Pollen grain

Pollen grain

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Credit: BSIP/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Pollen grain. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a pollen grain from a pine tree (Pinus sp.). There is great variation in the size, shape and surface texture of pollen. The outer wall is highly sculpted in many plants, as seen here, where the grain possesses twin balloon- like air sacs (upper centre) which assist in wind dispersal. The characteristic surface of a plant's pollen grains is used by botanists to recognise and classify species. Each pollen grain contains a male gamete, which fertilises the eggs or ovules, initiating the formation of plant seeds. Magnification: x2160 at 35mm size.

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Keywords: air sacs, balloons, biology, botany, coloured, flora, male gamete, nature, pine tree, pinus sp., plant, plants, pollen grain, reproduction, reproductive, scanning electron micrograph, sculpted, sem, surface, wildlife

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