FRANK FOX / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY FRANK FOX / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Light micrograph showing grains of lily (Lilium sp.) pollen. Microscopic contrast method: Epi-Fluorescence, blue excitation. Pollen grain size, shape and surface texture differ from one plant species to another. The outer wall (exine) of the pollen in many plant species is highly sculpted which may assist in wind, water or insect dispersal. This pollen sculpting is also used by botanists to recognise plant species. Pores in the pollen wall help in water regulation and germination. Pollen contains the plant's male gametes. These fertilise the eggs or ovules, initiating formation of plant seeds. Magnification 240X when printed at 10cm.
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