Pollen grains, SEM

Pollen grains, SEM

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Credit: SUSUMU NISHINAGA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Pollen grains. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of pollen grains (pink) from an unidentified plant. There is great variation in the size, shape and surface texture of pollen. The outer wall (exine) is highly sculpted in many plants, as seen here, which may assist in 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 unknown.

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Keywords: biology, botany, coloured, exine, gamete, gametes, grain, grains, male, nature, plant, plants, pollen, reproduction, reproductive, scanning electron micrograph, sculpted, sem, sexual, spike, spikes, spiky, spine, spines, spiny, surface, three

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