain’s point of view its active struggle has just started – it now has to penetrate through the stigma tissue to localise and fertilise the ovule. Most of the research carried out on thi...
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Behind the Cover: New Phytologist 219:1, July 2018

Those aren't coffee beans on the cover of New Phytologist 219:1, but pollen grains. Yuki Nakamura and colleagues from the Institute of Plant and Microbial Biology, Taiwan, and IMBIO, Germany, used a scanning electron microscope to capture the image. There is something wrong with these pollen grains. Look closely and you'll see that some of them appear crumpled, misshapen. ...
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