pollen


pollen
pollenless, adj.pollenlike, adj.pollinic /peuh lin"ik/, pollinical, adj.
/pol"euhn/, n.
1. the fertilizing element of flowering plants, consisting of fine, powdery, yellowish grains or spores, sometimes in masses.
v.t.
2. to pollinate.
[1515-25; < NL, special use of L: fine flour, mill dust]

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Mass of microscopic spores in a seed plant that appears usually as a fine dust.

Each pollen grain is tiny, varies in shape and structure, is formed in the stamens in seed plants, and is transported by various means (see pollination) to the pistil, where fertilization occurs. The outer layer of a pollen grain is very resistant to disintegration; treatment with intense heat, strong acids, or strong bases has little effect on it. Because the grains often are very distinctive, some plant species may be identified by their pollen grains alone. Common components of both recent and ancient geologic sediments, pollen grains have provided much information on the origin and geologic history of plant life on land. Pollen is produced in such quantities that it is a significant part of the airborne components of earth's atmosphere. The protein-containing substance in many pollen grains (e.g., ragweed and many grasses) causes the allergic reaction commonly known as hay fever.

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▪ plant anatomy
 a mass of microspores in a seed plant appearing usually as a fine dust. Each pollen grain is a minute body, of varying shape and structure, formed in the anther, or male apparatus, in seed-bearing plants and transported by various means (wind, water, insects, etc.) to the pistil, or female structure, where fertilization occurs. The pollen grain of flowering plants (angiosperms) consists of three distinct parts. The central cytoplasmic part is the source of nuclei responsible for fertilization. The other parts constituting the wall of the grain are an inner layer, the intine, and an outer layer, the exine. The intine consists, at least in part, of cellulose. The outer and most durable layer, the exine, is very resistant to disintegration; treatment with intense heat, strong acids, or strong bases has little effect upon it. The composition of the exine is uncertain; its constituents have been termed sporopollenins. The internal parts of the pollen grain are easily broken down, whereas the exine layer, and thus the general form of the pollen grain, is easily preserved in various kinds of sediments; the quality of preservation may vary with different environments.

      Because of their remarkably symmetrical structure and surface patterns, pollen grains are readily recognizable under the microscope. The structure of the wall of a pollen grain is oftentimes so characteristic that in some cases species may be identified by pollen grains alone. On the other hand, there are cases in which pollen grains of very like structure occur in quite unrelated plant families.

      Because of their high resistance to decay, their widespread dispersal by wind and water, and their abundant production by plants, pollen grains are very common constituents of geologic sediments, both recent and ancient. Because of these features pollen grains have provided much information on the origin and geologic history of terrestrial plant life.

      Pollen is produced in such quantities that it is a significant component of the airborne constituents of the Earth's atmosphere, especially in areas over continents. The proteinaceous substance in many pollen grains (namely, ragweed and many grasses) induces an allergic reaction commonly known as hay fever (q.v.). Frequently local governmental authorities publish pollen counts, estimates of the concentration of pollen grains in the air, for the purpose of indicating the relative discomfort that may be experienced by sufferers from hay fever and similar allergies.

      The study of pollen and spores is known as palynology (q.v.). See also pollination.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • POLLEN — L’étude du contenu vivant du pollen – relativement peu différencié et difficile à observer – est un peu éclipsée par celle de la membrane pollinique [cf. PALYNOLOGIE]. La fonction biologique fondamentale du pollen dans la reproduction sexuée des… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Pollen — Pol len, n. [L. pollen fine flour, fine dust; cf. Gr. ?] 1. Fine bran or flour. [Obs.] Bailey. [1913 Webster] 2. (Bot.) The fecundating dustlike cells of the anthers of flowers. See {Flower}, and Illust. of {Filament}. [1913 Webster] {Pollen… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pollen — Sm Blütenstaub erw. fach. (14. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt mit der Bedeutung feines Mehl, Staubmehl aus l. pollen n. gleicher Bedeutung. Die Bedeutung Blütenstaub ist neuzeitlich und international. Das lateinische Wort gehört zu einer Wortfamilie,… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Pollen — (lat., Blütenstaub), die aus sehr kleinen Körnchen (Pollenkörnern) bestehende staubartige Masse in den Staubbeuteln der phanerogamen Pflanzen, welche die Blütenbestäubung bewirkt und das für die Befruchtung nötige männliche Sexualelement (Sperma) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • pollen — (n.) 1760 as a botanical term for the fertilizing element of flowers (from Linnæus, 1751), earlier dust (1520s), from L. pollen mill dust, fine flour, related to polenta peeled barley, and pulvis (gen. pulveris) dust, from PIE root *pel dust,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Pollen — Pollen: Der botanische Fachausdruck für »Blütenstaub« wurde im 14./15. Jh. aus lat. pollen »sehr feines Mehl, Mehlstaub; Staub« übernommen. Dies ist verwandt mit lat. polenta »Gerstengraupen« (daher durch it. Vermittlung unser Fremdwort Polenta… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • pollen — pollen. См. пыльца. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • Pollen — Pollen, so v.w. Blüthenstaub, s. u. Blüthe I. A) c) …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Pollen — Pollen, Pollenkörner, Blütenstaub, die Fortpflanzungskörper, die in den Staubbeuteln der Phanerogamen gebildet werden, von verschiedener Gestalt [Tafel: Botanik II, 17 21]. Sie haben eine doppelte Wandung (nach innen die Intine, außen die… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Pollen — Pollen, der Blütenstaub …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Pollen — Pollen, Blütenstaub, aus einzelnen ⇒ Pollenkörnern bestehende Absonderung der ⇒ Staubblätter von Spermatophyten …   Deutsch wörterbuch der biologie


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