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Birch pollen

 
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 17874
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 10:41 pm    Post subject: Birch pollen Reply with quote



Birch pollen in glycerin, brightfield, 40X NA 0.65 objective, Canon SD700 IS through eyepiece, manually stacked from 4 exposures.

This stuff is still confusing to me. It's hard to tell what the shapes are, and every grain seems different. One wrinkle (maybe all of them, pardon the pun!) is that these grains may be dehydrated, causing them to shrink in unpredictable ways. When I had some of them in water, they swelled up into what appeared to be fairly regular spheres with three little nipples.

I may have to wait til next spring to get more birch pollen. My trees are almost finished now.

--Rik
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 5671
Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rik, with some of these pollens it is a challenge really get a good grasp on the shape. Some, like these birch you are showing us, do not seem to have a uniform distinctive shape. Makes it tricky to photograph as well. I think you have given us a pretty good idea of its appearance here.
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Ken Ramos



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 6947
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great shot Rik. Very Happy I would not know but only guessing, I would think that those immersed in water would probably present a more accurate description of what they really looked like in the beginning. Think
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However, while there is grace where in all that I might live, while there is still breath in my being, while I may or may not accomplish anything more in life than to be living, I shall reflect upon the past, applying it to the present, for to possibly perceive to a near certainty, the outcome of the future.

Ken 2014
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discomorphella



Joined: 01 Oct 2006
Posts: 596
Location: NW USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Rik--

Nice shots. To ensure consistent results with pollen, I typically wash a pollen sample with 100% isopropyl alcohol (some species have an oily or waxy covering and this degreases them), then wash and suspend in 50% glycerol for observation/storage. You don't really have to centrifuge the pollen samples, just suspend them in IPA, let them settle, preferably in a small conical bottom tube or test tube and remove the supernatant liquid with a dropper and add the next solution. This has given good results with a large variety of common pollen types.

--David

1) collect and suspend in 100% 2-propanol (Isopropyl alcohol)
2) settle, remove IPA
3) resuspend in DI water, settle, remove water
4) resuspend in 50% glycerol
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Ken Ramos



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 6947
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey thanks David, I will have to keep that in mind. Maybe if I can scrape up some more pine pollen I may just give that a try. Thanks again! Very Happy
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However, while there is grace where in all that I might live, while there is still breath in my being, while I may or may not accomplish anything more in life than to be living, I shall reflect upon the past, applying it to the present, for to possibly perceive to a near certainty, the outcome of the future.

Ken 2014
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