pollination video?

Mark Spiro spiro at bucknell.edu
Sun Feb 1 13:48:50 EST 2004

Since wildflowers are not available for most of the Spring semester in
our region, I experimented with pollen from a number of different
flowers available from the florist.   I found that snapdragons work very
well.  Typically I mix pollen from flowers of varying ages (the youngest
flowers are towards the tip of the spike) and spread them out on a
solidified medium on a Petri dish.  Then I place the Petri dish inside
another container that is kept humid with a damp paper towel and place
the whole set up at 28 C.  Within an hour you have germination and
within two hours the pollen tubes are several mm long (dozens of times
the size of the original pollen grain).

At 08:30 PM 1/30/2004, you wrote:

> In a message dated 1/30/2004 2:04:34 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> RFisher at Chatham.edu writes:
> > I'm teaching botany this spring.  The last time I taught it, I
> > remember
> > thinking showing a video about pollination would be more effective
> > than
> > showing still photos or drawings and discussing them.  Do any of you
> > have a video you can recommend?  When I was a teaching assistant we
> > showed a video called "close encounters of the floral kind" or
> > something
> > like that. Since that was a while ago (you can guess from the
> title!)
> > I
> > thought there might be something better/newer out there.
> >
> > Thanks!
> >
> > Roxanne
> >
> Why not grow the pollen tubes yourself?  Wildflower pollen works well
> (much better than cultivated flowers which tend to be so inbred).  I
> have seen intro bio courses that have students bring in wildflowers,
> collect pollen, put the pollen on slides with medium for growth and
> then
> the pollen tubes grow over the course of minutes to hours.  It makes
> for
> a fun fit in a lab on angiosperm life cycle-stuff, and the students
> get
> to see lots of pollen morphologies...
> A good general purpose pollen growth medium is given in the following
> work:
> Brewbaker J.L., B.H. Kwack- 1963-The essential role of calcium ion in
> pollen germination and pollen tube growth- American Journal of Botany
> vol 50:  859-865
> Once you have your own growing pollen, then you can use a video camera
> hooked up to a microscope to capture the images and make your own
> videos.
> Good luck with it.
> Scott T. Meissner
> University Bum!
> ---

Mark D. Spiro
Department of Biology
Bucknell University
Lewisburg, PA 17837
spiro at bucknell.edu
phone:  (570) 577-3486
fax: (570) 577-3537


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