STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Climbing lily pollen grains. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of pollen grains from the climbing lily flower (Gloriosa superba). The grains have a highly sculptured outer wall (exine), which may assist in their dispersal by improving their adherence to pollinating insects. The characteristic surface of pollen grains is used by botanists to recognise and classify plants. Each pollen grain contains a male gamete (reproductive cell) that is intended to fertilise an egg or ovule (female gamete), and initiate the formation of a seed for a new plant. Magnification: x500 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.
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