Structure of Pollen

We have started to research different types of honey. Looking at the different pollens in the honey, or the lack there of, has aroused our curiosity to the point of collecting our own pollen. In our quest to identify these pollens from the honey, we have noticed a lot of the labs tend to stain their pollen to bring out certain morphological characteristics. We tend not to alter our samples so that we can better identify particles in a real world application. We have found real success in just changing the mounting media.

Here is an example of what characteristics you can bring out of the pollen grain by simply mounting it in a different refractive index. The Thistle pollen on the left is mounted in a lower refractive index and allows the viewer to really see the morphology of the inner wall. The one on the right is mounted in a 1.74 melt mount and shows the outer morphology beautifully.

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